Built in downtown Chicago in 2009, the facility houses television, radio, and graphics areas designed to provide students with access to the latest technologies and workflows used by communication professionals.
Jamason Chen, manager of technology, installed the new BPswitch in May, upgrading the technology from the previous Broadcast Pix Mica™ system. He was able to use the existing control panel and cabling, so it was a cost effective way to update the control room. “It was very convenient to upgrade rather than rebuild,” he said. “I love it, it’s technically very stable.”
Chen said the Broadcast Pix upgrade was part of the school’s commitment to keep pace with the ever-changing technology in the industry. He was particularly impressed with the NewBlueNTX multi-layer 3D motion graphics included with the BPswitch, because it provides more dynamic CG options. “It was a big jump in quality from features, function, design, quality, everything,” he said. “We love the multiple layer graphics control.”
The switcher upgrade also included BPfusion, which streamlines the creation of customized, data-intensive graphics. Designed for enhanced sports, election, and news coverage, BPfusion software seamlessly integrates with NewBlueNTX, automatically updating graphics with data from scoreboards, RSS feeds, and other IP sources without re-keying the data. “When you see current TV news, more and more information comes with the video,” Chen explained. “We can give more detailed information like a professional TV show.”
The Convergence Studio features three cameras with prompters, and can take a live signal from outside the building via fiber for stand-ups and on-the-street interviews. The control room features a 60-inch LCD monitor for the TD customized with the BPview multi-view, plus one 29-inch monitor to view sources and clips and a second 29-inch monitor dedicated to graphics. Programming is recorded to an external hard drive, but the BPswitch is used for local clip storage and playback.
Instead of a local cable channel, the School of Communication posts its programming to its YouTube channel. Loyola students produce a weekly sports show, as well as Rambler Round-Up, a one-minute daily news update that features extensive graphics. “A lot of people watch TV through the internet,” Chan explained. “This is a trend we need to move on. We want our students to experience cutting-edge technology.”
Like other accredited educational institutions, Loyola received BPfusion, the Broadcast Pix Commander touchscreen control interface, and a BPNet account for access to Broadcast Pix’s cloud-based video workflow service, as components of Broadcast Pix’s education incentives. Chen sees the potential for using BPNet to share content between campuses in the future. “The more important role is to show students what will be possible and inspire them to produce,” he added.