ABS Builds New Production Facilities for Washington State’s Bates Technical College

Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS), a veteran systems integrator located in SeaTac, Wash., has designed and built new production facilities for the Digital Media Program at Bates Technical College, a public college based in Tacoma, Wash. Students and Faculty officially moved into the new video production workspace on Jan. 4th, which are located in the new Advanced Technology Center on the Central/Mohler Campus.

Brian Parker, digital media instructor, said the two-year program at Bates prepares students for entry-level positions in digital media. The immersive curriculum includes hands-on projects as well as the opportunity to work with college-owned PBS member station KBTC and government channel Pierce County Television (PCTV), both of which are based on campus.

The new two-story, 55,000-square-foot building features a modern, open architecture. It was built next to the KBTC and PCTV facility, which had been retrofitted as a training studio 15 years ago by ABS.

Beyond instruction, the new studio is available for rental, generating capital for the school and training opportunities for its students. It features three Grass Valley Focus 70 Live CMOS cameras, two on pedestals with prompters and a third on a jib, each paired with a Fujinon 20x HD lens. The lighting grid offers a mix of daylight-balanced Kino Flo fluorescent, Litepanels LED, and ETC lighting instruments. However, Bates brought a few legacy scoops and other lights to the new studio for training purposes.

The new studio features three cameras and a lighting grid with energy efficient LED and fluorescent lights.

The new studio features three cameras and a lighting grid with energy efficient LED and fluorescent lights.

To handle audio, ABS installed a Yamaha QL5 digital mixing console. Each channel can be recorded discretely for training purposes. When students mix a live music show, for example, the recording can be reviewed, mistakes identified, and performance remixed in Avid Pro Tools.

Similarly, every camera can be ISO recorded to an AJA Ki Pro and the director’s instructions can be recorded from the Clear-Com intercom. After a production is complete, the program can be reviewed to discuss directing choices and terminology. Parker said Ross switchers are popular among the local broadcasters, so ABS installed a Ross Carbonite Black switcher and Ross XPression Prime for graphics. Fiber ports throughout the new building allow cameras to be input directly into the switcher.

ABS also built a central equipment room, which includes a Ross 16x16 SDI routing system, BrightSign XD1132 interactive media player, and Tightrope Media Systems Carousel 250 content management system.

After more than a month in the new facility, Parker said his students have already recorded an interview program and are moving toward more advanced productions. 

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