Source: Sherman Publications

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ITV move ready to go
Public access station heads to high school

by Andrea Beaudoin

October 09, 2013

Independence Television has new management, employees, and home at Clarkston High School.

Independence Township hired Matt Bleau and Matt Herron to work at ITV. Bleau and Herron are working on over 20 public service announcements with students, along with new shows featuring township events and activities not covered in years, said township Supervisor Pat Kittle.

ITV recently purchased nine new cameras and an outdoor kit totaling just over $100,000. Equipment was paid for out of a Public, Education and Government (PEG) fund collected from a percentage of residents cable television bill.

Clarkston TV Producer Norman Pardo can't understand why the equipment is so pricey.

Pardo said Clarkston TV just purchased a camera for about $1200 that he said performs all the same tasks as the expensive equipment purchased by ITV and approved by the Independence Township Board of Trustees.

Pardo added cameras purchased at $1,500 would also include all the extras and be high definition quality.

Pardo advised ITV should have bought several dozen cameras.

"I think they should have bought 60 cameras and give them to all the kids," he said. "Why buy just a few cameras for the elite when you could buy a lot of cameras? It's just a waste of money especially when the equipment goes old after a year or two."

Pardo added that he does not believe ITV needs such high quality camera for the signal they are broadcasting on public access.

ITV Program Manager Joe Barhardt said the new cameras are expensive because it will allow staff and students to shoot an event, take it to the studio and air it shortly after with little need for editing.

He said the cameras are also interconnected and allow for someone to direct different shots while recording.

Barnhardt said before the new equipment, he would have to edit the videos, but now since different shots will be taken as the event is recorded, it will allow the event to have different shots and save on editing time.

"Before, I would spend eight hours editing an event," he said. "We will be able to do productions faster."

Barhardt said the expense include many bonuses. The outdoor kits contain three cameras, a video switcher, graphics, an audio mixer and other added equipment.

Pardo said the equipment Clarkston TV just purchased has all the same bells, whistles and editing capabilities.

"The whole thing just doesn't make sense" he said. "They are just wasting money."

Pardo added that the cameras purchased are HD, a signal ITV cannot broadcast.

Township Supervisor Pat Kittle said Pardo made his opinions heard.

"While we are aware public access does not provide bandwidth for local communities to air HD shows on the PEG channels at this time, high definition material can be broadcast in the schools and HD materials can be replicated on DVD for distribution to citizens as well as for viewing on the internet," said Kittle.

The supervisor added students learning on state of the art HD equipment are lessons learned that are immediately transferable to the workplace. "We thought this to be important" he said.

Kittle said although the HD cameras are more pricey than low definition cameras, the added features and functionality were worth the added expense and provide a longer shelf life before they will need to be replaced.

He acknowledged Pardo had suggested the township check prices with a particular vendor, and they did.

"We found most components to be relatively close in price," said Kittle. "Some were a little higher, other were a little lower, but both fairly competitive to each other."

ITV has been working to complete a move from a studio located on Maybe Road to the Clarkston High School, but had been delayed due to the installation of necessary fiber optic communication cables.