School of Mass Communication
Organization: Midwestern State University | Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Market: Broadcast | Solutions: Ross, BTX, Samsung, Extron, Sony, Avid, Middle Atlantic
For years, mass communication students at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, were learning in a building that was never meant to house a communication program. The Fain College of Fine Arts building was designed for just that: fine arts. The Mass Communication Department was placed wherever there was room—or lack thereof. The TV studio was formerly an art gallery, the broadcasting lab was formerly a coat room, and the office for the campus newspaper, The Wichitan, was carved out of a space that used to house faculty offices with nine different walls. While the Mass Communication Department and its students made due, the space was nowhere near adequate for their needs.
To meet budget restrictions, the space needed to be dual-purpose with the option to convert spaces into classrooms when needed. Admission visits with prospective students became increasingly difficult. With the facilities set up for anything but mass communication, prospects would quickly lose interest and enroll elsewhere.
Alpha Video worked with Midwestern State University to build the best possible facility. The goal was to integrate a TV studio that acted as the Department’s primary television, digital cinema, and web production space for news, entertainment, and educational efforts.
Alpha Video installed a live broadcast control room to be used as the primary production control environment for multi-camera video productions in the studio area. The room was arranged with a two-tier console layout by Eastboard Consoles. Each operating position was equipped with monitoring and control interfaces to both support manual and MOS-automated productions including remote control of the Yamaha audio mixing console, Ross Carbonite video switcher, and XPression production graphics. The MOS-automated productions are done via the Ross Overdrive system. The on-air graphics are managed by Ross Streamline giving Producers complete control of templates within the newsroom software.
In addition to the studio and control rooms, Alpha Video also installed six Avid Media Composer craft edit suites, a voice-over booth utilizing Pro Tools, a broadcast NLE lab with 23 Avid Media Composer-based edit systems powered by Dell workstations, a newsroom with Ross Inception NRCS, a journalism lab with 22 iMacs each with Adobe, and a rack room where a Ross NGK routing system was installed. Video content is stored on an Avid Nexus system with 120TB capacity. In-house intercom and IFB communications are handled by a Clear-Com Eclipse HX system.
An equipment storage and checkout room was installed to provide a controlled area for secure storage of actively-used audio and video production equipment, lighting and grip gear, batteries, field production and editing packages, and storage media. The field gear includes 6 Sony PXW-X180 camcorders, 4 Panasonic GH4 DSLR cameras, 4 Panaxonic AG-DVX200 camcorders, 20 light kits, a Telestream Wirecast streaming laptop, and various other pieces of audio and video equipment.
Finally, Alpha Video has installed audiovisual equipment in all common areas in the School of Mass Communication Broadcast Facility. The spaces are fully-equipped with large, Samsung HD displays with IPTV set-top boxes, digital signage displaying various campus messaging, and collaboration-ready systems for each meeting room.
With the grand opening of the facility in September 2017, faculty, staff, students, and alumni now have a broadcast facility they can be proud of. Mass Communication majors at Midwestern State University will now have access to state-of-the-art equipment which will not only make their learning experience immeasurably better, but will also prepare them to join the jobforce using the same high-end technologies installed in professional studios.
About Alpha Video
Alpha Video is a national integrator of audiovisual and broadcast technologies that empower organizations to better communicate with their target audience. We design, integrate, and support solutions that improve visual communications, collaboration, and content creation. With our expertise in a variety of industries, we are able to combine best-in-class AV and broadcast technologies to create custom solutions to meet complex communications challenges.