Rancho Buena Vista High School Adds JVC ProHD Cameras for New TV Studio

One of three high schools in the Vista Unified School District in San Diego County, RBV is the only one with a studio. The production space, which students began using in November, was built in three adjoining classrooms, allowing space for a studio, NLE computer lab, and control room with enough space to accommodate an entire class.

The three GY-HM890 studio cameras are equipped with ProHD monitors and studio controls, Fujinon 20x lenses, and Prompter People prompters. Three days per week, students produce a live-to-tape news program, RBVTV, which is posted to YouTube. Plus, through a pilot internship program, 10 students are producing almost two dozen promotional videos for the Vista Chamber of Commerce this year.

With no lighting grid in the converted classroom, there has been extensive experimentation with lighting in the studio space. Chris Tompkins, career technical education (CTE) instructor who teaches TV and film classes, said the JVC cameras have “worked really well, regardless of the lighting situation.”

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Rancho Buena Vista High School is using JVC ProHD cameras in its new studio and as part of its new multi-camera mobile production unit.

Beyond the studio, RBV students use the new GY-HM170s for ENG and multi-camera productions. When used as part of the school’s new mobile production unit, the cameras are connected to a NewTek TriCaster Mini via HDMI, and students use monopods for stability.

Craig Claytor of PAC Engineering, a design engineering firm in San Diego, recommended the JVC cameras for the RBV project. He praised JVC’s service, pre-sales support, and value. “No other manufacturer offers the picture quality, features, and signal output options as the JVC cameras in the same price range,” he noted.

RBV’s first remote setup was at last year’s homecoming game, where students focused on the halftime show and homecoming court. Since then, students have produced multi-camera, live-to-tape coverage of two fundraisers, a staff/student basketball game fundraiser, and a talent show. Highlights were also shared on RBVTV. Tompkins said more remote shoots are planned for the 2019-2020 school year.

“We really like how light it is,” Tompkins said of the GY-HM170. “We love the option of live streaming and we like the multiple recording formats. It gives us a lot of versatility – and to get an image of that quality for that price, you can’t beat it.”

The new studio and equipment were funded through the California Career Technical Education Incentive Grant program, which awarded $3.5 million to the school district for various projects. According to Kelly McKinney, CTE coordinator, the TV/film program already has maximum enrollment across all five sections.

Both sets of JVC cameras – along with NewTek switchers, Yamaha audio mixers, and Adobe Studio and Final Cut Pro NLE software – are part of an overall strategy to provide real-world production experience for students. “Our students are supposed to use industry standard equipment,” Tompkins explained. “Once they graduate, they have all this experience using professional tools. Our alumni were so excited to see the equipment that we’re using and were really impressed with the quality.”

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Cablecast Community Media Platform Simplifies Workflows and Frees Staff from Mundane Tasks at MVCC

Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC) in Centerville, Ohio is a municipal communications and technology organization that represents eight member cities in the area, and holds affiliate agreements with 23 other Miami Valley cities. Upgrading its master control and playout infrastructure to high definition while replacing decade-old legacy equipment, the council selected the Cablecast Community Media Platform from Tightrope Media Systems as the foundation of its enhanced operations.

MVCC was formed in 1975 to oversee cable television franchise agreements, manage the operation of the council’s cable access television channels, and lead intergovernmental projects designed to strengthen communications between member cities and their citizens. The council operates four PEG channels – two government channels, one educational access channel and one public access channel – while offering state-of-the-art production facilities, equipment and training to residents of its member cities.

While limited to broadcasting in SD for cable distribution, MVCC had higher ambitions for its online presence. “We wanted to upgrade to HD for our online VOD and eventually our live streams,” explained Nick Evert, MVCC’s chief engineer. “We also wanted a system that would simplify our file-based workflows and integrate better with our website offering.”

MVCC purchased the Cablecast Broadcast Automation software and two quad-channel Cablecast Flex 4 playout servers, configured to provide one recording input and one playout pathway for each of the council’s four cable channels. A Cablecast Pro VOD server automatically creates on-demand clips of the station’s programs, which are then delivered to viewers through the cloud-based Cablecast Reflect service. Four Tightrope Carousel systems drive independent bulletin boards on each channel. Supplied by systems integrator iVideo Technologies (known at the time as Industrial Video), the new installation went live at MVCC in September 2018.

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In choosing the Cablecast platform, Tightrope’s expertise was as important to MVCC as the solution itself.

“The number one thing for myself and our recently-retired programmer was the background of the company,” said Evert. “Tightrope staff all seem to have a good knowledge of the PEG channel world, with many of them coming from a PEG background. Their receptiveness to the particular challenges of a government-run media center was really appealing.”

Cablecast’s browser-based architecture was similarly attractive.

“Unlike our previous system, people can now be working simultaneously on various machines over the network at the same or different times, without being tied to a specific workstation,” Evert explained. “Plus, I don’t need to keep updating software versions on multiple machines to stay current.”

Beyond its browser-based flexibility, the operational ease of Cablecast’s user interface itself has earned Evert’s praise.

“With our previous system, a lot of functions were counter-intuitive and confusing,” he said. “The Cablecast interface is much more intuitive and modern, and you get a lot better feedback from the software when you’re working.”

Cablecast’s elegant media handling capabilities save MVCC staff valuable time that they can put to better use.

“With our old system, we had to FTP files around a lot, moving them to and from a NAS,” recalled Evert. “With Cablecast, we have all of our media live on the server. Instead of spending time queuing things up and on routine operational tasks, employees are freed up to do things like developing better bulletin board graphics and polishing things up a little bit more.”

Cablecast’s tight bulletin board integration has brought similar gains.

“The schedule integration benefits are huge,” said Evert. “With our old system, staff would get an email or printout of the schedule, and need to retype it into our bulletin board software. Now as soon as we’ve scheduled the show, it’s handled automatically, completely eliminating that work.”

In addition to the Cablecast platform itself, Evert has also been impressed with Tightrope personnel.

“I can’t say enough about the receptiveness that they have to new ideas and features,” he praised. “You work with any system day in and day out, inevitably you’ll have ideas of something new you wish it could do. Not every manufacturer will truly listen to your requests and discuss them with their development team. I think that’s huge.”

MVCC’s future plans include adding Cablecast Live systems for HD live streaming, and updating the video content area of their website using Cablecast’s dynamic, turnkey “public site” web publishing tools. But in the meantime, the platform continues to deliver the benefits the council sought.

“Cablecast has simplified our master control workflow, and allows our staff to allocate more of their time to refinement of our channels,” summarized Evert. “It is a solid, all-in-one kind of solution, which is exactly what is needed for a PEG facility like ours.”

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Imagine Products at the 2019 NAB Show

It’s all to help Imagine Products’ users around the world — from large studios and television networks to one-person shops and freelancers — make their workflows more efficient for productions large and small.

New Licenses, Bundles, Website, and Activation System

ShotPut Pro, the industry standard for offloading video, audio, and photo files, has a new look and new features that will be shown for the first time at the 2019 NAB Show. Two of the features include a new simple mode for faster offloading and MHL reports. Imagine Products is also working with partners Codex and Frame.io to offer a more complete workflow to users. The product also comes with new licensing options: perpetual or rental. All perpetual licenses include an update plan that gives users 12 months of updates. While update plans might expire, users will always have access to their licenses and will never be forced to have an update plan. If the update plan expires, users will stay on that version of the software until they decide to purchase a current update plan.

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Imagine Products’ new rental licenses serve the ever-growing number of customers that rely on rental equipment for greater flexibility. Rental licenses allow customers to add work stations to a larger job, provide tools for projects they might not normally need, and familiarize themselves with a product that they might be curious about. These rental licenses are available for most Imagine Products’ software. Furthermore, customers can bundle the software that works well together for a cohesive experience.

Meanwhile, Imagine Products has redesigned its website and activation functions to be both easier to use and more agile, giving customers more control over their licenses.

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