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New England School of Communications Gets Students on (Grass Valley) Kayaks

The New England School of Communications has purchased two Grass Valley Kayak HD switchers from Thomson. One is currently installed with its existing production studios and the other is on board a brand new HD-capable mobile production truck that serves as a full service audio and video production facility on wheels.

NESC is located on the campus of Husson College in Bangor, Maine.

While productions will initially be shot in SD, the Kayak HD switchers will allow the school to build new HD facilities using the Kayak switchers as the heart of their HD production infrastructure when the time is right, thereby protecting its investment.

The two Kayak switchers were chosen so that students could work with the same intuitive touch-screen interface whether in the studio or on the road. Finished programs are fed live and tape-delayed to the campus network, which is all fiber-optic on Time Warner Cable.

The new mobile unit is a 32-foot trailer and includes an all-digital SDI signal path that houses multiple digital cameras that are fed into the Kayak HD switcher. The truck will be rolled out this fall to produce three music concerts, two football games, a holiday concert, and a student-produced game show.

"The New England School of Communications not only excels at video production, but it also maintains a first-rate audio recording and engineering program and the new digital truck is a big part of that curriculum," said Rodney Verrill, executive director of video production. "What makes the truck unique is that in addition to its video capabilities, it serves as a fully functioning mobile audio recording studio. We chose the Grass Valley Kayak as the centerpiece of our studio and mobile operations because it offers fantastic functionality for the price and it is easy to teach students to run."

A Kayak switcher has also been installed in the control room of the school's 24'×26' production studio, which is used to support the school's journalism program in the production of education-related talk shows, local sports shows, and a daily newscast.