“Testing, testing…one, two, three.”
Chances are, things in television studios one, two and three in Annenberg Hall are running smoothly after their recent hefty renovation project.
The three television studios used by the broadcasting, telecommunications and mass media department and Temple University’s live news program, The Temple Update, have all had major technological upgrades.
Rick Beardsley, the Television Studio Operation Coordinator, has overseen the renovations.
“It’s a really nice place for people that are interested in learning the basics of broadcasting in general,” he said. “All the facilities work and are set aside exclusively for student work, which is unique in a lot of schools. All the studios are very busy.”
A total cost of about $250,000 turned studio three, its main studio, into a completely digital studio. Studios one and two were also upgraded.
Equipment in studios one and two still work from an analog signal, although they record digitally.
“All the TV studios have been equipped with the Pinnacle Deko graphic system, digital cameras, teleprompters and Strand lighting systems,” Beardsley said. “Studios one and two are mostly analog studios, while studio three is almost exclusively digital.”
The majority of students at the University work in studios one and two more than studio three. They are primarily used for BTMM and theatre courses. Their large open spaces make them ideal for projects such as talk shows, news programs, dramas or skits.
“[Studio three] makes the only show that we actually air on cable that is done by Temple students look extremely professional,” Beardsley said. “When we built the studio we not only wanted to go state of the art, but we wanted to make sure that the equipment was not that sophisticated that students couldn’t handle it.”
Even though most professional news programs are moving on to high-definition technology, the University will most likely keep working with digital until it receives more funds to upgrade.
“We’ll be able to use this current equipment for a while,” he added. “I think the most important thing is to have a competent studio where people can learn the basics and the rudimentary use of the facility.”
Temple’s production facilities are some of the best of Philadelphia’s many colleges. The University’s practical, hands-on approach to the equipment moves Temple students a step ahead of those who graduated from other schools in the area.
“I know of no other school in the area that has three operating TV studios for student use only,” Beardsley said. “Our students are the ones they want at the TV news stations because our students are the ones that know the basics. They don’t have to be trained as much as a Penn student does or a Delaware student.”
The hope among administrators and faculty in the BTMM department is that their cable TV station, which was dropped in 1994, will be up and running again soon.
If the department receives sufficient donations, the station can reopen and one of the three TV studios can become the new work area.
The only question now is where to put this proposed upgraded station. Beardsley said, “They’re debating whether to put the new TV studio here in studio one or to put it in the new community building that’s going up near the Draught Horse.”
Barbara J. Isenberg can be reached at email@example.com.