Echolab Opera Switcher Supports Groundbreaking Webcast Joining East and West

Female Students From Middle East University Are First to Produce a Live Television Sports Program From the United States

BILLERICA, Mass. -- Oct. 17, 2007 -- Echolab Corporation, a leading provider of professional video production switchers and broadcast tools, today announced that its Opera dual-format production switcher played a key role in the Webcast of the 2007 Durango High School Fall Classic Tournament, the first live sports television program produced in the United States by female students from the Middle East.

Through the Middle East Broadcasters (MEB) Association initiative “Setting New Broadcasting Standards for the Arab World,” young women from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, and the Kingdom of Bahrain joined the nonprofit charity Interschool Television (iTV) in producing a Web broadcast of the prestigious girls‘ volleyball tournament, which took place Oct. 5 and 6 in Las Vegas.

“The MEB initiative aims to enhance the broadcasting curricula and training in an outreach program involving Middle East universities,” said Dale Matthews, executive director of Oregon-based iTV and producer for the Fall Classic Webcast. “I contacted the people at MEB about the possibility that experienced students from the Middle East could take part in the groundbreaking project, and the tournament organizers and I were very pleased that young women from different parts of the world could come together in a first for the broadcast industry. Echolab‘s loan of an Opera production switcher provided us with the technical capabilities we needed to make this one-of-a-kind broadcast a success.”

Thirty-two teams and many of the best players from around the country took part in the Durango High School Fall Classic. Eight students from the UAE University, under the guidance of Matthews as producer, used the Opera production switcher to create content for Web broadcast, available for online viewing live around the world. The Middle East production crew easily integrated five cameras into the live production. While these prosumer three-chip cameras provided by iTV normally need to be synced externally, the internal frame synchronization of the Opera switcher allowed the team simply to power up the unit, plug in all of its cameras, and get right to work.

“The Durango High School Fall Classic is remarkable in that it attracts top-level female volleyball players from across the United States,” said Nigel Spratling, Echolab president. “What made this year‘s event even more special was that a group of young women was able to travel from across the globe to take part in production of the event. We‘re proud that our switcher technology played a role in this significant step forward for broadcasting and for successful collaboration among young people of different countries and cultures.”

Echolab‘s Opera is a flexible SD production switcher with a unique dual-format design, complemented by internal frame synchronizers and frame buffers that make the Opera the perfect switcher for production systems that require handling of both analog and digital media. The production switcher can be installed into an analog system without additional conversion gear, and its modular architecture provides a cost-effective means of transitioning from analog to digital at the desired pace.

More information about the Opera dual-format production switcher and other Echolab products is available at

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About Echolab

Echolab Corporation is a leading provider of video production switchers and tools that offer flexibility and on-air reliability for the production and distribution of digital media in a variety of formats. Built on Echolab‘s award-winning System on Chip technology, the dual-format Opera, SDI-format Nova, and new multi-definition Ovation MD lines of production switchers deliver the highest quality output in analog and all digital formats and are scalable for future expansion and operational enhancements. Echolab is online at