NDI® Changes the Game for Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting HS Magnet
November 13, 2018 by Chuck Baker
Sometimes life brings you right back around to where you started. For Stu Stein, that was from going to school for film and TV and working in television, including stints at WNYC-TV and Comedy Central, to teaching film and TV in an advanced high school program, Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting. In between was acquiring a teaching degree and a seventeen-year long arc teaching social studies.
“When Bellmore-Merrick was looking to begin the Broadcasting program, [Assistant Principal Marie] Netto and I had a conversation about my background. After a second conversation with Ms. Netto where she was more direct with what the district was looking for I jumped at the opportunity to return to my roots,” says Stein.
Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting is a magnet program established in 2016 at Mepham High School in the Bellmore-Merrick school district, Long Island, NY. The program delivers a four-year major in broadcast communications, with students applying for admission in 8th grade. All aspects of production on both sides of the camera are available for the students to learn and do. Types of productions range from a weekly news and announcements show for the school to recreating movie scenes, covering live sports and other live events, creating music videos, and more.
The program is ramping up for its first few years. For the first two years the program accepted 16 students; for the third, 25, and plans are to do another 25 for the fourth year. Another teacher will also be added. The team also includes studio manager and technician Matt Russell.
Coursework for the four year program is:
- Broadcast Communications I – for freshmen – uses the history of broadcasting to teach basic production skills. Projects include recreating a movie scene, creating a commercial and a music video to name a few.
- Broadcast Communications II – for sophomores – is a broadcast journalism course which also gives students skills in operating our studio equipment.
- Broadcast Communications III – for juniors – focuses on narrative storytelling with students recreating scenes from sitcoms and film noir in our studio before creating their own short works.
- In their senior year, students will have the opportunity to work independently in an editing lab while they seek out internship opportunities in the community.
The heart of the studio is a NewTek TriCaster® Mini backpack-portable HD multi-camera integrated production system, which offers integrated live titling and motion graphics, downstream keying, virtual sets, mix effects buses, and more, with output to IMAG, broadcast and live streaming. For sports productions the program has a NewTek 3Play® Mini, HD multi-camera sports production system and video server, which provides 4 in/2 out synchronized replay, with variable speed playback from -200% to +200%, 4 channel iso-recording for complete archiving of all camera feeds, titles, graphics, social media publishing and more. The production equipment is rounded out with a healthy complement of 8 JVC camcorders for the field and 3 Panasonic studio cameras.
A key strength of NewTek production systems is NewTek’s royalty-free NDI® bi-directional IP technology for transport of video, audio and data over standard networks. Prior to adopting an NDI workflow, the studio equipment was packed up and transported to live events such as sports, concerts, etc. That the equipment was portable helped, but the setup took time and space at the venue plus labor to setup and connect everything with baseband cabling. This year the program implemented NDI connectivity for their cameras and for the equipment within the studio facility.
“NDI has changed our world as we no longer need to pack up our studio. As long as we stay in district all we need to do is run our cameras into a network switch and we can keep our control room set up at home while a remote crew records and commentates on the event.” – Stu Stein, teacher-in-charge, Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting
On the horizon: next year the studio will get an upgrade to NewTek’s TriCaster TC1, 16-input 4Kp60 IP/3G-SDI multi-camera production system with dual-streaming capability. Available in a variety of configurations that are often priced similarly to equivalent HD-only production systems, TC1 will put into the students’ hands feature-for-feature the most complete integrated production system on the planet, with triple the pixel-processing power of anything else in the 16-input class.
Read the complete interview with teacher-in-charge Stu Stein at School Video News, for more insights and information: Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting (Long Island)
Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting Equipment:
- NewTek Tricaster Mini
- NewTek 3Play Mini
- NewTek LiveText
- 30 Mac systems
- Adobe Premiere
- Avid Media Composer
- Magicue Teleprompter Drone
- 8 JVC handheld camcorders
- 3 Panasonic studio cameras
- Studio floor with lighting grid
- Green screen