Archive for the ‘video production’ Category

Newtek Tricaster Mini: New Video Production Studio in a Box

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Jeff Gray, KET

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All-in-one video production “appliances” that include multiple camera video and audio switching, titling, special effects, and more for live and recorded production projects have been in use for  some years in Kentucky schools like Bath County High, and Eastside Technical School, Lexington. Schools who can afford Newtek Tricasters, which start around $5,000, or similar switching gear like the Roland line of a/v mixers, enjoy making live video production projects with crews of students who excitedly play-out the roles of professional video production staff. Together, they plan, write, and produce video news and special events programming that requires teamwork and a lot of group and individual skill building that culminates in shared products that prepare students for real-world jobs, and the use of multimedia in further studies.

Roland offers the VR50-HD ($7,495) and some less expensive items like the VR-3EX ($2,195) and the V4-EX ($1,995).  Check the technical specifications for comparison of models and features among the manufacturers’ units.

For schools, a big thing that’s been missing from the Tricaster line has been HDMI inputs for commonly-used cameras and other devices. With the arrival of the Tricaster  Mini, schools now have more options to consider because the new Tricaster Mini has HDMI inputs, a PC input, analog audio inputs, a DDR for video segment and graphics playback, program video recording, program streaming out, and much more, including the virtual set feature with advanced chromakeying for greenscreen effects. It’s features and specifications are encouraging.

There are two Tricaster Mini models: the base HD-4 model Tricaster Mini, at $5,995, records 15 hours of 1080p video to an internal 750GB hard drive.  Their more expensive HD-4i model sells for $7,995. It includes a monitor and records 45 hours of video to an internal 1.5TB hard drive and includes a side-mounted video monitor.  They’re not cheap, but their many features do the work that would normally require several individual component pieces of equipment which could cost much more if purchased separately.

One caveat of all-in-one studio production devices that scares some is that if a unit goes down it may have to be shipped back to Newtek for repair, halting production until the unit is returned. Tricasters we’ve seen in Kentucky schools seem to have been in service for a while and we’ve not heard any warnings if that helps. An alternative is to use an a/v switcher such as the ATEM TV-Studio by Black Magic Design ($995.00), along with other component equipment for equivalent video production. That way might let you carry on in case of individual component failure, depending on what breaks and when.

Here’s an equipment connection diagram from the Newtek site:

TriCaster-Mini-Workflow

And here are links to Tricaster Mini evaluations and reviews:

We’re looking forward to seeing what schools do with this new video production tool. As a one-box video production studio, it could make beginning a school video production a lot easier, and its advanced features could expand existing programs.

(Note: This new product overview is offered as an information service only and does not constitute an endorsement by KET.)

2014 STLP State Championship Shines On

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Jeff Gray, KET

Kentucky’s Department of Education held its eighth annual Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship on April 22 in Lexington’s Rupp Arena. From the STLP website, “The State Championship allows students from across the state to come together and demonstrate for other students, school and community persons what they know and can do with technology.”

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This year’s event was the first state championship coordinated by new program director, Jeff Sebulsky, formerly of Clark County Schools. He has impressed many with his expertise and creative drive.

Hundreds of K-12 schools from districts across Kentucky were represented. In addition to the displays of robotics, coding, app and game making, and other projects, a trip up and down the rows of student displays once again showed a big interest in making curriculum-based video production projects at all levels. From environmental to health topics, from digital citizenship to the arts, there was quite a good representation this year of schools who support student-produced video production.

Media Depot: New Multimedia Service for UK Student Projects

Friday, September 20th, 2013 by Jeff Gray, KET

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Media Depot administrator Kirk Laird and UK Media Arts student Kevin Angel (l-r)

The Media Depot is the University of Kentucky’s new multimedia production service center for students who need a place to make video projects or practice presentations for classes. Housed in a basement tech-services area of U.K.’s W.T. Young library called “The Hub,” Media Depot administrator Kirk Laird has assembled an excellent set of multimedia production resources in an accessible and supportive environment students should find fun and useful.

I met Kirk when he attended our annual KET Multimedia PD Days event for educators this last July. Soon after, he sent me a link to an interesting test video made by the lab to document a dramatic UK science experiment — not to be tried at home. Their video utilizes slo-motion features of the GoPro Hero camera (cue to 1:20 min. for the hot stuff), a popular ultra-portable camcorder many use for stunt and special videography. Justin Allen, a KET video producer, also used a Hero cam suspended from a quadcopter to capture an aerial intro shot for the 2013 Fancy Farm political speech event TV special that aired on KET this last August.

One of my favorite things to do for the MediaWorks blog is to feature schools doing interesting and innovative things in media production, and it was a pleasure to meet with Kirk Laird for a tour of the new UK Media Depot. An unexpected bonus from my visit was also meeting Kevin Angel (pictured above and below), who happened to be checking-out the new resources for himself. Kevin, a Media Arts student at UK, quickly impressed us as a young man focused on moving toward a career in media production. His business card has a link to his Angel-Vision.com website, which displays some of his generation’s interests in an example reel of some creative and understated video projects.

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UK’s Media Depot is a good resource for students like Kevin who are looking for an excellent campus media production facility in which to build class projects or prepare for in-class presentations. See the Media Depot website for more information and how to schedule its use. From the online introduction: “The Media Depot is funded by the Student Technology Fee and is a collaboration between Academic Planning, Analytics and Technologies (APAT) and UK Libraries and is in support of the QEP, Presentation U.”

 

 


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