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JCB Upgrades HQ Presentation Theatre with Broadcast Pix

Billerica, Massachusetts – November 5, 2014 – JCB, one of the world’s top manufacturers of construction equipment, recently installed two Broadcast Pix™ integrated production switchers as part of a major renovation of its 250-seat presentation theatre at its global headquarters in Staffordshire, England. The facility is used almost daily for a variety of programs, including dealer conferences, product launches, press conferences, internal meetings, and as part of factory tours for customers and the public. The upgrade completed the facility’s transition to end-to-end file-based HD production and delivery.

JBC Presentation TheaterJCB has almost 12,000 employees across four continents and sells its products in 150 countries. The theatre is housed within the JCB VIP Visitors Centre, along with The Story of JCB Exhibition, and is the base for its factory tours. It is also used for satellite broadcasts and webcasts by JCB’s internal communications department. The theatre has been in use for more than 30 years, but much of its equipment had become obsolete and minor retrofits over the years had created compatibility issues.

Feltech, a systems integrator based north of London in St Albans Hertfordshire, was tasked by JCB to create a flexible, professional space that would be the heart of the JCB communications operation. The project earned Feltech the Business Installation of the Year award at the 2013 AV Awards. It was completed in 12 weeks in time for JCB’s largest dealer conference in April 2013, and features HD video, surround sound, and intelligent moving head LED show lighting.

The new system was built around an all-new HD-SDI distribution backbone to provide consistent broadcast quality signal throughout the venue, which eliminated an array of converters and incompatible multi-format systems. “This standardization on one HD signal path allows us to route anything to anywhere as well as record any source,” said Peter Marsland, video production manager, JCB Worldwide Marketing.

Behind the audience, at the rear of the theatre, the production control room (PCR) serves as the central hub for theatre control, while the attached technical control room (TCR) manages the broadcast output from the theatre. The PCR is built around a custom designed console, with multiple quad split screens and preview monitors that are mounted above the control equipment but leave room for a direct view of the stage.

The new heart of the PCR is a Broadcast Pix Granite 6000 with HD-SDI inputs that can be routed throughout the facility via a Blackmagic Design Videohub. Non-standard video sources, such as the prompter, are converted to HD-SDI and are available on the matrix.

Usually, the 6000 feeds the theatre’s main screen, but it can also provide additional content to two 85-inch monitors on either side of the main screen, plus four 47-inch monitors suspended over the audience. “The side screens are used for speaker support and live cameras, especially when the main projection roller screen has been raised to reveal a machine, allowing the presenter to do a live walk-around presentation,” Marsland added.

In the TCR, the Granite 2000 distributes productions to adjacent conference rooms or as webcasts or satellite feeds. The two Broadcast Pix systems can be used to independently switch simultaneous productions or as a main unit and a backup.

The PCR and TCR are networked with the JCB video editing department via an EditShare Geevs ingest system, which allows outputs from the Broadcast Pix systems and the theatre’s three Panasonic robotic HD cameras to be instantly available in any of the venue’s six Avid-based NLE suites. “The tally data from the Granite 2000 is also recorded into the Geevs, which then automatically reassembles the show as an Avid timeline,” Marsland explained. “This allows the live show to be quickly versioned and packaged by one of our editors for distribution.”

During productions, JCB relies on Granite’s built-in camera control, graphics store, and other workflow tools. “The clip player is probably our favorite feature, as it allows us to cue and play multiple clips in quick succession in any order, so we can easily personalize presentations to an individual customer’s requirements,” Marsland noted. “What is even better is that now that we have the latest software upgrade, we have access to two internal clip players as well as control of our two external HyperDeck clip players directly from the Broadcast Pix panel.”

Another major selling point was Fluent-View, the built-in multi-view. “Fluent-View allows us to have customized screens for different shows or even different operators,” Marsland said, “so we can simplify the display and reduce the number of sources on screen for normal day-to-day use, but have the option to show a more complex layout that includes all the key layer previews we use on product launch events.”

JCB operators also use Fluent Macros, Broadcast Pix’s file-based macros system, to save sequences and recall frequently used split screens and DVE moves. Plus, the high-speed fiber link to the facility’s edit suites enable rapid transfer via Fluent Watch Folders, so any newly edited material can be on the air within seconds. “For example, we now frequently film delegate activities on the nearby demonstration site and cut together a short highlights film to show people at the end of the day,” Marsland said.

Previously, JCB had a multi-format AV presentation switcher and a “myriad of converters and separate routers for analog composite, component, VGA, DVI, and SDI sources,” according to Marsland. The new Granites are much simpler to use than the previous system, he noted, and have allowed the company to enhance its presentations.

“All our crew find the Broadcast Pix very intuitive to use,” Marsland said. “Ease of use is very important to us, as most days we only have a single operator in the control room to look after vision, sound, graphics, and lighting. The Broadcast Pix systems have certainly given us much more flexibility, faster show setup, and the ability to combine several sources across multiple screens to provide a more polished production.”

About Broadcast Pix Founded in 2002, Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated production switchers, with customers in more than 110 countries. Available in several configurations, from compact systems with end-to-end integration to large-scale systems for high-end live productions, Broadcast Pix switchers include CG, dual clip stores, file-based macros, external control software, and customizable multi-view and virtual sets with patented control options. Broadcast Pix also offers ReVue next generation slow motion systems, fX3D real-time 3D graphics, Rapid CG dynamic graphic playout software, and VOX voice-automated live video production, each designed to enhance our highly integrated live production switchers. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, government, religious, sports, streaming, and visual radio studios.

Broadcast Pix and Granite are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

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CreaTV LogoIt’s fantastic. The Broadcast Pix has served us well. We have a very solid system.”

- Justin Cowgill
Director of facilities and technology
CreaTV San Jose