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Belmont Media Center Improves Local Sports Coverage with Broadcast Pix

BILLERICA, MASS. — Belmont Media Center, a PEG station with three channels serving the town of Belmont, Mass., has improved its local sports coverage with a new remote HD studio anchored by a Broadcast Pix Mica 500 integrated production system.

When BMC moved into upgraded facilities in 2009, its new control room was built around a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 system. When it was time to build a remote HD studio, the nonprofit went back to Broadcast Pix to create a remote system that would be easy to operate.

BMC provides programming on three channels for Comcast and Verizon subscribers, as well as online. The station regularly covers four different commissions, as well as committee meetings and citizen forums. While HD footage is downconverted to SD for Comcast and Verizon subscribers, programs are streamed live and on demand to the Internet.

Purchased primarily for sports coverage, the Mica is also used for school event coverage and some government meetings. “The rationale was that we wanted broadcast-quality sports on the scene in real time,” said Jeff Hansell, executive director, BMC.

BMC worked with The Camera Company in Massachusetts to design and build the remote system, which was used for the first time to produce a Thanksgiving football game, then used throughout the winter for sports and special events. The remote system is housed in two cases and features a Shure mixer, Clear-Com intercom system and three Sony cameras. Programs are recorded to DVD or ingested into a video server.

On location, BMC uses the Mica’s built-in Fluent workflow tools. Fluent Clip Store provides access to B-roll footage, PSAs, sponsorships and interstitials, while Fluent Macros are used to simplify multi-shot screen compositions, particularly for sports coverage. Hansell said the built-in Harris Inscriber GS character generator enables the crew to add graphics live and reduce post-production.

Housed in a single 4 RU case, Mica includes a multi-definition switcher that can mix eight HD/SD-SDI inputs with seven channels of internal clips, animations, and graphics. There is support for up to six keyers and DVEs, six HD/SD-SDI outputs and two DVI outputs. It includes the full complement of Fluent workflow tools and can be controlled through a traditional control panel, keyboard and mouse or touch-screen.