Chelmsford, Massachusetts – Taking the “dinner and a show” concept to a new level, Greenleaf Hospitality in Kalamazoo, Mich., is using a Broadcast Pix™ Mica 1000 integrated production switcher with the VOX™ voice-automated production option to drive the Chef’s Table Experience within Zazios Restaurant & Bar.
With stadium-like seating for up to 36 guests, the Chef’s Table is an interactive, five-course dinner and drinks pairing featuring different dining themes throughout the year. AVTEK, a systems integrator based in Battle Creek, Mich., was asked to create a multi-camera HD production that required no TD, no crew, and no chef intervention. The previous system, built around analog Crestron equipment that had been in use for more than a decade, required the chef to change cameras by activating a switch at each cooking station with his knee.
Installed in January, the new Mica system with VOX is housed in an equipment closet in the restaurant’s private dining room. One output from the Mica system drives a large HD monitor mounted on the range hood to provide Chef’s Table diners with a clear view of the food prep, while additional Mica outputs feed a private dining area and multiple TVs throughout the bar.
The VOX audio-follow-video solution auto-detects which microphone is active, then works with the file-based macros system in the Mica (or any Broadcast Pix switcher) to trigger a series of camera moves. As a result, VOX enables the Mica to simulate a live switching environment without an operator.
Andrew Walker, owner of AVTEK, wanted to use separate microphones in each work area to trigger camera switching, but could not create a mic pattern that aesthetically fit the chef’s work area. Instead, AVTEK created a unique solution based on Mica that combines the capability of the VOX option with Peavey’s MediaMatrix NION distributed audio system.
While the video presentation is produced with three Vaddio PTZ cameras, the switching solution uses small security cameras with motion analytics. When the chef moves from the prep station to the grill, for example, the motion detection analytic triggers a relay that the NION’s programmable logic uses to output pink noise to the VOX based on which detection point is triggered. In turn, that commands the Mica to switch to the appropriate camera.
For the presentation, AVTEK created a timing pattern that switches between cameras to provide shot variety, and uses VOX to display a lower-third graphic with the restaurant logo and chef’s name during particular shots. “It’s like having a director switching the show, only we are doing it with logic gates and time intervals,” Walker explained. “It has a TV production look to it. We knew we wanted to go to Broadcast Pix. The system works really, really well – and the chef doesn’t have to remember to do anything.”
“The picture is night-and-day different. We’ve heard nothing but awesome feedback,” added Michael Oswald, Greenleaf vice president of food, beverage, and entertainment. “It’s a really cool visual experience for our guests.”
About Broadcast Pix Founded in 2002, Broadcast Pix provides tailored solutions for any live production environment. From compact mobile units to large-scale solutions, every Broadcast Pix features patented control and automation technology and a performance toolset that make it easy to optimize and customize your workflows. With customers in more than 110 countries, Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated production switchers for broadcast, streaming, live event, and visual radio applications. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.
Broadcast Pix is a trademark of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.