Chelmsford, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced Chelmsford TeleMedia (CTM), a local access station serving Chelmsford, Mass., used its Granite™ 5000 integrated production switcher with optional Rapid CG software to produce live coverage of the town’s April 4 election returns. According to Dan Silvia, technical producer for CTM, the show was over in half its scheduled time because the process for sharing results using Rapid CG was so efficient.
“We planned for an hour, but we only went for 30 minutes because things worked so smoothly,” explained Silvia. “Election coverage for us is important because it’s really useful for people in the town. It’s one of our most complicated shoots because we’re trying to get the information as fast as we can, but Broadcast Pix made it easy.”
The town of about 35,000 had two polling stations serving nine precincts in its most recent election. CTM parked its mobile production truck at the school where most of the precincts voted and setup a makeshift studio in the cafeteria. During the show, two commentators reviewed the returns in real time and interviewed guests. The three-camera shoot relied heavily on Granite’s built-in macros for picture-in-picture effects, so viewers could see election results during discussions and interviews.
Silvia’s workflow relied on 19 spreadsheets on Google Docs, two for each precinct race and one master spreadsheet. One volunteer at each polling station monitored the election results and manually keyed vote tallies into the appropriate precinct spreadsheet during the live program. The information was updated on the master spreadsheet every time Silvia refreshed the document. When he saw a change in the master spreadsheet, Silvia would save it and the results would be updated on-screen instantly through Rapid CG.
“They were unofficial results, but they came from the official source,” Silvia said. “It’s all about speed. We want to get the election results as fast as we can. The faster we can get the results, the better the coverage is for us.”
CTM, which focuses primarily on government and educational programming and uses student crews for most remote productions, has been using Rapid CG for years. The channel is available to Chelmsford residents through Comcast and Verizon, though live coverage of government meetings and local sports are also streamed live to YouTube. Beyond its production truck, CTM also has a four-camera studio, which is anchored by a Broadcast Pix Mica™ integrated production switcher.
Designed to simplify updates for live sports and election coverage, Rapid CG makes it easy to produce accurate graphics with significantly less manual effort. With its drag-and-drop interface, Rapid CG links a database to a graphics template. Information is automatically updated to specific fields within the template, so there is no re-keying of data. Rapid CG also connects to Twitter and other cloud-based data sources, so audience feedback as well as weather feeds and other information can be included in the program.
About Broadcast Pix Founded in 2002, Broadcast Pix provides integrated live video production switchers with the best control. From compact mobile units to large-scale solutions, every Broadcast Pix features patented control and automation technology that make it easy to optimize and customize your workflows. With customers in more than 100 countries, Broadcast Pix is the leader in totally integrated production switchers for broadcast, streaming, live event, and visual radio applications. Its BPNet ioGates media management products are used by leading broadcasters and production houses. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.
Broadcast Pix, Granite, and Mica are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Switchers are made in USA.