Ockers Helps PAC-TV

PLYMOUTH, MA – For the management and staff at Plymouth Area Community Access Television (PAC-TV), “community” is more than just a word in their name. In addition to cablecasting a robust schedule of programs to six channels in four communities along Massachusetts’ southeast coast, this bustling TV station supports its community by producing free public service spots for local groups, holding a full schedule of workshops and classes for children and adults, and even hosting an art gallery to promote the work of area artists.

PAC-TV’s recently completed state-of-the-art facility reflects the station’s commitment to maximizing service to its community. Although the newly built studio measures just 576 square feet, it has two separate sets, one of which includes a kitchen for cooking programs. The two sets are able to host a full complement of “side-by-side” broadcast sessions without impacting one another, thanks in large part to an efficient lighting design by Jonathan Lipsy of Ockers Company (Norwood, MA) that used fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.

“This is a very forward looking television station that has quite a bit of varied activities,” said Lipsy. “The new facility is beautiful, but the size of the studio presented some challenges when creating a lighting design. Anytime you have two sets in a 24’ by 24’ studio, you have to worry about light spilling from one to the other. I didn’t want to light the entire studio as one; I needed lighting that was very controllable and focusable so each set could be lighted optimally without interfering with the other set’s lighting.”

Lipsy accomplished this feat with some help from the Ovation F-95WW, a compact 90-watt warm white LED wash intend to replace traditional incandescent Fresnel fixtures. With an impressive zoom angle range that goes from 10° spot to 54° flood, the Ovation F-95WW offered Lipsy the tight focus he was seeking.

“I selected the Ovation Fresnel because it gives you this really nice tight focus when you need it, and yet it’s also a great spot,” said Lipsy. “The flood to spot ratio with the Ovation fixtures is one of the best on the market. You can go from a very tight beam to a very wide beam with ease. This was really important, because we could maintain a tight focus on both sets so neither one affected the other, but we still have great flooding capabilities when we need them.”

The Ovation fixture’s beam angle also helped Lipsy compensate for the relatively low pipe grid on the two PAC-TV sets. “I like to hang fixtures at multi levels to create depth in the lighting,” he said. “We have only an 11’ pipe grid so there weren’t a lot of choices about where to hang the lights. The beam angle range of the Ovation fixture was especially important because it gave me a measure of flexibility despite the low grid.”

Also coming in for praise from Lipsy was the flat even field of light and smooth dimming control of the Ovation F-95WW. “Darkness is just as important as light in broadcast applications, if you want to impart definition and shape to your subjects on the set,” said the LD. “This is especially true on smaller sets like this one. You need to have separation with peaks of light at 80-90 foot candles and valleys of 30-40 foot candles. Ovation provides this range effortlessly.

“Another good thing from an aesthetic standpoint is the fixture’s color temperature,” continued Lipsy. “At 3,150K, it’s slightly warmer than other LED fixtures, offering a nice inviting field of light. I like that quite a bit because it creates a gorgeous light for broadcast. At heart, I’m a 3,200K man for my studios, and the Ovation Fresnel offers one of the closest and truest representations of a conventional tungsten Fresnel.”

The Ovation F-95WW’s multi DMX connector capability (3-pin or 5-pin)-was also important to Lipsy, because it accommodates different control systems. Also, the fact that each Ovation fixture has pass-through capabilities allows the station to use fewer power outlets.

In addition to the 16 Ovation F-95WW fixtures used on the two sets, Lipsy included four COLORado Batten 144 Tour LED RGBW linear fixtures in his design. He positioned these units on the floor to use in creating background light on walls and set pieces. “I prefer to use this type of fixture on the floor rather than pipe hang them, because it gives my clients more flexibility to deploy them in different ways,” he said.

In the case of an active, multi-dimensional community broadcaster like PAC-TV such versatility is always put to good use.