Carver Arena Taps Broadcast Pix for Live Video Scoreboard

Carver Arena, part of the Peoria Civic Center (PCC), managed by SMG, in Peoria, IL, installed a Broadcast Pix Slate 3016 live video production system as part of a complete overhaul of its video scoreboard display and control room. The new Broadcast Pix system replaced two servers and a basic eight-input switcher, plus its built-in CG provided the arena with live CG capability for the first time.

With more than 12,000 seats, Carver Arena serves as the home of the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen and  Peoria-based Bradley University’s men’s basketball team. The arena regularly hosts other events as well, including concerts and rodeos.

Installed in Summer 2010 by Orlando, FL-based XOS Digital, the Slate was part of an upgrade of the arena’s 4:3 video capabilities that also included a new 16:9 Daktronics four-sided video scoreboard, Sony broadcast-quality cameras, and a move to SDI video.

Frank Blain, owner of Pro Video Productions in Peoria, which has held the contract to provide video services for the PCC for nine years, researched Broadcast Pix during his trip to the 2010 NAB Show in Las Vegas, NV. After almost a year of regular use, he said the Broadcast Pix system has significantly improved the quality of video production in the arena.

“For my application, live arena sports, Broadcast Pix was a no-brainer,” he explained. “It beat the competition on performance and price. It does everything I need and want and then some. And their tech support is outstanding. I haven’t needed it much, but it might be the best reason to buy a Broadcast Pix.”

Beyond the built-in CG, Carver Arena utilizes most of the system’s Fluent workflow tools. For example, Blain appreciates that his team can update graphics in mid-production from Apple Final Cut Pro using Fluent Watch-Folders. Plus, Fluent Watch-Folders keep his extensive libraries of clips and graphics organized and prevent “cross-pollution” of materials between clients.

Rather than a bank of CRT monitors, the control room now features a 40-inch LCD screen populated by Fluent-View, along with a 20-inch program monitor. Blain also has a touch screen at his TD station, which he uses for easy access to Fluent Clip Store. With a library of hundreds of clips for most events – including commercials, promos, interstitials, and “kiss cam” and other crowd prompts – he is one touch away from triggering scheduled or unscheduled clips.

“That’s pretty powerful and it allows us to be much quicker,” Blain said.

Blain uses the PixPad on the Slate’s control panel to access Fluent Macros for instant replays, which need to be accessed quickly to keep pace with a hockey game. He said Fluent Macros is absolutely essential to his workflow during a game, because it can combine switcher moves and file recalls.

“That’s one of the main reasons the switcher is so good – the macros,” he added.

Because of the Broadcast Pix system, Blain also saves the cost of hiring two additional workers for every production.

“The machine can do a lot and makes it simple for a one-man band to do a full production,” he said. “The work is easier than if three people were doing the same tasks on multiple machines, and it makes the job of the one operator more fulfilling.”

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