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Las Vegas PBS Upgrades Control Room with FOR-A Video Switcher

September 9, 2020 | By
Las Vegas PBS

Vegas PBS CCSD FOR-A HVS-100 (source: FOR-A)

Nevada’s Las Vegas PBS, which serves the Clark County School District, recently upgraded their live streaming control room used for board meetings with FOR-A Corporation of America‘s HVS-100 HANABI video switcher and CG-Portable character generator.

The restrictions due to COVID-19 have forced everyone to make changes, and that’s true for the Clark County board, which could no longer attend meetings in its boardroom, putting more pressure on the board’s live video feeds to allow the county’s open meeting laws.

Located a few miles east of the Las Vegas Strip at the CCSD’s main facility, the boardroom currently has four PTZ cameras installed in the ceiling with an output from the boardroom’s dedicated audio system for the live stream.

As luck would have it, the new system, purchased from Broadcast Management Group, was installed by the Vegas PBS engineering staff in March and operational a few days before COVID restrictions were put in place. Besides the FOR-A video mixer, the control room’s audio mixer was also upgraded, along with two streaming encoders and two H.264 recorders.

The board had asked Vegas PBS to add live video for an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to be added to the feed, but that problem was solved by the HVS-100’s built-in DVE with a macro to create the necessary ASL insert at the bottom of the feed.

Streamed live to Facebook and the CCSD website, the board meetings reach about 5,000 viewers with some having reached up to 15,000 viewers, and the new live streaming functionality has allowed the boardroom to host live-streamed meetings from others.

Vegas PBS director of engineering, IT and emergency management John Turner explained the need to update its control room.  “Not only has viewership skyrocketed, but we’ve moved from a convenience to a must-have, no-fail event that satisfies a requirement by law. For this no-fail setting, FOR-A was the right decision.”

The CG-Portable allows CCSD to easily produce the basic graphics needed for meeting coverage with its browser-based GUI, which makes it easier for PEG (public, educational, government) channels to produce and display lower-thirds and other graphics. With software developed by Brainstorm, it supports two independent, multi-lingual text overlays for horizontal crawls and vertical rolls, plus a timer overlay for up/down count. CG-Portable also offers more than 70 frames of graphic playback buffer, so users can insert animated as well as static logos over programming. Four SDI ports provide easy integration with production switchers and HD displays, while an Ethernet port allows for network connectivity.

The HVS-100 (separate main unit and control panel) and HVS-110 (integrated main unit and control panel) offer mixed HD/SD input, frame sync on all inputs, and two keyers and two DSKs with dedicated 2.5D DVE. While the standard HVS-100 switcher offers eight HD-SDI inputs and four 4 HD-SDI outputs and one HDMI output, it can be expanded to support additional I/O. The HVS-110 offers 12 HD-SDI inputs, eight HD-SDI outputs, and one HDMI output. With a built-in web server, switcher settings can be changed from a PC or tablet. Other features include a built-in multi-view, macros and event memory, and clip memory to support playback of video or animations through the two channels of still store.

You can learn more about FOR-A’s full-range of products at its official website.

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