captnitro asks: "I'm heading up a studio renovation at a rather large college's TV station. Ever since I've been there, we've operated on a huge ten year replacement cycle for equipment; that is to say, a few new pieces trickle in every year, and none of it ends up being compatible with the stuff we already have that was purchased in 1996. This is due t: a dwindling budget due to budget cuts ($12k); and management, never the station engineers, making the purchasing decisions. Here's an example: since lighting isn't deemed a crucial point of the station by management, we have ceiling mounted hardware-store-standard floodlamps which make the studio incredible hot while shooting; our cameras are eight years old, but nobody wants to buy new cameras because management wants $35k ENG cams when we don't even have the broadcast resolution to be able to use them. This year, however, things have changed, and the station geeks have been given full authority to choose what they want. My question is this: what would other A/V engineers in my position recommend for cheap solutions?"
"Our wishlist is as follows:
(1) New Lighting. I'm thinking some nice non-strobing flourescents to properly flood the studio but stay cool (KinoFlos?)
(2) Cameras. Canon XL1s's are the best idea I have, but I really haven't heard much concerning 'pro-sumer' priced studio cameras, so perhaps someone can help me out here. Cameras are more of a long-term goal. While we're at it, does anyone have ideas for a camera-mounted prompter solution? Right now we're running a shareware prompter app off of a Win95 box whose VGA signal is mirrored to camera-mounted prompter monitors.
(3) Audio. Cheap mixers and compressors -- anybody have experience with the Behringer UB series? Lav mics. Does anyone have success with wireless lav mics in a studio situation, or should we stick to our XLRs?
(4) Decks and format. Currently we're STILL using SVHS to record shows. I've been considering recommending a switch to something a little more versatile. Others like MiniDV, but I have preservation issues. In my heart of hearts it would be great to record master to BetaSP, but as I've said before, we don't even need that kind of resolution.
(5) IT. Right now more than anything we need to come up to speed on 'convergence technologies', such as streaming our shows. At a conference a few months ago I looked at Sonic Foundry's 'MediaSite Live' system, I liked it, but could probably put something together myself much cheaper. I've also considered an Xserve and QT Streaming Server, but I don't really have much experience with that. Being a BSD junkie myself I'm fully and completely open to Linux/BSD solutions.
Finally, anyone know a company that makes newsdesks? The one's we built on our own look like crap.
Mostly this question is to see what other small, budget-minded stations have done to creatively solve their technical needs. Any help is appreciated."