Sunday, October 23, 2016
  • Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2016
Mac AV opts for Broadcast Pix Mica integrated production switcher 
Mac AV uses its Broadcast Pix Mica 100 integrated production switcher to cover sports, conferences, and other live events.
  • BILLERICA, Mass.
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With a custom mobile production unit built around a Broadcast Pix Mica 1000 integrated production switcher, Mac AV produces live coverage of several sports for the Gaelic Athletic Association that are specific to Ireland, such as Gaelic football, as well as other contests with an international following, including handball matches. A live production company based in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, Mac AV also produces training and promotional videos, documentaries, and live concerts for its other clients.

Designed to operate in the cramped confines of sports venues, Mac AV’s mobile production unit is housed in a rolling 21 RU rack that can be ready for a production within 30 minutes. The eight-input Mica was purchased as an upgrade for the company’s original four-channel SD switcher.

Typically, Mac AV shoots 1080i/50 footage using four JVC ProHD cameras, but has run up to six cameras during events. With eight outputs, the Mica feeds projection screens during conferences and other live presentations. ”Eight channels allow us to expand when we have the need,” said Kieran McMullen, managing director of Mac AV.

Another important selling point was the Mica’s built-in BPView. Mac AV uses two screens on location, with custom layouts depending on the project and PixButtons for easy access to roll-in material. Plus, with its integrated external device control, the Mica allows Mac AV to drive its Matrox Monarch HD streaming appliance and Blackmagic HyperDeck disc recorder through the switcher during productions.

The company takes advantage of the Rapid CG software option to enhance its GAA productions with live scores. Working in conjunction with the Mica’s integrated CG, Rapid CG further streamlines graphics production by automatically integrating scoreboard data, databases, and RSS feeds into templates. The result is customized graphics with significantly less manual effort. Rapid CG also connects to Twitter and other cloud-based data sources, allowing viewers to be an interactive part of the live production.

“We’re hoping to add more value for our clients,” McMullen added. “We’re just scratching the surface of the Mica’s capabilities. We put it to task all the time, and it hasn’t let us down ever. It’s so versatile.”

Both the dual-channel Rapid CG 3 and “light” Rapid CG LT versions work with the built-in CG in every Broadcast Pix integrated production switcher. Simple drag-and-operation links a database to one or several templates, and allows automatic updates in specific fields without re-keying data. Beyond sports, Rapid CG is also useful for streamlining coverage of election results.