Along with a surge in enrollment at community colleges around the country, comes increased demand for more sophisticated classroom equipment. Case in point is the recent purchase of FOR-As VTW-330HS HD/SD character generator by Californias Santa Ana College just after the products introduction during NAB 2010 in April of this year. The new CG is used in conjunction with an existing FOR-A digital switcher.
Randy Schultz oversees the management of operations in the television production department and teaches the Studio Production class at Santa Ana College. Were a vocational program, said Schultz. Were preparing students for entering the work force, and we try to create a real-world environment similar to what theyll experience when they graduate.
Similar to a commercial television station, the Santa Ana College facility has two stages, each equipped with three cameras and a prompter. In Schultzs classes, students learn to operate equipment as well as write, produce, and do field production. The program also teaches broadcast journalism and runs a student-produced weekly news program. Santa Ana is also the first college in the country to produce a Spanish language news program.
For Schultz, the FOR-A VTW-330HS HD/SD Character Generator was chosen for its ease of installation, operation, and price point. The graphics are very good, he said. And our students are able to operate it after one short training session.
Schultz was assured by his team at FOR-A that the character generator would hold up to the rigors of a learning environment. The drives are partitioned in the VTW-330HS, so if one aspect becomes corrupted, it doesnt destroy everything, he explained. The operating system and program itself are on different portions of the drive. With students frequently downloading applications online, theyre always bringing in viruses, and that was a major concern for us.
Schultz has plans to expand the facilitys productions and add new programs in the future. The FOR-A VTW-330HS Character Generator was selected in part because of its ability to grow with the school. More than 260 transition functions come standard, including roll, crawl, fade in, fade out, slide and wipe. For video input, it is equipped with video and key input terminals, enabling capture of HD/SD-SDI video. For video output, it is equipped with program and preview output, allowing independent video/key output of each.
The GenCG software included with the VTW-330HS provides an intuitive easy-to-use user interface. Images can be imported from Adobe Photoshop and other programs to create multi-layer graphics, plus still images can be captured from live HD/SD video for graphics as well. An auto-preview function allows the operator to instantly check the image over live video, while a thumbnail or list display allows confirmation of on-air and upcoming graphics.