Blackmagic Mini Converters Facilitate Webcast

TAMPA, FLA.: Matchpoint Studios is a full service production and post production company, providing a one-stop facility for a variety of creative clients, projects and events. One of these that we were recently involved in was the Florida Straw Poll convention in Orlando.

Matchpoint Studios streamed a record 10 hours of live coverage of the 2011 Florida Straw Poll convention.MAKING HISTORY

The push for selection of the 2012 Republican presidential candidate began almost a year ago, and one of the first events to introduce the contenders in the race was the Sept. 22, 2011 Straw Poll convention, which was part of the Florida Republican Party's national Presidency 5 (P5) event. Matchpoint Studios was tasked to stream 10 hours of live politics to an audience of more than 2,500, which made the P5 Live! event the longest continuous live Webcast of a Florida convention.

For the Straw Poll telecast, we used multiple cameras, a production switcher, wireless transmission, a Blu-ray player and sound mixing gear. As with most live television events these days, we knew that we'd be faced with the intermixing of multiple video formats, and began preparing early to handle the necessary signal conversions. Thanks to Blackmagic Designs and their line of Mini Converter products, the Webcast went off without a hitch.

We have been using Blackmagic Design gear ever since we built our studios in 2009. Our five suites are equipped with Mini Converters which have never been powered down since they were installed. We knew we could trust these converters to do what we needed, so there was no hesitation in making them part of the P5 Live! Webcast equipment package.

One of our requirements involved converting SDI video to HDMI from the Sony cameras we using for the project. We'd planned to use a total of eight cameras to capture all of the action and as the switcher we were using was set up for four SDI sources and four HDMI sources, conversion was needed to accommodate this without some upstream switching. The Blackmagic SDI-to-HDMI Mini Converter made this a no-brainer.

We were also going to be using two wireless cameras to capture interviews close up on the convention floor. We knew that we would be dealing with audio embedding and die-embedding issues, so we planned ahead and added the necessary Blackmagic Mini Converter units to our list.

Last but not least, we planned to use a Blu-ray player to provide background images at the convention. This required another Mini Converter to convert the HDMI output of the player to the SDI format needed for this application.

As we were literally going to be making history, we couldn't afford to take risks with the P5 Live! Webcast. Our equipment had to do the job that was expected, and perform it flawlessly. Blackmagic Design's line of Mini Converters made this a snap. It was actually no more difficult than unpacking, plugging in cables and turning on the power switches and getting down to work.

JP Manterola is director of operations at Matchpoint Studios. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit