Blackmagic Design today announced that Maryland’s Hood College has built its new Communication Arts Video Production Studio and Control Room using Blackmagic Design’s line of live production products, including an ATEM Television Studio Pro HD for live switching and camera control, and a Blackmagic Web Presenter for streaming content to YouTube.
Founded in 1893, Hood College is a private co-educational liberal arts college located in Frederick, MD. The new studio serves as a resource for the college’s growing number of students majoring in communication arts, who use the studio to produce campus news programming and topical information about events and subjects at the college. Previously, the studio area held a room that students used for editing, but staff at the college wanted to provide students with more of a real-world television news experience and give them the ability to practice more skills involved with production.
Once the idea for a new studio was in development, Hood College’s Instructional Technologist Jeff Welsh selected the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD, Blackmagic Web Presenter, Blackmagic Studio Cameras and HyperDeck Studio Mini as part of an equipment package that would allow students to learn production skills on professional equipment.
“The ATEM Television Studio Pro HD is the heart and brain of our broadcast control room,” said Jeff. “It combines so many integral features and it’s what we needed to make our studio functional. The ability to connect it seamlessly for control and communications between our cameras and the HyperDeck Studio Mini for recording has proved invaluable. The ATEM allows our students to learn about traditional control ergonomics in a studio environment and how to also control and manage the various aspects of ATEM signal processing and inputs.”
He continued, “The ATEM Television Studio Pro HD’s controls and ability to control the ATEM via software at many levels was also a huge selling point. We could have gone with a more standard rack mount product, but felt the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD was a good balance of ergonomics, hardware and software.”
Three Blackmagic Studio Cameras are fed into the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD for a multi-shot ability that mimics traditional broadcast news environments. Jeff chose the cameras for the remote control feature from the switcher, as well as their multiple lens options, SDI and Fiber connections, talkback connections, large 10” monitor, tally lights, and the cameras’ ability to accept third party LANC controllers. According to Jeff, the affordable price point, flexibility, quality and overall features made this the only camera he and his team seriously considered. From the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD, the camera feeds are recorded to two HyperDeck Studio Mini broadcast decks and then transferred to an editing computer.
“I love that the HyperDeck Studio Mini integrates with the ATEM control software for recording and playback features,” said Jeff. “It is also very compact and fits well with our need for space saving in our small control room space. I love that we can pull out one SD card and pop another one in place without any disruption to our live recordings.”
Also in use in the studio is a Blackmagic Web Presenter, which allows students to take multiple input signal types and feed them to a computer as video and audio input sources with ease. Jeff noted, “It is very compact and allows us to take advantage of any number of soft codec web streaming software encoders. We use it with Open Broadcaster software and YouTube to stream live content from our broadcast studio. The price for performance was again a great selling point.”
“I did an extensive amount of research into other broadcast HD technology options and found that the Blackmagic Design products offered incredible performance at a great value that fit our limited budget,” said Jeff. “I was impressed with the integration between the cameras and the ATEM products, and loved that we could have communication and control over standard SDI in and out lines. This made wiring and integration costs low and it was truly easy to configure right out of the box for a novice studio designer like myself. All of the products work great with each other, and it made perfect sense to incorporate them into our studio design.”