A 21st Century Liberal Arts Education Includes AV Tech by Virginia Rubey

7/15/2010 2:44:52 PM
By PSN Staff

In the 21st century, the evolution of technology is largely sustained by the innovation of AV pros. Higher-education institutions are integrating AV education into their curriculum to prepare students for a world that relies on the application of AV tech. If a picture is worth a thousand words, graduates applying for a job with an AV-enhanced “cover letter” may be worth fifty times as much - in dollars, that is.

The collaborative effort of Orad Hi-Tec Systems and Vinten Radamec is helping Ball State University produce some hi-tech students in Muncie, Indiana. Ball State enlisted the worldly duo to augment a sophisticated 2,400 square foot virtual studio at the university’s Teleplex. The state-of-the-art facility boasts Orad’s Proset virtual studio and HDVG (high-definition digital video graphics); three fully-encoded Vinten Radamex manual pedestals and pan/tilt heads; and Ultimatte 11 blue/green compositing software. Orad’s ProSet integrates Xync infrared tracking, Pattern Recognition, CamTrack, and mechanical sensors.

Orad, known for real-time quality 3D broadcast graphics, imports the geometry, textures, animations, and design from multiple platform models before rendering the imports through Orad’s HDVG platform. As Vinten Radamec pedestals and heads provide up to a million positional data points through 360 degrees, the Orad engine seamlessly syncs the movement of generated objects with the camera. The tri-cam virtual reality system at Ball State University requires minor re-calibrating when relocated to another studio.

University Teleplex director Bill Cahoe says he chose Orad’s ProSet studio to equip broadcast students with cutting-edge AV tech training, and to endow their broadcasts with “a polished, professional, and viewer-pleasing look.” The quality of the facility sparked the interest of corporate clients, who will pay Ball State University for studio access. “The facility has a threefold payback to the university - in education, in information, and in revenue,” Cahoe says.

Tech professionals will introduce Ball State students to the new equipment this fall. Cahoe expects the students to master the products and produce professional-grade broadcasts quickly, due to the systems’ advanced rendering capability. Students will be able to play multiple clips in different file formats including: AVI, MPEG, DV, DVC25, and Quick Time.
“We are so pleased with the product,” Cahoe says of Orad’s system. “It does everything we dreamed it would do.”

With high quality video and graphics; interactive media design and production; digital and satellite-based conferencing; and classroom media delivery capabilities, the Teleplex will facilitate a variety of Ball State University broadcasts. Student-produced nightly news will complement Ball State’s reputation as a source of quality broadcasts in East Central Indiana, which already knows the University as a provider of quality public television and radio programming.

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