Georgia Southern Addresses Present and Future with Broadcast Pix’s Slate 5000

The Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University (GSU) in Statesboro, GA, has installed a Slate 5000 live video production system from Broadcast Pix, which is being used to produce a weekly news program and other original student programming that airs on a local cable channel.

Kent Murray, assistant professor of Multimedia Communications in the Department of Communication Arts, said the new Slate system replaced an “ailing” Grass Valley analog switcher that was more than 30 years old. Murray chose the Slate 5000 after seeing it in action in Savannah, GA, at the shared facilities for WJCL, an ABC affiliate owned by New Vision Television, and WTGS, a FOX affiliate operated by New Vision.

The stations use the Broadcast Pix system to produce local news in HD. GSU produces its programming in SD with three Sony studio cameras, but Murray knew the university needed to start moving toward an HD future. The Slate system appealed to him because it positioned the facility for an HD workflow while accommodating current SD needs.

In addition, the Slate’s built-in Fluent workflow tools allowed GSU to eliminate three racks of equipment in the control room. “It minimizes the footprint for equipment space consumption,” Murray says. “It looks like we’ve downsized, but we’ve upgraded.”

Fluent Multi-View give the school the capability to use a single 40-inch Sony LCD monitor instead of individual CRTs, which results in less energy consumption and less heat in the control room. GSU is also using Fluent Clip Store for easy access to news packages and roll-ins, and although the department still has a Chyron PC Scribe, the majority of the time students are using the Slate’s built-in Inscriber CG.

Media Products of Atlanta served as the dealer and integrator for the project, and Murray said the Broadcast Pix system was installed, tested, and ready for production in about three days. Although the new Slate was installed February 2010 in the middle of the semester, students were able to learn the system quickly without disruption to their production schedule.

According to Murray, the quality of the school’s newscasts has improved and students say they have found new pride in their work since the Slate installation. The department’s weekly news show airs on Channel 97, a local government and education channel on Northland Cable Television that is a collaborative effort between GSU and the city of Statesboro.

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