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07.16.2013
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Long Beach public access channel launches HD studio
Public Access Digital Network in Long Beach, CA, is using three JVC GY-HM790 ProHD cameras in the high-def studio.

Long Beach (CA) Public Access Digital Network (PADNET), which produces local programming for residents, has opened a new HD studio anchored by three JVC GY-HM790 ProHD cameras.

After almost four years without public access television in the city, the new channel was launched in August 2012 with six JVC GY-HM150 compact handheld camcorders. PADNET unveiled its new studio on May 2.

“We really like the GY-HM150s and use them for our field cameras. Our users have been happy with the image quality,” said Lisa Mastramico, PADNET director. “Now that we’ve added a studio, we’ve expanded the breadth of what people can do in terms of production.”

Long Beach had been without public access television since early 2009, when California law no longer required cable companies to provide a studio and staff to produce it. PADNET was established through the efforts of the Long Beach Community Action Partnership (LBCAP), a nonprofit organization that supports low-income individuals and families and had already established a youth-based digital media arts program. LBCAP applied for and received a two-year grant through the Long Beach Community Foundation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to cover operational costs, matching the city’s PEG funds for capital purchases.

PADNET is available throughout the city via Charter Communications and Verizon FiOS. It also maintains a 24/7 live streaming presence. PADNET is working to raise its own operational funds.

“This is a new paradigm about how public access moves forward,” noted Darick Simpson, LBCAP executive director. “It all starts locally.”

The channel has a staff of three, all with production backgrounds, but the vast majority of original content is produced by members and interns who have been certified to operate the equipment. Programs cover a variety of topics, including music, religion, fashion, local politics and nonprofits. PADNET also covers community events.

Paired with Canon lenses, the JVC GY-HM790 HD cameras have full studio configurations. Two cameras are mounted on Vinten pedestals along with prompters, while the third camera is positioned on a Vinten tripod with wheels. The new facility also features a new control room and lighting grid.

“We tried to make it a first-class operation for a city that deserves nothing less than that,” Simpson said. “On the other hand, it can’t be too intimidating. Some people are intimidated by the technology.”

The choice of JVC cameras in the new studio was designed to provide an easy transition from the JVC camcorders used in the field.

“We have a lot of different users. Some are pros, others have never touched a camera,” Mastramico added.

PADNET uses Final Cut Pro for editing, and the GY-HM150’s native file recording saves producers from spending time transcoding footage. 



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