IHSE USA’s Draco tera 16-port matrix switch is a core element in a newly upgraded, state-of-the-art broadcast facility for NHSTV, a Texas-based television station run entirely by high school students and funded by the Northwest Independent School District (NWISD). By allowing the students and their instructor to control multiple computers from one or more keyboards, video monitors, and mice, the Draco tera switch brings greater flexibility and new efficiencies to the NHSTV broadcast operation.
Station NHSTV is part of the school district’s Creative Media Production (CMP) academy, giving students an immersive experience and complete introduction to the world of professional broadcasting. In its 10th year at Northwest High School in suburban Fort Worth, the CMP academy focuses on television broadcast, filmmaking, graphic design and illustration, and commercial photography.
“With NHSTV, we’re giving students tangible, real-world experience that will give them an advantage for internships, acceptance to college programs, and employment in any facility involved in audio and video production,” said Jeremy Rawe, coordinator of the CMP program. “The IHSE Draco tera switch has helped us bring our facility into the 21st century and give our students a more realistic work environment—one where they can use the equipment they’re likely to encounter in a real control room and a professional TV studio.”
NWISD worked with technology reseller Digital Resources to upgrade the NHSTV broadcast facility, which had been operating for more than a decade with a very basic technology configuration. The new installation quadruples the size of the control room and includes an all-Ross Video production environment including Ross routing switcher, playout server, graphics engine, and terminal gear. The 16-port Draco tera KVM (keyboard-video-mouse) switch ties together every workstation and a separate rack room, giving the NHSTV crew the flexibility to manage all seven workstations from six different user locations in the studio.
“Our student producers can pop right into the KVM system directly from their own computers and make changes or perform tasks without having to get up and walk over to the dedicated workstation. Fewer people moving around in the control room isn’t just a time saver, it also makes things safer and less chaotic when we’re in the midst of a live production,” Rawe said. “Also, if a situation arises with a server or technical function, I can take instant control of any student’s workstation right from my own desktop, and without having to leave my office. This helps me ensure the broadcasts are 100 percent student-run, while still allowing me to provide unobtrusive guidance and support.”
Dan Holland, marketing manager, IHSE USA, commented, “NHSTV is quite unique in high school education: a groundbreaking and award-winning television studio and station operated completely by students. We’re honored to play a role in NWISD’s efforts to train and prepare the broadcasters of tomorrow, giving students the skills and experience to be work-ready for professional careers even before they graduate from high school.”