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Case Study: Providing Broadcast-Quality Streaming Video for WXPN / World Café Live Multi-Use Music Venue


Philadelphia is home to two vibrant institutions that share a physical space at 3025 Walnut Street: WXPN, the public radio station owned by the University of Pennsylvania, and World Café Live, a for-profit enterprise that runs two performance spaces and a restaurant inside the building. The WCL venue has played host to performers like Adele, Phoenix, The Pixies, and many other diverse talents.

The non-profit project LiveConnections also uses the World Café space to hold their Bridge Sessions, interactive musical performances for urban youth and special needs populations. LiveConnections received a grant to use video as a means to connect these sessions to underserved audiences who are unable to travel to the venue, such as hospitals and retirement homes. They also planned to rent the video facilities to World Café Live and WXPN to live stream popular music concerts.

LiveConnections knew they needed remotely controlled pan-tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras for their programs, both to reduce the cost of operation and to be as unobtrusive as possible within the beautiful WCL performance space. They also had an extremely limited space in which to operate the camera controls, switcher, audio mixer, etc.

WXPN also planned to use this gear to capture and stream video of their popular Free at Noon concert series. They also wanted to install cameras inside their performance studio on the other side of the building.


AbelCine designed a plan to use three Panasonic AW-HE120 PTZ cameras and one AG-HPX250 handheld camera to give the space the maximum flexibility to cover a diverse range of performances and student programs. The space has ten different positions wired for PTZ cameras and six positions for handheld cameras, all connected to a router in the control room. Space was so tight that World Café Live converted their coat-check room into the control room.

Within this small space, LiveStudio Producer Galea McGregor and her colleagues operate the video switcher and audio mixer, recording all of the camera ISOs and program feed, and then editing programs together with Avid Media Composer.

WXPN liked what they saw and moved forward with outfitting their performance studio with four more AW-HE120 cameras and two handheld cameras. They now live stream intimate Studio Sessions on a regular basis from inside the studio.

Low cost, high-quality broadcast video and flexibility gave LiveConnections, WXPN and World Café Live a system that met their immediate needs, with room to grow in the future. AbelCine’s integration team worked with the venue to get the job done in a streamlined manner that worked around their performance schedule.


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