Harris Graphics Good Fit at Chesapeake TV

Bruce Compton
Chesapeake Television was founded in 1986 by the City of Chesapeake as a means to bring local government events—such as council meetings and planning commission meetings—to the citizens of our community. We now present news, sports, entertainment, public affairs and special event programming. Cox Cable and Verizon FIOS carry the content locally. We make it available via Webcast or on demand at the city's Web site.

Budget constraints are a harsh reality of producing government-access television. These constraints force compromises in the price and production quality of the equipment that a station needs to stay current. Despite this challenge, we must still deliver an on-air product that competes for viewers in an increasingly crowded media market.

Multiple hours of fresh content are produced weekly, including a magazine show which focuses on city and community-related news items, as well as the "Game of the Week," which features local high school sports. Monthly programs include a health show that highlights the Chesapeake General Hospital and local medical issues, and a program that focuses on human services.

Last spring, the station decided to add a live graphics system to provide the channel with sophisticated 2D and 3D animated effects. The system also had to provide integrated storage and playback of clips and stills, and automated playlist management in a user-friendly, affordable package. While the previous character generator system—a well known product by a leading vendor—wasn't old or malfunctioning, we needed something that better fit the needs of our operation.

After extensive research, we determined that the Harris Inscriber G7 Integrated HD/SD Broadcast Graphics System best met our criteria. The system has since been installed in our master control center, along with a Ross Synergy 2-M/E digital switcher.


Since arriving last spring, the Inscriber G7 has proven to be an excellent investment. The ability to create dynamic lower third supers and complex 2D animated graphics and 3D animations on the fly, rather than in post is a big timesaver.

The G7 also allows live news, elections and sports shows to incorporate live data streams, and automatically fills and refreshes that data in live graphics. It is high-definition-ready and able to fit with an integrated tapeless network and virtual set to be implemented in the future.

The Inscriber G7 is extremely fast and easy to operate, with all the bells and whistles we need for live television. Our production staff has commented that the G7 would also be ideal for the station's mobile truck, particularly when covering high school sports, which is shot live-to-tape.

One of our concerns was that any powerful, sophisticated graphics system would require in-depth staff training or hiring technicians of special skill—both of which were unaffordable. Fortunately, the staff has found the G7 very easy to operate. In fact, the user interface is so intuitive and logical that the operator's manual is almost unnecessary.

Chesapeake Television is excited to be able to implement a quality, cost-effective, and feature-packed product like the G7 and looks forward to many years of service from Harris.

Bruce Compton has served as Chesapeake Television's operations coordinator since 2000. His career spans more than 30 years in television production. He may be contacted atbcompton@cityofchesapeake.net.

For additional information, contact Harris at 800-231-9673 or visitwww.broadcast.harris.com.