Since their transition to digital technology almost a half decade ago Northern Michigan University’s WNMU-TV, affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service, has gained even more recognition in the broadcasting world.
Not only have they won a respectful array of awards, among them the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Award for Best Student Sportscast, NMU students were also hired to work at the 2009 US Olympics events. The students were involved in every aspect of producing the 2009 US Olympic Speed Skating Trials and Speed Skating World Cup for image magnification throughout the arena. The Portacast® live production system that WNMU-TV used both on campus and on location at events – including the US Olympics events – was engineered and designed by South Florida based integration company Mobile Studios.
Mobile Studios built the Portacast® for North Michigan University with a plethora of features: Sport Integrated Replay System for live and slow motion replay, HS400 Multi-Format Switcher with multi-screen preview for monitoring on a single monitor, CGenie® Character Generator, V4HD converter, and HD-SDI to Firewire converter for plug and play editing on a laptop. That doesn’t even touch the surface of what the system has to offer. With beltpacks, lightweight headsets, intercom, and an integrated folding table to top things off you’ve got a complete, multi-cam production studio that securely conceals within Mobile Studios’ unique “flip top” and rolls with ease on heavy duty wheel casters with brakes. It became an indispensible tool for NMU students that provided opportunities to apply course lessons in a real-world, team setting with the common goal of creating high quality programming for live streaming.
The Mobile Studios Portacast® system was purchased in partnership with the Northern Michigan University’s CAPS (Communication and Performance Studies) department when the Sports & Special Event course was developed. Students were immersed in positions of live production such as director, technical director, audio, graphics, replay, camera operator, play-by-play and color announcer, and field reporter. Faculty used the system fulltime to teach students how to produce NMU football and hockey games, campus concerts, lectures, and other live events. Dwight Brady, Ph.D. Professor of Communications commented, “The Mobile Studios unit has created an exciting learning environment for our students. When students are enthused and motivated, it makes my job a lot easier.”
Mobile Studios, owned by Rich Rubin, meticulously builds their live production systems to be ideal for remote locations and are fully customizable. They tailor a variety of options to specific user requirements, streamlining a winning combination of ultra portability and innovation. Mike Lakenen, Chief Videographer for WNMU-TV says “Every time we use the system we seem to find more and more about its potential. The feeling of unlimited capabilities is one of my favorite things about the system. Mobile Studios, and specifically Rich Rubin, have been an invaluable resource for us. They have provided their expert assistance from the purchasing and design process all the way through set up, integration, and utilization.”
The future is looking bright for Northern Michigan University’s Sports and Special Events program at WNMU-TV. Now, with the demand for portable live streaming ever growing, Mobile Studios seems capable of meeting, even exceeding, the video production & broadcasting industry’s need for powerful yet easy-to-operate live streaming options. This is only the beginning for both Northern Michigan’s WNMU-TV and Mobile Studios. For these two entities, the platform for progress to take off is rightfully solid.
If you would like to learn more about WNMU-TV visit http://www.wnmutv.nmu.edu/
Information and pricing for Mobile Studios can be found at Mobile Studios or call 877-777-7147