ntTV (North Texas Television), the student-run television station at the University of North Texas in Denton that was the recent recipient of the 2018 Broadcast Education Association’s National Signature Television Station award, has upgraded its studio communications with variety of Clear-Com® intercom solutions, including a HelixNet digital network partyline system and FreeSpeak II digital wireless intercom system.
“We had two goals,” said Martin Dzurenko, Chief TV Engineer at ntTV. “We needed to replace an existing system that we had outgrown, and wanted to provide our students with the type of gear that they will use in the real world. All of the network-affiliate stations in our market use Clear-Com and we wanted our students to have that competitive advantage.”
The students at ntTV now use the HelixNet digital partyline, FreeSpeak II digital wireless intercom system, LQ Series IP interface and wireless IFB with 12 channels to produce a minimum of 10 live newscasts a week from two studios.
“Durability is a must in this type of environment with the number of students using the system daily,” explained Dzurenko. “With live newscasts, taped studio shows and classes using the intercom, I know that I can rely on Clear-Com.”
The new Clear-Com system has expanded ntTV’s ability in both of its studios by giving each one added intercom channels, as well as providing dial-in IFB. It also ensures the school is prepared for the forthcoming expansion of a third studio across campus.
“One of the best features is the ability to reprogram what channels we are using to suit the broadcast — especially if using both studios,” said Dzurenko. “While an obvious benefit is the ability to use the LQ IP interface to expand the entire system, sometimes a great benefit is the simplest; like the flashlight on the bottom of the FreeSpeak II beltpacks. That’s been especially useful to our crews.”
The first major workout for the new Clear-Com system was ntTV’s midterm election coverage, which included six separate live shots — something that would be impressive for a commercial broadcaster, let alone a student-run station staffed by volunteers.