Emerson College Students Produce Sports With New BPswitch Production Switcher

CHELMSFORD, MA.—Students attending Boston-area Emerson College are using a recently installed Broadcast Pix BPswitch GX integrated production switcher for live team sports coverage on campus, the company announced this week.

The BPswitch, installed during the 2018 winter break, was used to produce men’s basketball last season when the college team clinched its first NEWMAC championship title.

The BPswitch is the centerpiece of the control room in the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym where all men’s and women’s home basketball and volleyball games are played. Located one floor above the basketball court, the control room is designed with a traditional three-row setup.

Currently the college is considering using the BPswitch-based room as the production center for other campus sports, said Tim MacArthur, associate director for media technologies and production.

“The big draw for us was getting into BPfusion graphics [a software option for BPswitch] and the integration with the Daktronics scoreboard,” said MacArthur. “The all-in-one device was also very appealing to us. There is a real ease of workflow with Broadcast Pix.”

The BPfusion software option work’s with BPswitch’s integrated NewBlueNTX multi-layered 3D motion graphics CG. It helps to streamline production of graphics for sports, elections and other data-intensive applications.

The software enables users to create template-based custom graphics that can be updated automatically with data from IP sources, such as scoreboards and RSS feeds, without re-keying data.

“The graphics are a step up from what we’ve done in the past, with easily modified templates that look great,” said MacArthur, adding that the ease of using NewBlueNTX was a big draw for the college.

The switcher’s four outputs feed control room monitors, including two large panels in the front of the room and individual monitors for the technical director and audio station. The BPview multi-view is customized for sports production; however, there is a separate layout for an annual awards gala put on in the gym.

Setting up the switcher for a production is done via a macro that ensures a consistent look, said MacArthur.

Fans of Emerson College sports can access 720p coverage of the college’s games on the school’s Emerson Lions YouTube Channel.

Typically, games are produced using a three-camera setup, but at times up to six have been used. A play-by-play announcer calls game action and color commentators provide perspective. Instant replay is also part of the production mix.

Even when a single camera production is called for, camera inputs are run through the BPswitch to access BPfusion graphics.

Student volunteers run the cameras and switch the games. The school provides no formal instruction on how to use any of the equipment, so students teach themselves and each other.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.