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A PEG TV Setup, Part 2

Jan 16, 2014 11:40 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

PEG stations are taking TV broadcasting super local. Public access, education and government all have a window to the community at Portland Community Media. Bea Coulter and Jason Tait are back to tell us about their LED lighting and other recent technical upgrades, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

Bea Coulter and Jason Tait from Portland Community Media. In part one we were talking about your upgrade to LED lighting and with funding and working with volunteer staff, upgrades can be tough to come by. You actually have some paid staff there and some PEG stations might consider that to be, you know, kind of a luxury. But it’s great to have people there who started as volunteers and know how things work there. We talked about the LED lighting but what other gear have you installed as part of the migration to HD?

Bea: Well, we’ve upgraded – gosh, it’s been – practically we’ve refreshed all of our equipment. We have replaced all of our field cameras with JVC – with the 200s and 700s, although we’ll be replacing those again in the next fiscal year. So we haven’t decided what we’re gonna go with there yet.

Jason: Yeah, our initial upgrade started with our field cameras and we’ve gone through a few version updates since then. We started off with the JVC 250 cameras and then we sort of moved on to the larger 700 and the 150 from JVC. Like I say, those came well before any of the upgrades to the studio or our master control. It’s just luckily where the project for buying cameras landed; might as well go to HD.

Bea: Well, and so since then we’ve upgraded our production truck, our city hall field site production facility. We’ve upgraded both of our studios and our master control, and through all of these locations we’ve moved away from tape. We have solid-state recording systems in all of these facilities, so it’s kind of that transition from analog to digital to HD and all of the stuff that goes along with that. [Timestamp: 2:33]

Well, it may be a good thing that you didn’t come into new cameras and new lighting gear at the same time. That might be a little bit of a challenge to get the two adjusted so they look right together.

Jason: In the industry, we call that a white balance. That was pretty much it. We actually had the Hitachi rep come in and give us an in-depth training on how to work with the cameras. We really didn’t make much of a change to the cameras themselves on how they reproduce color. It was really that simple as hit the white balance button. [Timestamp: 3:02]

It was probably a lot simpler in terms of powering it all and hanging it on the lighting grid. The old stuff you mentioned in part one had to be a lot bigger and heavier to handle.

Bea: Yes, definitely.

Jason: The interesting thing about the lighting installation was we went through a, well I wouldn’t say an upgrade, but an update of our lighting system, I don’t know how many years back, to where we put dimmers on the lights. In the way, way back days it was a light switch – a breaker switch, on/off. Then we got to a dimmer and we needed to install a whole new electrical system to allow for that dimmer system to be used. And then lo and behold with the LED upgrade, we actually went back to the original electrical outlets, which was kind of funny.

Bea: Yeah, but we have far fewer circuit breakers now for that grid.

Jason: Yes. [Timestamp: 3:50]

Kind of hard to do any subtle nuance with just circuit breakers.

Bea: In the old system, we had a couple of 2Ks that were donated to us from our local NBC affiliate that had hung in the NBC Burbank facility about 50 years ago. We’re gonna turn a couple of those into end tables in our lobby. [Timestamp: 4:08]

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