There are a couple of options out there for truly portable, studio-in-a-box production tools. (See “Portable Production: Choices Expand as you Think Small” and, for a less portable arrangement, “HD in the (U.S.) House,” both in the January issue of Government Video.)
Broadcast Pix Slate Portable
Now Broadcast Pix has introduced Slate Portable, designed for quick setup on a table or other work surface, with all the power of a Slate video production system, including an HD/SD production switcher, multi-view monitoring, clip stores, graphics system with Harris Inscriber CG, Fluent workflow software, and format and aspect conversion for 1080i, 720p, SD, and analog. It is available now.
“I was not fond of what other fly packs had to offer. Rolling racks really weren’t an option for us, and the other portable all-in-ones available on the market were a bit awkward with their functionality,” said Justin Cowgill, director of Facilities and Technology for CreaTV San Jose (Calif.), a nonprofit public channel. “My first time out with the Slate Portable was the easiest setup I’ve ever had in the field, and it’s only gotten easier the more I use it. It’s a great machine.”
Folding down the cover reveals the built-in monitor, keyboard, and touch-pad; cables attach to secure BNCs and XLRs on the back. It has a carrying handle on top, and comes in a padded carrying case with wheels. It features rugged aluminum construction, measures just 17x14x12 inches (44x35x25 cm), and weighs 45 pounds (20 kg).
It supports eight external inputs in HD or SD-SDI or analog, or a hybrid configuration, plus 14 internal video and key inputs for clips and graphics. The switcher has three standard and three optional keyers, each with a DVE for picture-in-picture and other effects. Five graphics stores can hold thousands of graphics, which can be created on the built-in Harris Inscriber CG, while the dual-channel clipstore can hold up to 200 hours of QuickTime, H.264, and ProRes HD and SD clips with audio.
Fluent Watch-Folders enable clips and graphics to be easily imported from all popular editing and graphics systems. Fluent Macros combine switcher moves and specific files for powerful effects, and the Fluent multi-view shows keys, clips, and graphics.
A single operator can create live video, or it can be expanded for team use. It can be operated from the touch-pad by clicking on either its multi-view or SoftPanel. Its built-in monitor can be upgraded to a touchscreen and a second monitor can be attached for a larger multi-view or separate graphics operator.
A variety of control panels can be attached, from the cost-effective Slate 100 Control Panel to larger 1 M/E and 2 M/E panels. Other Slate options may be added as well, including DVI I/O, control of Sony, Panasonic or Hitachi cameras, and control of audio mixers. A hard case is available as an option.
It’s priced at $20,900 in SD and $24,900 in HD/SD. A datasheet is here.
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