Cable 8 productions received nearly $400,000 of student fees for a studio upgrade through the Services and Activities (S&A) Fees Committee for the 2012-2013 academic school year.
This upgrade is part of an ongoing update for the studio. Cable 8 plans to revamp and upgrade their entire studio to make it more compatible with the television industry's standards.
Last year, the student production group received more than $98,000 to update their cameras, said Spencer Kabelac, a junior communication major and chief financial officer of Cable 8.
A large portion of the funds for this year will go to fund the purchase of a new switcher for their studio. A switcher is a device that allows cameras to produce digital television. Their current switcher is 15 years old and not up to the industry standard, Kabelac said.
“The reason for the large increase (in budget) is because a switcher is a one-time large purchase,” said Joe Carreras, a junior communication major. “It’s the heart of the studio production process. When you have a 15-year-old switcher, you need to upgrade.”
Carreras also said the new switcher will allow Cable 8 to stay competitive in recruiting students.
“Cable 8 really helps students get first-hand experience on how to produce shows both in front of and behind the camera,” Kabelac said. “We don’t want students operating on old equipment.”
The new switcher and increased allocation of funds will contribute to Cable 8 completely digitalizing their studio.
“I’m pleased (with the increased budget we received) because it helps Cable 8’s push to become completely digital,” said Nick Pittman, a senior communication major. “It allows us to be more relevant to the communication field and prepare us for the environment we will be in after graduation.”
Cable 8 will have to give periodic reports to the S&A board to ensure the funds are going to what they were intended for.
“The money is always spent on what we’ve asked for,” Carreras said.
Kabelac also said that even if their money is staying in the bank account, S&A wants to be aware of what the money is being saved for.
Cable 8 is currently placing bids to purchase a new switcher.
“We are looking at discounts. Because we are an RSO at a university, we may get one,” Kabelac said.
Currently, Cable 8 is bidding with the Sony Corporation as the intermediary between Cable 8 and vendors. If Cable 8 wins the bidding process through Sony, the new switcher will be in operation by Spring 2013, Kabelac said.
“The bid process is tedious,” he said. “But it’s worth it to get an up-to-date studio for students.”