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TV Studio Goes Online at Center for Inquiry

by Tom Flynn

The following article is from the Secular Humanist Bulletin, Volume 17, Number 4.

Campus Freethought Alliance coordinator Austin Dacey tries his hand at the digital video production system.Installation of the Center for Inquiry's new digital television production studio has been completed, making possible production of professional-quality broadcast and Internet video programs at the Amherst, New York, facility. The studio is now producing The Humanist Perspective, the Council for Secular Humanism's national cable TV access program with higher-quality digital picture and sound. A public education video has also been released, informing supporters of a new attack on secular humanism from the religious right. A recently-installed upgrade will make it possible for digital video produced in the studio to be converted into popular computer video formats and made available on the Internet.

Video SuiteThanks to a generous grant to the Council for Secular Humanism from the Institute for Humanist Studies of Albany, New York, the Center was able to purchase three digital video cameras, a digital video editing system, a digital video recorder, a video switcher, audio mixer, and support equipment. The apparatus was installed and wired by Center for Inquiry superintendent Vance Vigrass and Free Inquiry editor Tom Flynn.

"For live production, we've wired one of our seminar rooms for sound, light, and digital video," Flynn explained. "The signals go to the control room in my office, where we mix the sound, add titles, switch between images from the three cameras, and record the program." For educational videos and Internet production, individual camera shots and sound elements are loaded into the digital editing system where they can be recombined in any fashion to create a completed program. Programs can be distributed on analog or digital video videotape or as computer video over the Internet.

The Humanist Perspective, a weekly cable access television program hosted by Joe Beck, has been distributed in more than twenty markets nationwide. Volunteer sponsors are sought to add more cable systems to our network. More than 130 half-hour episodes have been produced.

Tom Flynn is the editor of Free Inquiry.

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