UNO Television equipment is no longer older than UNO students.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Sept. 14 to celebrate the update from the old standard-definition format to 4K TV.
Grants from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, The Knowledge Network, a coalition of five Omaha-area schools, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded the project, which brought in about $130,000. Dr. Chris Allen, general manager of UNO Television and professor in the School of Communication, said not a single penny was taken from the state for this new equipment.
Allen spoke during the ceremony saying, “Our cameras were older than the students using them.”
He also pointed out that the software the studio was using wasn’t “supported by the company” anymore.
The new equipment means more opportunity for his students, and it’s not just for news.
“They can play around with it,” Allen said. “They can experiment with programs. They can do a talk show. They can do a sports program.”
Even though the new equipment is “more sophisticated” than before, because of the update’s students can learn the equipment faster and be less intimidated by it.
He wants students to be able to experiment with the new equipment. “If it works, great,” Allen said. “If it doesn’t, well, what’d you learn from it?”
When standard-definition format was used, students had to down-size their news projects. There were banners on either side of the screen to fill in the rest of the picture because all TVs sold in the U.S. are wide-screen high definition TVs. The new equipment lets students use the full screen when playing their stories and other projects.
The new equipment allows Allen and professor Jodeane Brownlee to continue producing “The Omaha News” with their capstone students and professor Mike Pacholski to continue producing “Consider This…” with his studio and field production students and host Cathy Wyatt.
It’s not just Allen and other communication faculty who are excited for the new equipment. Journalism and Media Communication senior, Analya Ramirez, said she hasn’t used the new equipment yet, but knows this semester will be full of “new experiences.”
The new studio gives “more opportunities for us students to show our creative abilities,” Ramirez said. “We have more access to equipment we otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to use.”
Ramirez is looking forward to the using the new studio throughout the semester.
“I can’t wait to explore my creativity with this new equipment,” Ramirez said.