Skip to main content

Broadcast Pix Bows Native HD Production System

Broadcast Pix, which has sold some 1,500 Slate production
switchers that incorporate clip store and graphics functionality, has developed
a new product, Granite, which the Billerica, Mass.-based company is marketing
as a low-cost way to create an HD control room.

Granite, which will be demonstrated at NAB next month,
combines the same "Fluent" workflow software that is the basis of Slate with a
new HD switcher and HD server that link over a PCI Express bus. The Granite
Switcher provides simultaneous multi-definition SDI input/output for 1080i,
720p, and SD sources and is upgradeable to 1080p. The companion Granite Server
provides up to 120 hours of clip store, a graphics system with Harris' new
Inscriber character generator, a multi-view that displays video and file
sources, watch-folders that streamline file import from editing systems, and
macros for file-based effects.

The server also offers optional software to control other
studio devices including audio mixers, robotic camera control systems from
Panasonic, Sony, Telemetrics, Hitachi streaming appliances from ViewCast; and
video servers from Harris, 360 Systems, and Omneon.

Broadcast Pix has found success with Slate because of the
file-based workflow that the Fluent software provides, says President Ken
Swanton. But Slate is 480p native, which has required upconverting and
downconverting material to support HD operation. The new Granite supports full
HD operation by adopting a different architecture.

"It's two boxes, while we had usually developed switcher
hardware to go in a workstation," explains Swanton. "This enabled us to make it
a lot more heavy-duty, but keep the same workflow you always had with Slate."

Housed in a 3 RU (rack unit) frame, the Granite Switcher
offers 11 HD/SD-SDI video inputs (expandable to 22), plus the equivalent of 14
more inputs from the server via its PCI Express connection, including a clip
channel (with key), two animation channels (with key), and four graphic
channels (with key). Each SDI input automatically detects and sets its format
to 1080i, 720p or SD (plus 1080p in the future). The switcher also offers eight
outputs, including six HD/SD-SDI outputs (expandable to 12) and two DVI. It has
up to six keyers with DVE picture-in-picture.

The separate 2 RU Granite Server features an Intel Quad
processor and can have up to 2 terabytes of storage in a RAID 10 array. In
addition to the Fluent workflow software, it includes the new Harris Inscriber
GS CG, which features support for a wide variety of international languages
including Asian characters, along with a new Fluent Rapid CG option which
streamlines CG creation and can link to a database.

There are three Granite models--the 1 M/E (mix/effect)
Granite 100 and 1000 and the 2 M/E Granite 5000 -and existing customer of the
Slate hybrid HD/SD/analog systems can also upgrade to Granite.

The Granite 1000 and Granite 100 share the same feature set,
but the Granite 1000 includes a physical control panel with push buttons that
dynamically change to display the file name of the content. The entry-level
Granite 100 can be controlled from a Web browser-based SoftPanel, its
multi-view, or a new iPixPanel control application for Apple's
soon-to-be-released iPad. The Granite 5000 has a larger 2 M/E control panel and
new optional remote panels are also available.

Granite system prices start at $20,900. Deliveries are
expected to begin by mid-May except for the built-in clip store, which will be
a free software upgrade in the summer.