ECU Unveils HD Video Board Powered by Broadcast Pix
When East Carolina University renovated Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium prior to this football season, the athletic department enjoyed the addition of 7,000 seats as well as a new 16:9 HD video board. Instead of bringing in a production truck and personnel from a local television station to produce the in-stadium scoreboard show, ECU now produces its own HD show, using a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 video-production system.
Mike Myles, producer/director for ECU multimedia and technology services, is quite familiar with the Broadcast Pix system, having worked with one for the past seven years at ECU’s medical-campus studio.
“We have a studio at the medical school, and we used a Broadcast Pix unit to switch talk shows and other programming like telethons,” he explains. “We needed something that would play back our clips, as well as have CGs and a still store. The Broadcast Pix was the cleanest unit that we found, and we have loved using it.”
This year, Myles was hired to serve as technical director for the football shows at the stadium, and he suggested to Greg Pierce, director of video services at ECU, that the stadium control room be equipped with a Broadcast Pix system. With the addition of five Panasonic AG-HPX500 HD cameras with Fujinon lenses, Myles now has the tools to create a scoreboard show that he hopes will rival a broadcast production.
“We want to make it look like an on-air show,” he says. “We try to fill up all of the time we have and make it really tight.”
A crew of 10, a mix of freelancers and full-time athletics staff members, work together to create the video-board production: five camera operators, a cable puller, tape operator, director, and two graphics operators. Myles uses the Fluent Clip Store feature of the Slate system to run commercials during the game, and he created an animated ECU Pirates wipe using Fluent Macros. The Slate’s built-in Fluent Multi-View feature also reduced the number of monitors the team needs in the control room.
“The system has been really flexible,” Myles says. “When we wanted to add three more keyers, basically, we paid for it, did a firmware upgrade, and there it was. That’s the really impressive part about Broadcast Pix: the system can grow with your needs.”
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium also features a 768×64-pixel fascia ribbon, powered by Vizrt and Launchpad Clip Server and CG software. Launchpad works in partnership with the Broadcast Pix and Vizrt content.
In addition to producing video-board shows for all ECU home football games, the Slate system will be used for coverage of baseball and softball games in the spring, as well as for soccer, volleyball, and basketball games in the 2011-12 season.