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Pemi-Baker Community Access Media moves to multi-camera coverage with MX-4

Challenge

Local programming is tasked with keeping its citizens informed, involved, and engaged in local government activities and community events. Unfortunately, large budgets may not always accompany these lofty goals. Like so many others involved in Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) stations, Jamie Cadorette, Executive Director of Pemi-Baker Community Access Media, is challenged with keeping up in a world of big budget entertainment and increasingly complex special effects.  

Pemi-Baker Community Access Media offers live and taped coverage for a wide range of community events, including government meetings and town parades for Plymouth, New Hampshire—a small town nestled between the state’s Lakes Region and
White Mountains. The town wanted to enhance its overall production capabilities by transitioning from single camera coverage to multiple cameras. But as a public station with a limited production budget, Cadorette needed to find equipment that offered exceptional performance, reliability, and price.  

Solution

Based on the recommendation from a local production company, Cadorette purchased the MX-4 Digital Video Mixer from Focus Enhancements. The eight-input (four composite, four S-video), four-channel mixer provides seamless video switching, enhanced synchronized audio mixing, internal graphics storage, and Ethernet-based connectivity—without the big price tag of other equipment.  

At four pounds, the MX-4 can be easily incorporated into the station’s portable studio solution. Cadorette mounted the mixer on a rack shelf and the portable setup travels on location to cover live events throughout the community or onsite for government meetings. Some public access users also make use of the equipment as well.  

Pemi-Baker Community Access Media uses the MX-4 for video mixing and has a separate audio mixer. “This means we don’t necessarily match Input 1 from video with Input 1 from audio,� explained Cadorette. “All our video inputs use the same audio input. We also might change the input from S-video to composite. So we use the MX-4’s route function quite often. It has been very handy.�  

The MX-4 comes equipped with more than 700 automatic and manual transitions, as well as the ability to import 50 background and foreground graphics to create four-layer effects. When covering government meetings though, Cadorette keeps the effects simple—using a quick fade transition almost exclusively. He has also transferred several images onto the MX-4 via FTP to give a consistent look for all title and credit screens.  

Pemi-Baker Community Access Media often makes use of the MX-4’s picture-in-picture capability, especially during Planning Board Meetings. “In these meetings it’s quite common for discussions to center around a particular map or drawing,� Cadorette said. “With picture-in-picture we can keep the presenter on screen while showing the television audience a close up of the map. We weren’t able to do that before the MX-4.�   

Working with a large number of production volunteers, Cadorette understands the importance of ease of use. “I found the MX-4 very easy to learn,� he said. “I sat down with the unit for a few hours and was able to start using it right away, including the more advanced features like picture-in-picture.� And the volunteer staff? “I haven’t had any problems teaching the volunteers how to use the MX-4,� Cadorette continued. “It really helps having equipment that is so easy to learn and use.� 

Benefits

The transition to multiple cameras has been a huge success for the station. “The community’s response has been very positive,� said Cadorette. “We have received numerous compliments about the new professional look of our productions since we started using the MX-4. People really appreciate the picture-in-picture feature. As a result, our citizens are better informed and are enjoying their local programming more and more.�  

Summary

The 8-input MX-4 Digital Video Mixer helps Pemi-Baker Community Access Media expand their production capabilities with live multi-camera switching, picture-in-picture, and more.  

“We have received numerous compliments about the new professional look of our productions since we started using the MX-4. People really appreciate the picture-in-picture feature. As a result, our citizens are better informed and are enjoying their local programming more and more.â€? – Jamie Cadorette, Executive Director, Pemi-Baker Community Access Media

 

About Pemi-Baker Community Access Media

Pemi-Baker Community Access Media provides PEG access television on two channels for Plymouth and nine surrounding communities. More information about Pemi-Baker Community Access Media is available at

http://www.plymouth-nh.org/pbcam

. 

 

MX-4 Mixer

A comprehensive production tool with unprecedented benefits, the MX-4 makes it easy to get your production on screen. Switch seamlessly between video sources and blend video content with graphics—on the fly. The MX-4 enables you to switch between eight video sources (four S-video and four composite). With real-time 10-bit (4:2:2) video processing and high-quality input comb-filter circuitry, MX-4 mixers yield superior digital and analog images without any degradation in quality. With more than 700 transitions—and the ability to import 50 background and foreground graphics to create beautiful four-layer effects—the MX-4 unleashes your creativity. In addition to a switcher, the MX-4 includes a frame synchronizer, TBC, and manual video adjustments. 

About Focus Enhancements, Inc.

Innovation, efficiency, and superior quality are the foundation upon which Focus Enhancements builds its products. A world leader in advanced video production, digital asset management, and digital signage solutions, Focus delivers products that perform superbly day in and day out and backs them with unparalleled service and support.

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