Suffolk County Community College Goes Digital
Jul 16, 2008 12:00 PM, By Linda Seid Frembes
At its recently unveiled Digital Television Studio Complex, Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) in Selden, N.Y., is well on its way to fulfilling a three-year digital-technology-upgrade plan. The two-year college is nationally known for its advanced radio and television production program, which was founded in 1968. In 40 years, SCCC has graduated more than 800 students and counts five television network-level vice presidents among its prestigious alumni.
The production program is led by Alan Bernstein, a professor of radio and television production as well as the assistant academic chair for the school's Department of Communications/Radio/TV/Film. "The program is constantly hands-on from day one. The goal is that students are not afraid of equipment. My students are ready to work when they graduate. They learn the right work ethic or they don't make it," says Bernstein, who still works in television sports, has won three national Emmy awards with NBC and has covered four Olympic Games. "Our students graduate with more hands-on experience than most students at four-year universities."
SCCC has invested heavily in current technology to ensure that students achieve a high level of knowledge and experience, including a total rewiring of the studio for the switch to full digital capability. The 30'x40' studio features a professional lighting rig, a digital audio mixing console, HD-ready JVC GY-HD250U cameras, 15 Apple Final Cut Pro editing stations, and a new Echolab 1-M/E Overture1 switcher. The school worked with Adwar Video, an AV reseller in Farmingdale, N.Y., to acquire the Overture1 system.
As with many education budgets, equipment choices for SCCC's studio is a compromise between cost and performance. "We had an Echolab DV5, and it worked without a glitch for 10 years," Bernstein says, explaining why he chose to look at Echolab products again. "The most attractive feature on the Overture1 switcher is the floating frame synchronization. There are no timing or shift errors; it literally syncs with everything. It is simple to teach on a basic level. In a teaching facility, ease of equipment operation leads to a better learning curve, and that's just what Echolab's switching solutions have provided for our students."
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