Xavier Taps Broadcast Pix Slate 5000 to Control New LED Display at Cintas Center

In July, Xavier University installed a Broadcast Pix Slate 5000 video production system to control a brand new LED video screen at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, which is used for basketball and volleyball.

Chris Schaaf, Cintas Center senior assistant technical director for video production, said the facility had been trying to develop a digital upgrade path for years to replace an Echolab analog switcher that was installed when the 10,250-seat arena was originally opened in 2000. Several different production switchers were considered before the Slate 5000 was chosen.

“It just made sense,” Schaaf says. “As we demoed the Broadcast Pix, we were switching and building DVE boxes within 10 minutes. That’s important, because students run all of our events. It’s simple enough so students can come in and, after a little instruction, be on their way to switching a show.”

On game days, a crew of about 14 students and three professional staff members handles the entire production, from operating spotlights and LED elements to pulling cables. The video presentation is managed by a three-person crew, including a technical director and audio engineer in the control room and a floor manager on the sideline. The TD uses the Slate to switch between three Hitachi triax cameras, two truck feeds (most games are produced for broadcast), an Apple Final Cut Pro system for in-game highlights, and two slow-motion feeds. Sponsored graphics are handled separately through an ANC VisionSOFT system, but the Slate’s built-in Fluent software workflow tools simplify in-game graphics and clip playback.

Before integrating the Slate into its workflow, Cintas Center relied on DVDs and Final Cut Pro for media playback, which Schaaf said was not an ideal solution. Now, Fluent Clips and Fluent Graphics allows easy access to clips, player graphics, and more. “It just takes one more step out of the show,” he says. “It streamlines the whole process.”

The Fluent Multi-View was also a big selling point for Schaaf, who said the control room at Cintas Center has very limited space. The Slate’s built-in multi-view not only provided a more modern look, but it was able to replace 17 monitors with one 46-inch LCD and two secondary 19-inch LCD monitors. Schaaf is also planning to use Fluent Macros to create broadcast-style replay wipes for the upcoming sports season.

Cintas Center is used for a variety of events beyond sports, including graduation ceremonies and concerts. Demolition on the old video screen and scoreboard system began in early June, and the new system, which was designed and integrated by in-house staff, was in place for its first event in mid-July.

“It’s exactly what we wanted it to be,” he says. “We’ve been very happy with our choice.”

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