Broadcast Pix Introduces the First 2 M/E Live Integrated Production Systems

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New Slate 5000 HD/SD Switchers Enable Sophisticated Live HD Production at a New Price Point

Last Updated: March 25, 2008 6:40 pm GMT
(Billerica, Massachusetts--March 25, 2008) Broadcast Pix™, the company that redefined the production switcher as a live integrated production system, today announced that it is introducing the Slate™ 5000 switcher series, 2 /ME versions of its successful HD/SD Slate™ switcher family.

Broadcast Pix will conduct product demonstrations of the new Slate 5000 at NAB Booth #SU10605.

The Slate 5000 is the industry’s first live production system to integrate 2 M/E functionality. It allows a single operator to run all aspects of a sophisticated 2 M/E live HDTV production, including complex graphics, animations, clips and effects, as well as control robotic cameras, audio mixers, and video servers.

“The new Slate 5000 switcher has the switcher capabilities of the top, established 2 M/E HD production switchers on the market today,” said Ken Swanton, president of Broadcast Pix. “But the Slate 5000 is unique in that it also includes and integrates all of the functionality of an entire live production control room—CG, clips store, and monitoring—which none of the others do. It even does aspect and format conversion and routing. The Slate 5000 creates a dramatically more cost-effective price point, far lower than any alternative 2 M/E HD live production suite, which makes powerful HD live video productions suddenly affordable, in both equipment and staffing.”

The new Slate 5000 panel and multi-view monitor creates such a powerful single point of control that a solo operator can create compelling live productions that require a team of operators in a conventional control room comprised of individual components. Yet the Slate 5000 can gracefully expand to team operation by adding a graphics operator, or by adding more operators anywhere on the system’s control network, even at a remote site.

The Slate 5000’s starting price in HD/SD of $37,000 is about half the cost of competing 2 M/E HD switchers, none of which include the Slate 5000’s integrated functionality.

The Slate 5000 can accommodate up to 32 video inputs, and has six keyers, six DVEs, animated transitions with audio, a multi-view monitor, dual channel clip store for up to 60 hours of QuickTime and MPEG2 clips, Harris Inscriber© CG, and five channels of graphics. The panel has two banks of device controls, each of which can be assigned to a switcher function, clip or graphics store, or to control other devices in the studio. The panel features Broadcast Pix’s unique PixButtons (patent pending) which display the file names of every clip and graphic on the push-buttons. New Slate 5016 and 5032 models include an integrated 16x16 and 32x32 router respectively, to increase I/O and redundancy.

The Slate 5000 is exceptionally multi-format. Models include HD/SD, SD-only and analog models, or combinations of them. They can simultaneously process 1080i, 720p, SD-SDI, HD analog component, analog composite, Y/C, component, DVI and VGA inputs, with both synchronous and asynchronous signals, in both NTSC and PAL, and in both 16:9 and 4:3 formats without distorting aspect ratios. Slate HD models can output both 16:9 and 4:3 formats simultaneously.

The Slate 5000 2 M/E (Mix/Effect system) HD switcher expands on the power and functionality of three new Slate 1 M/E HD switcher models also being introduced at this NAB. These include the Slate 100 HD, a low-cost integrated, live HD video production studio with a custom keyboard for only $14,400; the Slate 1000 HD, which adds a professional control panel; and the Slate 3000 HD, which adds an integrated router for more I/O and redundancy. All existing Slate 1M/E customers can upgrade to the Slate 5000 by swapping the 1 M/E control panel for the larger 2 M/E panel, and upgrading software.

Slate workstations are very reliable for live television, as multiple levels of redundancy are built in to keep the show always on air. All Slate switchers include redundant control panels using the keyboard or the mouse. Optional redundant power is available. The switching is done on the Slate boards inside, not the workstation’s CPU, and the switcher automatically keeps a camera on air even if the workstation is unplugged. And all models that include a router feature fail-safe switching, so that if the workstation should ever stop, the cameras can still be switched using a redundant control system between the panel and router. The Slate 5000 is expected to start shipping in May.

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in combining technologies from the computer and live television equipment industries to create an innovative family of live video production systems. Broadcast Pix systems are a fraction of the cost of conventional live video production solutions, yet retain their fast action control and non-stop, on-air robustness They can be run by a single operator instead of requiring a team. Customers include over 600 leading broadcasters (including CBS, NBC and ESPN), webcasters, cable stations, stadiums, corporate, education, religious and government studios in over 50 countries. Broadcast Pix is based at 3 Federal Street, Billerica, Massachusetts, with offices throughout North America and in Europe.. See http://www.broadcastpix.com.

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