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School Launches Live Sports Coverage with New Video Control Center
To help produce live coverage of varsity athletics from its new competition gymnasium, Webster City High School in Webster City, Iowa, has installed a new video control center, as part of an HD overhaul the school has made to its student-run broadcast program.
The first phase of the overhaul began in 2010 when the school purchased a Granite Video Control system, from Broadcast Pix, as well as three Canon HD studio cameras and other equipment. The second phase added cameras to the gym and connected the control room to the new facility via fiber in time for the 2012 volleyball season. According to Mark Murphy, director of technology at Webster City Community Schools, the system will also be used to produce commencement, concert, and special event coverage as well.
In addition to the live sports coverage--the school covered all six of its home girls volleyball matches in late 2012, and is currently shooting home boys and girls basketball and wrestling contests--students at the school produce a weekly newscast distributed on an internal cable system, a local community access channel, and via iTunes.
Anchored by the Granite, the control room is about 1,100 feet away from the gym, located next to the school's 400-square-foot studio. The gym is equipped with three ceiling-mounted Panasonic HD cameras and four wall-mounted cameras. All cameras are controlled robotically by students in the control room.
Additionally, the school has added a number of workflow tools from Broadcast Pix, including Fluent Macros, a kind of special effects editor that allows students to feature action from multiple mats during wresting matches on a split screen. They have also integrated an option that allows for streamlined scorekeeping, which can be updated simply. "It's working great for us," Murphy said in a statement. "The data feed can update the same data element on multiple screens. We really like that option."
Stephen Noonoo is an education technology journalist based in Los Angeles. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.