Version 6 Software for Slate Switcher Line Raises the Performance Bar for Live Production

Broadcast Pix, who redefined the switcher to include an entire control room inside, now enhances it with new Version 6 software for its line of Slate switchers. While Version 5 provided a switcher, character generator, clip stores and multi-view monitoring, Version 6 adds compressed clip support and a customizable multi-view for any size monitor, including huge wall-mounted displays. Up to 20 moving monitors can be sized and arranged, and clocks, countdowns and content libraries can be added for unprecedented feedback. Slate s clip store can now play most QuickTime, DV and MPEG clips, which greatly streamlines workflow.

Five major new Version 6 options were also announced today: audio-follow-video software for automatic control of an audio mixer with MIDI; double the number of keyers to six, providing six picture-in-picture boxes; PowerAux for keying on secondary outputs; eight chromakeys to couple with integrated still and clip stores for virtual set creation, and CG Connect which enables an external database to automatically update on-air graphics. Version 6 is designed for all live video production applications, including television stations, cable, sports, mobile, education, corporate, faith and government studios.

According to Broadcast Pix President Ken Swanton: Version 6 shows the power of a switcher redefined as an integrated studio. It now includes a free multi-view with more information than the most expensive multi-view. You can drop in QuickTime clips minutes before air-time. Audio control is now automatic, virtual sets are easy and affordable, and on-air graphics can be tied to external databases. And one switcher can produce two versions of a show simultaneously, for TV and Internet, or two screens or 16:9 and 4:3

Customizable Multi-View Monitoring

Slate switchers are the only ones with built-in, multi-image monitoring that displays full motion program, preview, sources and keys on any LCD monitor. Other switchers require an expensive multi-view processor for a portion of this capability. With Version 6, up to 20 moving windows can be displayed on any size monitor or spread across two. The new software provides unprecedented feedback to the operator(s), with files names and thumbnails of content, comprehensive tally, clip and graphic libraries, clip counters and clocks. Different layouts can be saved for different shows.

Play QuickTime, DV and MPEG2 clips

The clip store inside Slate switchers can now play both uncompressed and compressed clips. Uncompressed clips can still be recorded from a tape deck or any video source, and then played. Now, the clip store can also play compressed clips, including most QuickTime, DV and MPEG clips. This greatly streamlines workflow. Clips can more easily move over networks, or fit on DVDs, and be dropped into a live production just minutes before going on-air. The clip store can now hold over 40 hours of compressed clips.

Five New Software Options for Version 6:

Audio-Follow-Video Mixer Control
New Audio-Follow-Video software enables an audio mixer to automatically follow all action on the Slate video switcher. Unlike conventional switchers that utilize antiquated ESAM2 protocols for audio follow, Slate uses
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), so it works with most audio mixers and is both more powerful and more affordable. As each video source goes to air, it triggers commands on the mixer to turn on various audio inputs. It can even trigger an entire mixer scene memory, including volume, fade, pan and effects like echo and reverb. Audio levels meters from some mixers, such as Yamaha, can also be viewed on the Slate switcher s Multi-View monitor.

Key 4, 5 & 6
The number of keyers indicates how many elements a switcher can overlay on a background. Previously, all Broadcast Pix switchers provided at least three keyers, and that has now been expanded to six keyers. Each is a full function keyer that can have a DVE box applied for Picture-in-Picture, for up to six at once.

This creates the most powerful Aux output on any switcher, essentially providing users with two different program outputs. On conventional switchers, the auxiliary outputs show only a simple background image. PowerAux enables Slate switchers to produce an advanced auxiliary output with up to six keyers applied. This is ideal for producing two simultaneous shows from the same system, for two different audiences, without the high cost and complexity of a two M/E switcher. This can be the case when producing for TV, projector and Internet, or widescreen and standard aspect ratios, or simply different branding.

CG Connect
All Slate switchers include an Inscriber TitleMotion Pro character generator (CG). CG Connect couples the individual text and graphic elements in the CG to an external database. For example, in a sports application, a CG page with a player s name, photograph and statistics can be connected to a standard XML database that contains a team s information. By selecting a different player in the database, all elements update simultaneously, even when the graphic is on-air. For sports broadcasts, CG Connect streamlines score updates and can put a clock into the CG.

Multiple Chromakeys and a Virtual Set
One chromakey is standard for green and blue wall sets. Eight chromakeys are now optional for combining with built-in still and clip stores for virtual set production. Just snap photos from each camera angle, put them into the built-in stills stores, and tie them to each camera for a convincing virtual set.

Version 6 will be shown at NAB in Broadcast Pix booth SU14215. It is expected to available as a free upgrade within 30 days of the show for all existing Slate systems, including the Slate 100, 100pro, 1000 and 2100.

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