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HI-DEF New Studio keeps College at technology forefront

hd studioPellissippi State is once again perched on the cutting edge of technology. Spring semester, the College offered the first classes in a high-definition video and sound studio in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art.

The studio is one of the first of its kind in a Tennessee school. In fact, says Ron Bellamy, program coordinator of Video Production Technology, it’s one of the first in the state.

“The HD studio is one more way we are helping prepare our students to succeed in the workplace,” said Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi State.

The difference between standard- and high-definition TV is in the picture quality. HD offers the highest picture definition available.

“The new technology and equipment are expensive,” said Bellamy, “but HD products are sweeping the market.”

The Bagwell Center and its equipment were made possible in part by a $1 million donation to the Pellissippi State Foundation from the Haslam III Family Foundation.

When the facility was in the development stage, a standard-definition studio was budgeted and designed by a consulting firm. However, another generous gift, this one from the husband of an alumna (Annette Perin, 1999 VPT graduate), changed things.

Dick Perin, a senior systems engineer for Turner Broadcasting, offered to upgrade the design for the standard-definition studio to high definition for free. Not only did he redesign the studio, but he also found ways to purchase HD equipment on a standard-definition budget.

“We appreciate the generosity of Dick Perin,” said President Edwards.

High definition is the future of video and audio production, and the changes are coming fast. Starting next February, all traditional “analog” television signals will be discontinued, as digital takes over.

During this conversion period, the need still exists for both high definition and standard. For example, students must know how to shoot or record in high definition and convert the product to standard definition, and vice versa, says Bellamy. For that reason, the studio has maintained analog and digital standard-definition equipment in addition to the new technology.