Installed in late 2018 during winter break, the new BPswitch was used throughout last season when the men’s basketball team won its first NEWMAC championship title.
The BPswitch anchors the control room in the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym, which hosts all home games for men’s and women’s basketball as well as men’s and women’s volleyball. The control room is located a floor above the basketball court, and is designed with a traditional three-row setup. Tim MacArthur, associate director for media technologies and production, said the college is exploring the idea of using the BPswitch-based control room for remote productions of other campus sports as well.
“The big draw for us was getting into BPfusion for graphics and the integration with the Daktronics scoreboard,” explained MacArthur. “The all-in-one device was also very appealing to us. There is a real ease of workflow with Broadcast Pix.”
BPfusion is a software option that works with BPswitch’s integrated NewBlueNTX multi-layer 3D motion graphics CG to streamline the creation of data-intensive graphics for sports, elections, and more. It uses templates to create customized graphics that update automatically using data from scoreboards, RSS feeds, and other IP-based sources without re-keying the data.
“The ease of use of the NewBlueNTX was another big draw,” MacArthur added. “The graphics are a step up from what we’ve done in the past, with easily modified templates that look great.”
All four of the switcher’s outputs are used to populate monitors in the control room, including two large panels in the front of the room and individual monitors for the TD and audio stations. MacArthur said the BPview™ integrated multi-view was customized for sports production, but there is a separate layout for an awards gala that is hosted in the gym every April.
While the students do not use the BPswitch’s file-based macros during productions, MacArthur said there is one macro that preps the switcher for production, so there is a consistent look no matter which student is serving as technical director. Coverage is produced in 720p and streamed live to the Emerson Lions YouTube channel.
With very limited funding for the gym’s video production system, students rely on mostly hand-me-down equipment. The new BPswitch, for example, replaced an existing Broadcast Pix Granite™ system that had been donated to the school. MacArthur said it was a seamless upgrade, and the school was able to keep its existing Broadcast Pix control panel.
There are dozens of sports productions throughout the school year, all produced with volunteer student crews. There is also no formal instruction for the BPswitch (or any other video equipment) in the gym’s control room. Instead, student volunteers teach themselves and each other how to use the equipment.
According to MacArthur, typical games have a three-camera setup with play-by-play and color commentators along with instant replay. Some games have as many as six cameras as well as a sideline commentator, but even single camera productions are run through the BPswitch to take advantage of the BPfusion graphics.