Broadcast Pix announces that First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina has selected its Slate 1000HD for live television broadcasts. The Slate 1000HD powers the church’s live broadcast of weekly services on Channel 9 WSOC-TV at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings. FPC services have been broadcast for more than 40 years and claim a weekly audience numbering more than 22,000 people. FPC purchased the unit and integrated it through Clark Powell, a system integrator and Broadcast Pix dealer based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The addition of the Slate 1000HD production system marks a significant upgrade for FPC, which previously used an outdated analog system. FPC also added new HD cameras by Panasonic. Ben Treece, FPC’s Technical Production Coordinator, says the upgrade was prompted in part by the impending federally mandated transition to digital broadcasts. Treece adds that the church’s outdated equipment was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and service.
“When we considered what our investment would be just upgrading to a digital format, it made sense to take the extra step and go all the way to a high definition platform,” explains Treece. “We still had to be selective with our purchases, which made the suggestion from Clark Powell to add the Broadcast Pix production system so helpful. The Slate 1000HD provides us with the power and features of an entire control room in a self-contained unit, eliminating the need to buy multiple components.”
The Slate HD switcher provides the easiest and most cost-effective way to create compelling live HD video. Their file-based architecture streamlines live production workflow by completely integrating their included switcher, CG, clip stores, still stores and monitoring, and seamlessly networking them with content from edit bays. FPC employs a staff of two to carry out all control room functions and oversee the televised portions of the worship services. Volunteers monitor the audio from the sanctuary.
Further demonstrating the ease of integration offered by Broadcast Pix switchers, all was up and running on schedule fairly quickly. FPC had to schedule their installation during a short period of time when the live, weekly services would be pre-empted by the British Open. Separate components, according to Treece, would have taken more time to integrate as well as require additional staff to operate. The Slate 1000HD, as well as the other equipment that was part of the church’s media upgrade were installed over a two week period.
“It was quite a Herculean task. We needed to rip all the existing video elements out, replace them and re-wire everything, all while respecting the aesthetic of a church that has served its community since the 1800s. Throughout this entire project we have relied upon Clark Powell’s experience with and recommendation of the Broadcast Pix product and we are extremely pleased with the way the system is running.”
The recent upgrades to FPC’s equipment inventory were made with an eye on securing the future of the worship program. As the Slate 1000 is upgradeable to larger switchers and formats, FPC can easily keep in step with the most contemporary technology.
“Our viewers send us letters every week, telling us how our program has impacted their lives. It’s nice to know that our program is being effective and it is extremely gratifying to know that the long history of First Presbyterian’s worship services being televised will continue even as technology advances.”