Broadcast Pix Introduces 3G Switcher Frame


Native 1080p Upgrade for Slate Integrated Production Systems Creates the Only 3G IPS, and the Only Affordable 3G Switcher

Last Updated: April 7, 2009 5:56 pm GMT
(April 7, 2009) (Billerica, Massachusetts--April 7, 2009) Broadcast Pix™ today announced a new 3G Switcher Frame as an upgrade for its Slate™ G Series of live video production systems. The new frame is native 3Gbps 1080p/60 and provides simultaneous multi-definition SDI I/O for 1080p, 1080i, 720p and standard definition, as well as DVI.

The price of a new Slate system plus the new 3G Switcher Frame upgrade is less than half the price of any other 3G production switcher, yet Slate also includes HD clip and graphic stores, CG, multi-view monitoring and Fluent™ workflow software. The upgrade creates the first 3G integrated production system.

"Broadcast Pix has always been about creating highly compelling live video very cost effectively. Now we are making 1080p production affordable," said Broadcast Pix President Ken Swanton. "Our new 3G Switcher Frame will enable Broadcast Pix customers to gracefully and economically upgrade when they are ready, and enjoy superior multi-definition productions using all of today's HD and SD standards. Investing in a Broadcast Pix system means investing in the future."

With twice the data rate of 1080i, 3Gbps compared to 1.5Gbps, the new 3G Switcher Frame offers superior picture quality. More data also means better multi-definition production. The Broadcast Pix 3G Switcher Frame features simultaneous input of 1080i, 1080p, 720p, SD-SDI and DVI, and simultaneous output of all. The 3G upgrade helps future-proof Broadcast Pix systems with the emerging 1080p standard already found in TV sets, routers, monitors, computers, projectors, and many emerging cameras.

Other switcher manufacturers provide "dual-link" 3G by splitting each input into two 1.5Gbps streams – a very cumbersome and expensive solution that consumes two inputs for each source and 2 M/Es for each M/E. Broadcast Pix native 3G provides support for 3Gbps on a single SDI cable, and processing of complete 1080p/60 progressive streams inside 1 M/E.

Solutions from other manufacturers also add delay separately at various points in the production process, including input format conversion, input aspect ratio conversion, DVE picture-in-picture, adding graphics, output format conversion, and output aspect conversion. However, the Broadcast Pix system handles all these tasks with an unprecedented constant delay of 33ms (patent pending), making the 3G Switcher Frame upgrade ideal for the most demanding live events, as well as television, Internet and Blu-ray productions.

The 3G Switcher Frame is a separate box, which simplifies wiring, increases the amount of I/O, and further enhances robustness. It communicates with the Broadcast Pix workstation over a single PCI Express bus cable, which carries sixteen video and key inputs of full resolution clips and graphics, as well as communication for comprehensive multi-view monitoring, networking, and the Fluent Workflow software.

In addition, the new 3G Switcher Frame can run independently, which further enhances the exceptional redundancy and reliability of Slate systems. If the Slate workstation is shut down or disconnected during a production, the switcher continues to operate through a patented redundant interface with the control panel.

Two models were announced today, as upgrades for 1 M/E and 2 M/E Slate systems. The 1 M/E 3G Switcher Frame includes 26 inputs, 10 external video and 16 for internal clips and graphics. The external inputs include eight HD/SD-SDI, one key cut, and one DVI. The Frame also includes six HD/SD-SDI video outputs and four DVI outputs. The switcher provides four keyers and three DVE boxes.

The 2 M/E 3G Switcher Frame offers 36 inputs, 20 external video and 16 for internal clips and graphics. The external inputs include 16 HD/SD-SDI, two key cut, and two DVI. The Frame also includes 12 HD/SD-SDI video outputs and four DVI outputs. The switcher provides six keyers and DVE boxes. Both models handle synchronous and asynchronous inputs, and have embedded digital audio for clips. Analog stereo audio for clips and redundant power are also available.

Any Slate G Series system can upgrade to 3G with these new 3G frames. All previous Broadcast Pix Slate systems can upgrade to the G series, and then to 3G. The 3G upgrade involves removing the current Slate video processing boards from the Slate G Series workstation, plugging in a PCI express board, and then attaching this card to the new 3G Frame with a PCI express cable.

The 3G Switcher Frame upgrade is priced from $11,900, and deliveries are expected to begin later this year. Broadcast Pix will offer demonstrations of the 3G Switcher Frame at Booth SU2617 during the 2009 NAB Show, April 20-23 in Las Vegas, Nev.

About Broadcast Pix
Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Slate systems create compelling live video far more cost effectively than conventional control rooms. Slate includes a switcher, multi-view, CG, clip and graphic stores, Fluent workflow software, as well as aspect and format conversion. Slate is a fraction of the cost of a conventional control room, even a solo operator can create engaging video, and it is upgradeable to 3G 1080p, the emerging HD standard. Broadcast Pix is based in Massachusetts, with offices throughout North America and in Europe. Customers include over 1,000 leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, cable, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in over 70 countries. For more information, go to


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