New studio technology - non-broadcast
Columbia Business School’s compact broadcast system solves space issues
In a competitive environment, universities, just as corporations, need to market their products by presenting a strong public image. Columbia Business School in New York City is no exception. The school’s renowned scholars, teachers and faculty members are on the cutting edge of issues affecting the marketplace and are available to share their expertise with reporters and editors.
This task has been made easier and more effective with the recent installation of a television broadcast facility at the school’s uptown campus.
Before the new studio, faculty experts had to fight Manhattan traffic to travel downtown, or go to distant locations to participate in business and financial news programs. Dean R. Glenn Hubbard, who makes regular appearances on PBS’ “Nightly Business Report,” used to spend three hours round trip to make his appearance on the show. Now, he walks to the new studio in Uris Hall, completes the interview and is back in his office in 15 minutes.
Floor space in Manhattan is always at a premium and is scarce on the campus. Before construction of the new media room, post-production editing was done at a desk in an AV equipment rack room.
The project team identified a computing lab that, with some redesign and custom millwork, could be reduced in size and retain 80 percent of its seating capacity. The space was divided in half, one half for the media room and control room and the other half for the computing lab. Luckily, the space was located at the core of the building so soundproofing was not needed to deaden street noise.
Due to limited space and budget, the selection of a live broadcast system became a prime consideration. Ease of use was a secondary objective. The multimedia staff looked at several systems, but they were all component-based, took up too much room, seemed overly complex and required engineering.
In the end, the staff purchased a BureauCam BCSO-2500 system by Media 3. BureauCam is a compact, fully integrated broadcast system designed to provide live shots for local and remote operations via network or dial up.
Because everything is built into the system, installation was simple, and the school was quickly able to make a fiber-optic connection to a local routing hub to broadcast to all major U.S. and foreign markets. The entire project was fast-tracked and took only four months from the initial suggestion to lighting the fiber.
Besides regular use by faculty for live broadcasts, the new facility has increased the school’s overall video production capability. Professors use the studio to record teaching materials for classroom use, distribution to students and streaming over the Web.
The new facility also created an unexpected revenue stream from non-university users looking for an uptown studio for live broadcasts.