Professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) today announced it has been contracted to provide a comprehensive HD upgrade of the video production facilities for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. ABS will design, procure, and install the system, which should be completed in April.
Since ABS won the bid process, Bob Rucker, director of the JMC School, has been impressed by the company’s expertise in classroom technology designed specifically for journalism education. “They understood what we were trying to do from day one,” he said. “ABS has done a fantastic job staying on budget, being creative with innovations in the technology and enabling new ideas throughout the process.”
Budgeted at more than $600,000, the project will include an overhaul of the television studio, control room and a separate newsroom “flashcam” location in the new converged newsroom in Dwight Bentel Hall. The upgrade is funded by the Jack and Emma Anderson Fund, an $8.7 million endowment from the couple who owned the print shop that published the school’s Spartan Daily newspaper for more than 40 years, and administered by the university’s Tower Foundation.
A 24-input Ross Video Carbonite 1-A M/E production switcher with built-in multi-view will anchor the control room. Other components will include a Yamaha LS9-32 digital audio console, Clear-Com intercom system and Panasonic 55-inch LED monitors. The new Ross XPression Studio CG will be configured to connect with the school’s convergence newsroom computer system for automatic loading of graphics through a MOS gateway.
Four new HD cameras will be housed in the updated studio, three Sony HXC-D70K cameras coupled with Autocue 17-inch prompters on Libec pedestals, plus one Sony BRC-Z330 PTZ camera mounted to the lighting grid for overhead shots. ABS will also install custom curtains, a Pro Cyc 3B-EZ System and a new lighting package.
Inside the newly renovated newsroom, where award-winning newspaper, television, magazine and advertising students work together, the “Breaking News Desk” will be used to produce live standups and other segments for Web-based news reports and Update News, the school’s television newscast. The area will feature a wall-mounted Sony PTZ camera that can be operated from the control room or locally via handheld remote.
“Educational institutions don’t often get a chance to upgrade their production facilities, especially not on a scale like this project for San Jose State,” said Mark Siegel, president of ABS. “We’ve designed an HD workflow that mirrors the file-based operations found in broadcast news environments across the country to prepare students for the real world. The new system will be a viable teaching environment for years to come, and it’s been specifically engineered for future expansion.”
While Rucker acknowledged the school’s last major video technology upgrade was in the mid-1990s, new equipment and a new strategic plan will help raise the school’s international profile. “We’ve got some very big plans for this new studio,” he said. “Our goal is to create a center for social media research in Silicon Valley. We’re going to create a global learning opportunity for our school that will excite and enable our diverse student body to test their creative new media ideas and technology approaches alongside the world class experts of Silicon Valley.”