ForA Switchers at Kern High School

New Education Center for Kern High School District Offers Digital Video Training with FOR-A Switcher

The new Career Technical Education Center in the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, Calif., offers a wide range of vocational education programs. To support its hands-on digital video coursework, CTEC includes a multi-room video production facility that features an HVS-100 video switcher and ClassX character generator from FOR-A Corporation of America.

Lisa Krch, instructor for the Video Production/Advanced Film and Cinema program at CTEC, said the new ClassX CG system is very intuitive. She also praised the HVS-100, noting the compact control panel is not intimidating. “It’s very user friendly and students feel comfortable jumping right in,” she added. “That ease of use is going to be a big asset in this teaching environment.”

John O’Donovan, account manager for VMI, Inc., the California-based system integrator for the digital video facility, said several different switchers were considered, but the HVS-100 offered the most value for the budget and as an instructional tool. “FOR-A has a traditional switcher that’s going to teach you the basics of switching that you need for a fraction of the price,” he explained.  

While the facility opened last fall, students have only been attending classes in person since late March, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Formal instruction using all the new equipment will begin at the start of the next school year.

The new video production space is a “big step up” from the portable where Krch had previously been teaching. It features four classrooms, including a studio, control room, audio recording room, and lecture room with 15 edit bays. Anchored by the HVS-100, the control room features a custom console with four workstations. The three-camera studio includes a full lighting grid, greenscreen wall, and a track and drape system with black and gray background options. Students also have access to ENG equipment for off-site productions.

Krch has already been contacted by community partners who want to work with CTEC students to create PSAs and other content. “Part of our mission at CTEC is to provide our students with career exploration,” she noted. “We have a lot of projects coming that are going to be very exciting for our students and our community.”

Beyond studio shoots, the HVS-100 will also be used to switch multi-camera productions from Innovations Hall, a 250-seat auditorium in the new facility. The studio cameras can be moved downstairs to the auditorium and connected to the control room via fiber, allowing the school to produce live coverage of a variety of programs and events.

“Giving the students this kind of experience with this kind of technology is not only a great experience in school,” Krch added, “but it really gives them an advantage when it comes to getting a job in this field.”

ClassX’s real-time 2D/3D HD/4K graphics playout software suite is popular with schools, news broadcasters, digital signage, and live sports and event productions. The LiveBoard option allows the HVS-100 and other FOR-A switchers to playout ClassX graphics directly. FOR-A is the exclusive distributor of ClassX in North, Central, and South America.

The HVS-100 (separate main unit and control panel) and HVS-110 (integrated main unit and control panel) offer mixed HD/SD-SDI input, frame sync on all inputs, and two keyers and two DSKs with dedicated 2.5D DVE. While the HVS-100 switcher offers eight HD-SDI inputs and four 4 HD-SDI outputs and one HDMI output, it can be expanded to support additional I/O. The HVS-110 offers 12 HD-SDI inputs, eight HD-SDI outputs, and one HDMI output. Other features include a built-in multi-view, macros and event memory, and clip memory to support playback of video or animations through the two channels of still store.

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