Student TV station may soon launch

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The school district is just $16,000 away from a student-produced TV station.

The North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center has most of the technology it needs to get CCTV on the air, said Lisa Hitt, instructor of broadcast arts at the vocational technical school.

The station could potentially broadcast live Port Angeles High School away games, student-produced television shows and programming, Lower Elwha Klallam tribal programming and educational programming, Hitt said at a vocational and technical education meeting this week.

All that remains is a $16,000 Leightronix programming digital video recorder to code the shows for cable, she said.

Hitt said the school is looking for grants to cover the cost of the technology but also would be happy to accept local sponsors, who would receive advertising on the station in exchange.

Cable channel

Port Angeles cable provider Wave Broadband is ready to build the connection from the school’s broadcast classroom to Wave’s system, and it has a local channel set aside for the school district’s use, said Mike Sturgeon, construction coordinator for Wave Broadband in Port Angeles.

All that remains before the connection is installed is a final letter from Superintendent Jane Pryne to Port Angeles City Manager Dan McKeen indicating that the school district’s end of the operation is ready to go, Sturgeon said.

Hitt said that will happen as soon as the school has the programming DVR.

All of the other equipment and personnel are in place, and Hitt said she is seeking a temporary Internet host for students to take a practice run at their broadcasting future by doing live streaming of some Port Angeles games.

The school district’s website could not handle the bandwidth needed for live streaming, said Bill Every, district technical director.

Technology class

The vocational technology class pulls students from Port Angeles, Sequim and Crescent high schools, and is in such demand that students are being turned away because of a lack of space.

“We have 12 computers and 13 students,” Hitt said.

Hitt said many of the broadcast students are advanced-placement and honors students in their respective high schools, a different demographic from many of the classes at the skills center.

“We’re living in a communication society. The kids need these skills,” she said.

In the past two years, the summer school version of the class has assisted on the sets of three television shows or movies filmed on the Olympic Peninsula, giving students valuable on-set experience with professional television and movie producers.

Entry to the class has become a competitive process.

The students have the training, skills and equipment to shoot “live remotes” with multiple cameras and motion graphics, Hitt said.

“We are going to be good enough,” she said.

Currently, the CCTV advisory board is chaired by Peter Duncan of Presidio Managed IT Services.

Members of the board are Hitt; Sturgeon; Every; Todd Ortloff of KONP Radio; Ryan Herring, producer and director of “The Olympians” TV show; student representative Shawn Bennett; graduate representative Sarah Lindquist; Peninsula College athletic director Rick Ross; Crescent School District board chair Tracey Groves; Crescent Superintendent Clayton Mork; Port Angeles district athletic director Dwayne Johnson; and School Board member Cindy Kelly.

The city of Port Angeles also has a seat on the board that is currently unoccupied.

In the past, the Elwha tribe had a representative on the advisory board, and a new tribal representative would be welcome, Hitt said.

Students will be responsible for most of the work to keep the television station on the air, with a requirement of four hours of original programming per week, she said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 18. 2012 5:47PM
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