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First Presbyterian Church Selects Broadcast Pix Slate 1000HD for Live Broadcasts

PLSN Staff • News • February 25, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC — First Presbyterian Church (FPC) is using Broadcast Pix’s Slate 1000HD for live television broadcasts. The system powers the church’s live broadcast of weekly services on Channel 9 WSOC-TV at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings. FPC services have been broadcast for more than 40 years and have a weekly audience of more than 22,000 people. FPC purchased the unit and integrated it through Clark Powell, a Charlotte-based system integrator and Broadcast Pix dealer. The addition of the Slate 1000HD production system marks a significant upgrade for FPC, which previously used an analog system. FPC also added new HD cameras by Panasonic. Ben Treece, FPC’s technical production coordinator, said the upgrade was prompted in part by the impending federally mandated transition to digital broadcasts. Treece adds that the church’s outdated equipment was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and service.
“When we considered what our investment would be, just upgrading to a digital format, it made sense to take the extra step and go all the way to a high definition platform,” said Treece. “We still had to be selective with our purchases,” Treece added, noting Powell’s recommendation to add the Broadcast Pix production system. “The Slate 1000HD provides us with the power and features of an entire control room in a self-contained unit, eliminating the need to buy multiple components.”
The Slate HD switcher uses file-based architecture that manages live production workflow by completely integrating the switcher, CG, clip stores, still stores and monitoring and networking them with content from edit bays. FPC employs a staff of two to carry out all control room functions and oversee the televised portions of the worship services. Volunteers monitor the audio from the sanctuary.
FPC had only a short window for installing the system, when the church’s live services were pre-empted by the British Open. Separate components, according to Treece, would have required more time to integrate and more staff to operate. The Slate 1000HD and other gear that was part of the church’s media upgrade were installed over a two week period.
“It was quite a Herculean task,” Treece said. “We needed to rip all the existing video elements out, replace them and re-wire everything, all while respecting the aesthetic of a church that has served its community since the 1800s. Throughout this entire project we have relied upon Clark Powell’s experience with and recommendation of the Broadcast Pix product and we are extremely pleased with the way the system is running.”
The recent upgrades to FPC’s equipment inventory were made with an eye on securing the future of the worship program. As the Slate 1000 is upgradeable to larger switchers and formats, FPC can easily keep in step with the most contemporary technology.
“Our viewers send us letters every week, telling us how our program has impacted their lives. It’s nice to know that our program is being effective and it is extremely gratifying to know that the long history of First Presbyterian’s worship services being televised will continue even as technology advances.”

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