Utah Scientific Router Anchors Renovated Control Room at Wright State

From Division I basketball to minor-league hockey, from high school graduations to presidential campaign appearances, from Monster Truck to Arena Cross, Wright State University’s Nutter Center has played host to an ever widening range of events in its 20-plus–year history.

In order to better accommodate this multitude of events, not to mention the thousands of spectators both in the arena and at home, Wright State University deployed Utah Scientific equipment to the Nutter Center’s newly renovated control room. The control-room renovation is part of an arena-wide overhaul of the video-production system to support Full HD video.

“The diversity of the types of events that our system must support was part of the challenge in selecting equipment,” says James Graham, senior broadcast engineer, Wright State. “We needed our control room to be as dynamic as the events it supports.”

The university’s Video Technology Services department selected a UTAH-400/144 routing switcher to support two separate production switchers: a NewTek TriCaster 850 and a Broadcast Pix Granite 5000+.

The Fairborn, OH-based university, which competes in the Division I Horizon League, required two production switchers and a flexible router to accommodate simultaneous productions within the arena, including in-arena entertainment, the local broadcast feed, and Horizon League Network stream.

“Each of those are different productions that we provide, which have different content and different focus for the end user, so what we needed to do is have multiple systems that would share resources,” Graham explains. “We wanted also the ability to use HD for any of the outlets that were appropriate and be able to also scale that to SD if we required that. [We needed] some way to tie multiple systems together and have that be a cohesive production unit.”

The university also installed a UTAH SC-4 system controller, a UCP-SX full-matrix control panel, four UCP-36 single-bus control panels, and a SoftPanel-2 GUI control-panel system. The full-matrix panel is used to configure the system before each production, whereas the others change content during events. When researching various equipment alternatives, Wright State was particularly drawn to Utah Scientific’s warranty and customer support.

“That’s been a very strong part of our positioning of our company: this idea of no charge for support and a 10-year warranty,” says Scott Bosen, director of marketing and international sales, Utah Scientific. “We do it because it’s important to the customer and it sends a message that our stuff’s built to last.”

Replay services are provided by the TriCaster 850 and a NewTek 3Play 820 with eight replay channels and two outputs. A Sony DSR-DR1000 — one of the few pieces of equipment carried over from the previous control room — will serve as the dedicated referee replay system. Video content will be captured by Sony HXC-100K HD cameras.

In addition to the new control room, Wright State’s renovation of the 10,000-seat Nutter Center included a new Daktronics center-hung videoboard. Installed prior to the Wright State Raiders’ basketball 2011-12 season opener, the center-hung features four large 10-mm LED video screens measuring 8 ft. by 14 ft. Additional LED displays above the video screens show game-in-progress information, while ring displays circling the center-hung atop and below the four videoboards show a variety of statistical and video content.

With the exception of the center-hung scoreboard, the control-room renovation and video-production overhaul was designed and installed by Wright State. The university was able to increase the size of the control room and add additional user stations without substantially increasing the cost to produce each event.

“What [the new control room] is allowing us to do is more efficiently use the staff that we already were using,” says Graham. “We didn’t really increase the numbers of people that we had to provide, but each of those people is able to do more things because of the equipment, allowing for a more efficient workflow.”

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