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04.13.2009
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Broadcast Pix streamlines live production with Fluent software

Broadcast Pix has developed and will demonstrate at NAB (booth #SU2617) new workflow software for its Slate series of integrated live video production systems that takes advantage of the Slate’s tight video and file integration to help operators work faster and more efficiently. A variety of new features come standard with all Slate systems, including Fluent Watch-Folders, which streamline the import of clip and graphic files; and Fluent Macros, which enable operators to preprogram different playout combinations of switcher effects and files.

The Fluent Watch-Folders software enables digital sources to be easily ingested into the Slate, including inputs from the system’s built-in clip and graphic stores (with 1TB of storage capacity). With Watch-Folders, content can be sent over a TCP/IP network from edit stations and graphic systems to these stores for immediate access, even during the middle of a production. Watch-Folders can also be used to direct content to specific folders for specific shows (such as into the second channel of clip store in the 6 p.m. newscast). And because the multiformat Slate can handle both HD and SD native formats, operators can also begin using data files immediately, without having to wait for file conversions.

The company’s new Fluent Macros allow operators to recall specific clip, animation and graphic files, as well as camera positions, enabling the creation and instant playout of complex combinations of effects and camera sources. Macros can be recorded in sequence by pressing the desired buttons, and then edited using the new on-screen Macro editor to adjust timing and file selection. For example, a macro can create an animated graphic transition with sound by recalling a specific logo file and audio file. Or a macro can position and zoom a camera, bring it to air, and fade in its associated graphic title.

Three new Fluent options are also available: a new 2 M/E Soft Panel, CG Connect software and Shared Router software. The Soft Panel enables a 1 M/E Slate system to be upgraded to 2 M/Es using GUI control. The 2 M/E Soft Panel opens in a Flash-based user interface that can be controlled from a Web browser on Slate or a PC or Mac. It is a cost-effective way to add a second M/E, including an additional output and up to three more keyers.

CG Connect, heretofore used to automatically fill in the Slate’s on-air Inscriber CG using content from an XML database, now accepts data from Microsoft Access databases (.mdb) as well. This is ideal for live sports applications or any production with lots of graphics, because it can be used to produce lower-thirds and other graphics instantly, without having to type information.

Finally, Shared Router software allows larger Slate systems that have an integrated 32 x 32 router to share that router with a second smaller Slate system. This enables separate control points for simultaneous production of two different programs using a common group of cameras and other sources. Applications include producing simultaneous live coverage for broadcast television and Internet distribution.

The new Fluent software is available now, except for Fluent Macros, which are expected in June.



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