IBC 2014 Perspectives: Michael O’Connell, Executive Vice-President, Pixel Power

Leading broadcast systems graphics specialist Pixel Power revealed a high-profile deployment of its ChannelMaster channel-in-a-box solution by the New Zealand Racing Board during a conversation with SVG Europe on the first day of IBC 2014.

What was the background to the recent decision by the New Zealand Racing Board to implement Pixel Power technology?

It was a two-stage process, although when we received the initial order we did not know about the second stage. They operate two racing channels – one called TrackSide, the other called TAB. They really wanted to enhance the look of their channels and do a lot of live production, with the capacity to offer 24/7 production. The key factors [in making a Pixel Power solution appealing to them] were that we could offer a master control panel that was ideal and suited the need to cut out of productions and live feeds from remote sites. They also wanted to break away from automation, do the production side, and then come back and do automation.

The initial purchase was for a Gallium Workflow solution. Gallium drives our ChannelMaster channel-in-a-box video server hardware master controller graphics solution. The complete solution was installed in September/October last year and went on air in early November.

What has happened since then?

The playout facility system has been relocated to Auckland, and we have been providing our production services [in helping this transition] to the New Zealand Racing Board. This location is a Grass Valley green field site that has our ChannelMaster and Gallium systems installed.

With the relocation, they wanted to enhance the BrandMaster controller, so a second channel has been installed in the ChannelMaster channel-in-a-box. We added a new video server component, installed Sony codecs, upgraded firmware and so on.

What has been the response to the new installation?

Very good. The project has been great to work on, and the cooperation with Grass Valley – which also acted as the systems integrator – has been very successful.

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