Program switchers

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cclark

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  • Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:35 pm
  • Real Name: Chris Clark

Program switchers

PostMon Nov 19, 2018 2:59 pm

This is a super long introductory question post, I apologize in advance, I tend to overshare. tldr at bottom.


Some background:
I volunteer at a local high school, assisting their auditorium and tv studio with a vast range of technical advisement. I'm one of those jack of all, master of none, in that I have a long and varied background ranging from theater tech to audio production to a/v and cctv install so while I may not have all the answers on everything I have the knowledge to be able to make it work. I personally never just wanted to settle down to just one and have a fulltime job where I dabble in it all anyway so it works for me.

We're in the middle of a studio upgrade and in doing so we are upgrading our live-to-tape systems to digital (some SDI, some HDMI) 720p HD (I know, state of the art!) from a horrible mix of NTSC and analog equipment. Most of this was originally installed through a Time Warner Cable deal years ago when the school was given the ability to override the "nightlight" on the local community access channel. With the Spectrum buyout of TWC and then the subsequent "boot" that NYS gave Spectrum, we have no idea where that will go, if they'll ever get the ability to transmit on that channel back (they haven't gotten any information on whether they can still broadcast with Spectrum's system-wide upgrade to digital converter boxes, removing all analog NTSC channels almost a year ago).

But I'm curious. Currently the final stage before a distribution amplifier feeding both an internal only (Ch15) and external (Ch19) transmitter is an old programmable input switcher (I can't remember the model off the top of my head, but it seemed to be standard among TWC community installs, I remember working with the same one on my college's local access channel) -- 6 ntsc in, 6 mono audio in, 1 output of each, IR blasters for controlling VCRs and the like... Anyone have any recommendations on what might replace this nowadays? Of the current equipment hooked up to it, I foresee us maybe using a basic DVD player, one of the remaining Panasonic AG-DV players that we have, and the existing live feed (currently HD-SDI downconverted to NTSC using one of our many BMD MCs) and then as part of the upgrades possibly a Hyperdeck Mini (although I haven't yet found a good way to select specific files from this for playback, is that possible??). Personally I'd also like to have the ability to feed different sources to each transmitter from a single unit, so a two or more output router might be in the cards too. I was looking at the BMD Videohub Cleanswitch, but it doesn't have IR blasters for controlling older playback devices nor does it seem to be programmable by time, like the current switcher. This is a must because if we get the ability to broadcast on the local channel again we actually do follow a schedule (the school's news program at certain times, etc).

TLDR; Curious what people's opinions on a good program switcher between 4 or 5 sources for final transmission is, something programmable but also on-the-fly with IR blast and maybe with more than one output. Part of a internal high school system upgrade while we wait for Spectrum to poop or get off the pot.

We have so many BMD Minis in this project right now... If anyone is interested in "success stories" on a small scale let me know and I'll show you all what's going on there.
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cclark

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:35 pm
  • Real Name: Chris Clark

Re: Program switchers

PostThu Nov 29, 2018 1:53 pm

OK, Sorry maybe my first post was too long for anyone to read and find the primary question... I tend to do that.

Let me try this...

Does anyone have any recommendations for "current" reasonably priced replacements (sub $2000) for a Leightronix Mini-T-Pro event scheduler/switcher with ability to control playback for use as an unattended "master control" output to transmitter? The most recent thing I can find from Leightronix is the Mini-T-Net and that's even discontinued, and I haven't had any luck finding programmable ones from other companies. As I said, I've thought about the BMD Videohub series but without the ability to schedule playback events that's not really helpful. I'm open to other brands, not just BMD. A minimum of 4x1 is required, but I have ideas that could make use of 3 or 4 outputs even, and am willing to work with any combination of NTSC Analog, SDI, etc... (I'm not opposed to getting converters for whatever I need to as far as that goes, I just want to know what's available to upgrade this old scheduler.)

Thanks in advance!

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