PBS member station WHYY-TV in Philadelphia has installed Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 live video production systems in two control rooms.
WHYY added the Granite production systems when it converted the control room in its Content Production Center (CPC) into a flexible, multimedia resource for live production and more. Granite is also at the heart of the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons, an 8,000-square-foot interactive learning environment that opened last summer, Broadcast Pix says.
“We are delighted with both of our Granite systems,” said Bill Weber, vice president and CTO for WHYY Public Media. “They give us plenty of bang for our buck and greatly reduced our equipment costs. Plus, Granite is a very stable, high quality production switcher, and provides the tools we need for sophisticated live multi-camera video programs and event productions.”
The control rooms in both areas, along with various other systems within the Commons, were designed by RJC Designs, Inc., a Maryland-based technology consultancy. In the Commons, which includes classrooms, field equipment, and multi-station editing rooms, a large, flexible multimedia studio space can host community and membership events, interactive seminars, or accommodate a live audience of up to 300 people. “With Granite’s built-in Fluent workflow tools, we can create a fantastic multimedia room experience for organizations that lease the Commons for diverse special events,” Weber said.
In the CPC, WHYY produces a number of original programs, including First, a 30-minute newsmagazine that was recently named best television newscast in Delaware by the Delaware Press Association. However, the station does not produce a daily nightly newscast, so the control room has been dark much of the time.
“To leverage the capital investment in the space, we decided to take a unique approach to the design of our new HD control room,” Weber said. “Instead of the traditional consoles, we installed a collection of ‘activity pods’ that can be used together during a production or used independently for content creation when the studio is not in use. Broadcast Pix Granite made the configuration possible because of its unique approach to file management.”
Granite systems are the heart of the Visual Image Pod, which is located near the monitor wall and serves as the technical director’s station. A small audio mixer is positioned next to the production switcher control panel, though the station added a separate audio room with a multi-function audio processing system for more complicated projects. Other pods in the control room are tasked for ingest and library management, graphics, and producers.
WHYY is also developing a Web Pod to support the creation and streaming of a second program that is different from the broadcast production, plus provide a direct workflow to social networking tools and additional resources to improve our online presence. “With 2 M/E and multiple outputs, Granite gives us the functionality we need,” Weber said.