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Lakeville, MN, streamlines workflow with Broadcast Pix Slate 1000

The city of Lakeville, MN, is using the Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 integrated production system to produce live video telecasts of its City Council and Planning Commission meetings, as well as in-house presentations, town forums and community-related interview shows. The meetings are broadcast live and frequently repeated on the city’s government access cable channel through Charter Communications. Meetings and other programs are also available on demand on the city’s website.

The installation in February 2010 followed two years of intensive planning, budgeting and competitive bid reviews. Purchased through Alpha Video in Edina, MN, the Slate 1000 resides in a control room adjacent to the council chambers at City Hall. “When I first saw the Slate 1000 switcher two years ago at NAB, I knew it was perfect for our setup and budget,” said Tim Klausler, video production specialist for the city.

Both Klausler and fellow Lakeville video production specialist Jim Schiffman operate the Slate 1000. Because the system includes Fluent workflow software, which includes clip store, graphics, macros and an Inscriber CG, either one can produce programming by himself.

“The Slate’s ability to allow a single operator to handle an entire production from start to end was extremely attractive to us,” Klausler said. “The Slate 1000 replaced an older Ross analog switcher, a Compix character generator, several analog CRT monitors and a rack full of small LCD monitors. As a result, the Slate switcher greatly streamlined our production workflow very cost effectively, while saving us valuable control room space.”

Leveraging the built-in Fluent Multi-View, Klausler and Schiffman display their program, preview and input sources on a single 30in Dell LCD monitor screen.

During City Council and Planning Commission meetings, the Slate 1000 accepts HD-SDI signals from four Panasonic AW-HE100 robotic HD cameras integrated with pan/tilt/zoom operation that are mounted on the ceiling, as well as signals from computers, projectors and a WolfVision document camera at the podium. Using the Slate’s Fluent workflow tools, native files cut on either of two Apple Final Cut Pro editing systems can be fed directly into the Slate work environment for use during the production. While meetings are produced in HD, they are currently broadcast on cable in SD.