Setting up an elementary school television station can be an effective and fun way to bring education to life for students. The skills and discipline required to plan, script, present and technically produce a televised broadcast can help students in other areas of learning, such as comprehension, literacy, computer graphics and math. To set up a TV station, an elementary school will need basic video, audio, recording, lighting and editing equipment.
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Studio and Lighting
The school will need a space to house the television studio and equipment. The room should be well-ventilated, to cope with the heat of the studio lights, and should include plenty of power sockets for all TV station equipment. Studio lights will give a more professional look to broadcasts, but modern video cameras operate well in natural or standard room lighting too.
An elementary school TV station needs one or two standard or high-definition video cameras mounted on tripods or, if the camera needs to move during the broadcast or recording, on dollies, which are wheeled stands.
Hand-held microphones or clip-on microphones are a must to ensure the presenters, interviewers and interviewees can be heard properly. Camera operators will also need headphones, linked to an intercom system, to allow them to receive instructions from the producer or director.
Recording and Playout
The elementary school should invest in a DVD player for replaying prerecorded items, and a DVD recorder for recording the studio's output. The school will need one of each to allow recording and play-out simultaneously. The DVD equipment will connect to the editing and transmission equipment.
Editing and Transmission
A basic TV studio requires an audio mixer, a video switcher and a graphics computer--a standard desktop PC or laptop running a broadcast graphics program. These three items connect to form the hub of the school's TV station, allowing production staff to select, mix and edit all video and audio. The final piece of equipment needed is an RF (radio frequency) converter to transmit the studio output to the rest of the school via its cable system.
The school will need a range of cables to connect all studio broadcast equipment, including audio-in, audio-out, video-in, video-out, VGA (video graphics array) and RF cables. Cable connection types vary depending on the studio equipment.
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