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Live Broadcast Advice needed

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Dane Henry
Live Broadcast Advice needed
on Apr 14, 2009 at 4:01:49 pm

Hey there all,

First off I am a shooter & editor, Live production has lots of unknowns for me. I'm in the research stage of figuring out if a production is doable. We want to shoot a Live 30 minute morning program that plays on a Cable station for our local TV market. The Show already airs daily but the Exec Producers want to completely change the format and stop working with there current production company, they approached me about fulfilling their new vision.

Our proposed location is in a very large lobby of a Resort, as well as the ability for a 150' cable run to be able to shoot outside on nice days. We are looking to be able to breakdown the production after each show (storage space is provided by the Resort). So simplicity of the entire system is a big issue. It would be a 2 camera set (hpx-500's or 300's), with a possible 3rd on location camera (microwave and camera are pre-existing). After some research it seems that a "Portable Multicam Production System" from Mobile Studios fits what I'm looking for. I would rather buy a proven system rather than trying to piece meal it together.

My final output needs to be NTSC (at the present time) but I do not want to drop the money on a dedicated SD system . I would rather have an HD system that can down-convert to SD. The System I'm looking at is the MS-P400. URL:

1. Is this switcher (Pani HS 400a) capable of out-putting an SD NTSC signal?
If not would an AJA FS1 (or similar) be appropriate in this situation to down-convert the output?

2. The Panasonic sight says the switcher supports image files with alpha channel (PNG, Tiff). Is this applicable for creating titles & lower thirds in other software (photshop,..etc)? I would like to initially save on the cost of Character Generator (Is this a mistake?).

3. Each show segment will have at least one pre-made package-edit played. Which means we would ideally like to be playing these videos from a computer. The Switcher can have a DVI input, but it seems to me that this would just be showing the current screen of the computer? Would a Kona (or similar) output card be the connection from CPU to switcher?

4. Excluding lights, mics, and direct to disc recording what other critical things am I leaving out of the system, from shoot to final signal?

I know this is a bunch of info I'm asking thanks in advance for any help you can give.

- Dane Henry

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Mark Suszko
Re: Live Broadcast Advice needed
on Apr 14, 2009 at 8:43:31 pm

I've been looking at that same Panny 400 switcher for a similar package, it will mix SD and HD sources and it *should* have an SD composite out somewhere. Quoting their sales sheet:

Optional I/O boards include: dual HD/SD-SDI inputs (with SD up-conversion); dual HD/SD component inputs (with up-conversion); dual DVI inputs (up to WXGA 1280x768); dual Component outputs for maximum compatibility with legacy systems; a component/DVI output (scalable up to 1920x1200 for large venue displays);

• NEW! Option boards include the AV-HS04M6 dual analog composite input card; and the AV-HS04M7 dual HD/SD-SDI output card with downconversion capabilities.

So, I think your answer is *yes* IF you buy the optional output card for the back of the unit. Or you could add a black box to convert one of the SDI outputs to NTSC output for monitors and analog recordings.

The way I read the papers on it, you can pre load some photoshop files with alpha channels into memory using SD flash memory cards and yes, use them for a poor man's HD Cg, you just won't be able to update or alter on the fly, everything would have to be precomposed and pre-loaded before the show.

Edirol also makes a pretty nice little switcher for this kind of job, though maybe not as nice as the panasonic.

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