Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Monogram BCC: Impressive new video production system

I missed this one at NAB, but a company called Monogram Multimedia has developed a very impressive live video production system called BCC that competes with NewTek's TriCaster TCXD300, the recently-released HD version of the TriCaster. There are a couple of things that make the BCC unique: First, it fits all of its components, including a touch-screen display, into a single Pelican case weighing 35 to 53 lb., depending on configuration. Second, it doesn't require any external monitors, keyboards, T-bars or switches in order to work. The touch-screen display doubles as a control surface and multi-source monitor. I'm always a little bit suspicious of packing too much into a single device, since a failure in a single component can render the entire system inoperable. However, it makes sense in a portable production system where it's essential to get a lot of power into a small package.

The BCC can be configured with up to eight HD-SDI inputs, as well as a 3D model with four dual HD-SDI channels. It also has a built in encoder and audio mixer. As you might expect, the BCC doesn't come cheap--prices range from $14,995 for a four-channel SD version to $34,995 for the four-channel 3DHD version. The four-channel HD version that's most comparable to the TCXD300 lists for $19,995 and the eight-channel version for $23,995.

According to the ProVideo Coalition's Allen Tepper, the touch-screen interface takes some time to adapt to vs. the conventional T-bar interface, but once you do, it's a very powerful interface. (In my opinion, any innovation in switcher user interfaces is a good thing.) Portable, all-in-one video production systems are taking off, and the BCC is impressive.
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