University of Oregon Selects Broadcast Pix Slate 1000

The University of Oregon, School of
Journalism and Communications, has installed a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000
switcher. System integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) worked with
Broadcast Pix and the University to set up the Slate 1000 in the school’s
television studio at the
Electronic Media
Center. That is where
students enrolled in the Electronic Media program attend production classes and
produce a daily five minute newscast as well as a weekly live half hour news
program called, “Oregon News.” The live newscast airs locally on area
cable systems.

Prior to the installation of the Slate 1000, students had
been working with an analog switcher that dated back to the 1980’s. There was
no question of the need for an upgrade, however Instructional Technology
Coordinator Andre Chinn said that given the immense leap in technology and
features that the school was about to take, careful consideration went into the

“We spent a fair amount of time evaluating and examining
other switchers that were available on the market. The Slate 1000 offered a
really unique set of features that were well-suited to the needs of our
program,” said Chinn, “The built-in features of the Slate 1000 stood head and
shoulders above similarly priced switchers in a head-to-head comparison.”

Audio Visual Technician, Kevin May adds that because the
switcher is software rich, it paves the way for the school to continue
upgrading studio facilities. “We’ve come a long way since the studio began
running in 1996, but we must continue to evolve and grow to offer the best
learning environment for our students. Each new purchase must be made with an
eye on how it might impact future purchases. We consider the purchase of the
Slate 1000 an investment in the future, since it is so easily upgradeable.”

The Slate 1000 is a live video production system that
features a professional physical control panel. The switcher uses a switcher on
a card (patent pending), and plugs into an included workstation, which adds
multi-view monitoring, clip store, still store and Inscriber CG. The
computer display provides full motion monitoring of program, preview, and all
cameras, so separate video monitors are no longer needed, but can still be
added. The Slate 1000 can mix up to eight digital and analog live video
inputs with five graphic sources and two clip channels.

Slate 1000 adapts well to the learning environment in the
Electronic Media program, where television news reporting, anchoring and field
reporting are primary components of the curriculum. The switcher allows for an
entire production to be carried out by a team of students or one operator
without sacrificing functionality or quality, and the live productions serve as
testing grounds for the students’ emerging skill sets.

“While we serve a large number of students within our
Journalism program, we do have varying enrollment for the production side of
the curriculum,” said Chinn. “Having the flexibility to roll several positions
to a single operator was immensely important in our purchase decision.”

Slate 1000’s integrated clip store offered the ability to
further streamline production workflows for the students, and features
importation of QuickTime clips. The Electronic Media program had abandoned tape
use a year ago in favor of a computer based playback system. However, before
the Slate 1000 installation, student directors still needed to make multiple
calls to ready, then roll the clip, and take it to air. “The clips player
function fit in perfectly with our goal to tightly integrate the playback
aspect of a news production,” explained Chinn.

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