Melrose Community Access Upgrades to HD with Broadcast Pix

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Melrose Massachusetts Television Inc. (MMTV), the nonprofit community access station for the City of Melrose, produces a variety of original programs, including After Hours, a talk show shared with other regional stations, and Sound Stage, which showcases local musicians. Our station also covers parades and other local events, and supports the local city government and educational channels. Original programs are available in HD on YouTube and presented locally in letterbox SD on Comcast and Verizon FiOS.

At the beginning of the year we made the move to a native HD production workflow with new cameras and an upgraded control room built around a Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 integrated production switcher. We’ve been aggressively upgrading our production equipment over the past decade. Just a few years ago we upgraded to an SDI workflow and a Broadcast Pix Slate 5000 system.

While we researched other switcher options for the HD upgrade, we chose to stick with the reliability and flexibility of Broadcast Pix. We wanted to retain the abilities that we had with the Slate. It is wonderful. The hardware is a professional surface and the PixPad is great.

Access A/V of Concord, N.H., handled the integration for our HD upgrade project. The Granite 5000 was installed in January, along with an upgraded monitor wall, Behringer audio mixer, Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio disk recorder, Clear-Com digital intercom system, Lectrosonics wireless IFB, and JVC ProHD cameras. We’ve deployed the Slate 5000 to a local middle school, where it’s being used for student productions.

Primarily driven by volunteers, MMTV programming is produced by people with varying degrees of production experience. Granite’s built-in Fluent-View customizable multiview allows us to accommodate volunteers who prefer a more simplified setup and production veterans who want more information on screen. We can customize it for different users. We have average folks producing for the first time, plus pros who bring that professional touch to the station. Everyone feels comfortable coming in, which makes the room less intimidating.

We’ve also customized our Granite to manage productions in both of our studios. The four-camera Studio A is the default, but the control panel can quickly change to a new layout for three-camera Studio B productions. We’re able to control two studios with one switcher and do it well. That’s a great feature.

With almost a year of productions under our belt, we are very pleased with our HD upgrade and our Broadcast Pix. It is everything we have always wanted in our control room. We have a completely professional space.  

Chris DeThomas is the engineer for Melrose Massachusetts Television Inc. Contact him at 718-665-6688. For additional information, visit



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