When Marshfield Community Television began serving the Marshfield, Mass., community in 2008, it operated from a 1,000-square-foot facility using hand-me-down analog SD equipment from the local cable company. Today, MCTV operates from a 3,000-square-foot facility in Marshfield High School, where students and local volunteers to produce a variety of programming with Broadcast Pix Granite integrated production switchers and other HD equipment.
“The Broadcast Pix is very user friendly,” said Jonathan Grabowski, executive director of MCTV. “Everyone gets it. It’s not overwhelming. You can create real professional programming without putting in tons and tons of work.”
A nonprofit PEG (public, educational, government) organization, MCTV supports three local channels on Comcast and Verizon FiOS, supports two studios at the high school, and funds the Marshfield Student Broadcasting program. The facility was opened for the Fall 2014 semester.
Studio A, anchored by a Granite X switcher in its control room, features three JVC ProHD cameras, professional set pieces, and a cyc wall. It is devoted to school projects during the day, but is available for volunteer use in the evenings. Studio B, used almost exclusively by volunteers, has much more limited space and set decoration. It is equipped with three Sony HD PTZ cameras that are controlled through a Granite 2000 switcher.
MCTV is also responsible for live video coverage of meetings of the Board of Selectmen, a three-member group that serves at the town’s executive branch of government. When the group’s Hearing Room was renovated last year, MCTV upgraded its operations with a Mica 1000 integrated production switcher.
“We needed something that could control four cameras, plus switching and graphics,” Grabowski said. “Based on our needs, we decided to go with the Mica.”
The Mica resides in the back of the room, where a high school intern gains hands-on experience by switching, adding clips and graphics, and controlling the room’s four Sony PTZ cameras through the Mica. According to Grabowski, MCTV is considering a fourth Broadcast Pix switcher for another upcoming government facility upgrade.
Broadcast Pix’s integrated toolset was an important selling point for MCTV. Directors can drag-and-drop clips, effects, and graphics from the facility’s EditShare asset management system directly into the switcher using the built-in Watch-Folders file management system. Students also use Rapid CG, Broadcast Pix’s optional software, to streamline scoreboard graphics and incorporate social media content into programming.
Once the staff was comfortable with the new switchers, MCTV began using the integrated BPView multi-view to create customized, basic visuals across two monitors for its volunteer directors in Studio B. For Studio A, the multi-view is customized across three screens, with one screen devoted to camera previews and program, another dedicated to the Granite’s built-in clips and still stores, and a third for graphics.
There are about 150 students in the digital telecommunications program, some of whom produce Before the Bells, a daily school news show. Plus, with fiber across the school campus, MCTV is able to route camera feeds back to the Granite in Studio A for live coverage of sports, graduation ceremonies, and other activities.
Under the public umbrella, MCTV produces a large variety of original programs and series with about 60 volunteer members. A local middle school librarian, for example, produces a talk show about young adult literature, but there are also programs that discuss sports, news, and politics. “We’ve worked really hard to build up the community media in the town,” Grabowski said.