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Santa Ana College Selects FOR-A’s Character Generator

More than 260 transition functions come standard, including roll, crawl, fade in, fade out, slide and wipe.

Santa Ana College, located in Orange County, Calif. has acquired FOR-A’s VTW-330HS high-definition/standard definition (HD/SD) character generator (CG) that can be used in conjunction with an existing FOR-A digital switcher, the company said in a written statement.

Santa Ana College selected FOR-A’s (of Fort Lee, N.J.) VTW-330HS character generator in part because of its ability to grow with the school, the company said. More than 260 transition functions come standard, including roll, crawl, fade in, fade out, slide and wipe. For video input, it is equipped with video and key input terminals, enabling capture of HD/SD-SDI video. For video output, it is equipped with program and preview output, allowing independent video/key output of each.

The “GenCG” software included with the VTW-330HS provides an intuitive easy-to-use user interface. Images can be imported from Adobe Photoshop and other programs to create multi-layer graphics, plus still images can be captured from live HD/SD video for graphics as well. An auto-preview function allows the operator to instantly check the image over live video, while a thumbnail or list display allows confirmation of on-air and upcoming graphics.

Similar to a commercial television station, the Santa Ana College facility has two stages, each equipped with three cameras and a prompter. Randy Schultz oversees operations in the television production department and teaches the “Studio Production” class at the college. “We’re a vocational program,” said Schultz. “We’re preparing students for entering the work force, and we try to create a real-world environment similar to what they’ll experience when they graduate.”

In Schultz’s classes, students learn to operate equipment as well as write, produce, and do field production. The program also teaches broadcast journalism and runs a student-produced weekly news program. Santa Ana is also the first college in the country to produce a Spanish language news program.

For Schultz, the FOR-A VTW-330HS HD/SD character generator was chosen for its ease of installation, operation, and price point. “The graphics are very good,” he said. “And our students are able to operate it after one short training session.”

Schultz was assured by his team at FOR-A that the character generator would hold up to the rigors of a learning environment. “The drives are partitioned in the VTW-330HS, so if one aspect becomes corrupted, it doesn’t destroy everything,” he said. “The operating system and program itself are on different portions of the drive. With students frequently downloading applications online, they’re always bringing in viruses, and that was a major concern for us.”