From Army History to Public Access, Switchers Are Meeting Users' Needs

Video switchers are not only being used by government broadcasters but are turning up in organizations’ production operations for various reasons such as recording events and presentations, or producing training and instructional videos.
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Broadcast Pix’s Granite 1000 Video Control Center Video switchers are not only being used by government broadcasters but are turning up in organizations’ production operations for various reasons such as recording events and presentations, or producing training and instructional videos.

Some organizations are using switchers as part of efforts to preserve historical lectures and other presentations, as is the case of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC), a military museum in Carlisle, Pa., which is using Broadcast Pix’s Granite 1000 Video Control Center to record lectures.

AHEC seeks to tell the Army’s story through personal and official artifacts, correspondence, manuscripts, oral history programs, photos and lectures. The latter are conducted in a 250-seat room equipped with four cameras controlled by the Granite 1000, a video control center with an integrated switcher, clip store and CG graphics inside. Because the switcher is housed in a small control room, the Granite 1000 integrated production system enables a one-person crew to produce and record lectures.

In addition, the Granite 1000 control panel has PixButtons, Broadcast Pix’s patented invention that shows sources and file names on the button, so users can switch with confidence, the company said. The control center’s Fluent-View multi-viewer feeds source and program images to a 32-inch monitor in the control room, while the built-in Harris Inscriber GS CG is used for graphics. When PowerPoint slides are utilized, copies are usually acquired for use as an additional source during the recorded program.

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Blackmagic Design’s ATEM 1M/E Switcher The Army is not the only government organization that has a broadcast switcher designed to meet an organization’s unique needs. The city of Pocatello, Idaho operates the public access station Vision 12, and the equipment used by channel includes Blackmagic Design’s ATEM 1M/E switcher.

Kevin Wilson, production manager for Vision 12, said the station uses the ATEM switcher because of its four-camera video setup, which is what the channel needs when conducting a remote broadcast.

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Evertz’s 3025EMC Master Control Switcher The ATEM 1M/E switcher is “a pretty powerful device,” Wilson said. “There’re a lot of advanced features on it that we don’t use,” but there are features that Vision 12 does employ. “We can create all our graphics” and use the switcher to display the graphics, he said. For Vision 12’s needs the ATEM switcher is “a really good switching product.”

Other switching products available for government broadcasters include:


Evertz offers its 3025EMC Master Control Switcher, designed to meet the needs of the master control environment, said Mo Goyal, director of product marketing for the company. The 3025EMC platform provides a solution for facilities converting either to standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD) as well as to 3Gb/s, he said.

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FSR’s 9x4 Matrix Switcher The 3025EMC’s hardware platform runs solid, field-proven software to form a foundation that meets the latest playout and branding needs, Goyal said. A 3025EMC system comprises an upstream router feeding a number of processing channels. The switcher’s design enables systems to scale from a single channel up to a complex multichannel installation with minimal effort, he said.


FSR offers its multiformat, 9x4 Matrix Switcher, which features four HDMI inputs and three digital inputs. The user can either use HDMI-to-digital transmitter, or FSR’s new switching wall plate, said Chaz Porter, regional sales manager for the company.

In addition to providing seven inputs, the Matrix Switcher has two analog inputs, a video graphics array (VGA) input, composite input and “S” video, with left and right audio, he said.


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Livestream’s Studio HD500 Livestream offers its Studio HD500, which is designed to perform as a standalone, broadcast-quality live video switcher when using live video output (HD/SD SDI, HDMI, Component, S-Video or Composite). It has applications such as in-venue screen broadcasting, live-to-tape production and network and local television programming, with or without live streaming to the Web.

The HD500’s form factor may be of particular interest to government video producers, said Corey Behnke, head of global production and services at Livestream. “A user is going to walk onto a site, whether it’s a disaster site or broadcast studio, and you need to get this broadcast out right away. You drop the box down, you plug in your cameras, you connect the Internet, and you’re good to go.”


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Panasonic’s AV-HS410 Panasonic offers the AV-HS410, a compact, expandable, multi-format HD/SD video switcher with nine inputs, according to John Rhodes, product line manager, switchers and camera systems for the company. The AV-HS410 is “the most versatile switcher” Panasonic now offers, he said. “It packs the versatility of a large production switcher into a small form factor, and it can be used either in a small studio, or in fly packs.”

Among the AV-HS410’s features are a thumbnail display of video available clips for easy programming, two-channel simultaneous “Rec/Play” of video clips for faster workflow, video clip transfer via local area network (LAN) for rapid loading of material, simultaneous display of video with WFM or Vectorscope on built-in LCD and user buttons programmable with plug-ins, for instant control.

Roland Systems Group’s V800HDROLAND SYSTEMS GROUP

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Roland Systems Group offers its V800HD multiformat video switcher, an integrated audio-video switcher with output for Web streaming, said Marketing Communications Manager Rob Reed.

The V800HD multi-format video switcher has 16 channels over eight busses, with scaling on the input and output, Reed said. It has multiviewer output through the HDMI port, as well as its NHDCcompliant mixer, which enables users to take content from a Blu-ray and mix it with camera and computer sources, he said. The switcher is also a high-quality video mixer with 4, 4, 4 10 bit processing; it also supports 3D SDI in and out (I/O). The V800HD “is a versatile product” that enables a user to mix in camera sources and computer sources, and add and subtract formats, Reed said.


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Ross Video’s Carbonite C2X Ross Video offers the Carbonite C2X, which is a “2 maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) panel” that includes 32 direct access source select buttons and individual memory management keypads for each MLE, according to Nigel Spratling, marketing product manager, communications, switchers for Ross. The C2X’s MLE is the fourth panel to be added to the Carbonite series, and it is compatible with all Carbonite production engines.

“Before we introduced Carbonite, we only offered a mix-high switcher,” Spratling said. Ross has seen a demand for a Carbonite panel that would offer those additional control features, according to the company. Therefore, Ross “built protocols between Carbonite and our graphic system, so that gives the user the ability to centralize control,” he said.


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RUSHWORKS’ REMO II Rushworks offers two “integrated production systems,” in which the switcher is an integral component, said President Rush Beesley. They are the REMO II (for remote production) and the VDESK II (for fixed installations) touch screen production systems. These systems integrate powerful, intuitive pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) camera control with comprehensive switcher functions, he said.

The REMO II is a next-generation touch screen production system designed for single-operator, multi-camera remote production of meetings and events. Users are urged to operate the PTZ cameras and joystick to name and save nine presets per camera. Touch a preset on the camera control/monitor, and the camera goes to that preset in about one second.

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RUSHWORKS’ VDESK II The VDESK II also offers control of PTZ cameras. Users are directed to capture an image of all the subjects and enter a name, title and select a banner background for their titles. Drag the subjects and the “extras” to the appropriate places in the production area and frame the preset.


Sierra Video Systems offers its SDI Router, Aspen Series line of HD-SDI, routing switchers as a solution for video environments that need to keep tabs on multiple video sources, said Product Manager Jerry Lewis.

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 Sierra Video Systems’ Aspen Series The Aspen Series of small routing switchers are an ideal fit for high-volume broadcast and postproduction facilities where signal monitoring and/ or maintenance are crucial, Lewis said. Aspen HD3G Routing Switchers offer automatic re-clocking and input equalization. Control Panels and redundant power supply options are available, he added.


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 Snell’s Kahuna Flare Snell offers the Kahuna Flare, which can be the “cost-effective switcher” that government video producers are looking for in an era of shrinking budgets and downsizing, according to John Carter, product manager for the firm.

The Kahuna Flare delivers Snell’s Kahuna 360 technology in a simpler, more accessible package. It includes advanced features such as single-link 1080p support as standard provided alongside SD and HD formats, a keyer toolset, dedicated resize engines and freely assignable 3D DVE, Carter said.

With versions ranging from 2 M/E to 4 M/E, Kahuna Flare offers four keyers per M/E and two channels of 3D DVE, all in a single 6U rack frame, the company says. The system comes with 48 inputs and 24 outputs, with the option to upgrade to 60 inputs and 32 outputs.


Blackmagic Design:

Broadcast Pix:





Roland Systems Group:

Ross Video:


Sierra Video Systems: