Facilities Information

For more information contact: David Brinkley

High Definition Production Truck 



WKU has taken delivery of a new high definition digital mobile production facility that provides the highest level of remote television production possible. We invested two and a half years into planning and construction to provide a user friendly and spacious mobile unit.  It contains the highest level of industry components including a Grass Valley Kayenne Production Center; Six Ikegami cameras and Fujinon lenses.  We have a mixture of Grass Valley and AJA recording and playback components that allow for the isolated recording of all cameras and four active replay angles.  Also, Evertz Audio and Video Routers and multiviewer system allow for the routing and monitoring of 128 crosspoints. We have software that allows active file sharing throughout the internal truck network and other IP connected locations.  Filling out the compliment of equipment is a Chyron HyperX3.1 Dual Channel graphics generator, Yamaha M7CL-48 audio console and RTS Zeus III intercom system.  
Our facility contains all the tools necessary to produce and distribute HD events at the highest level.  And, we have been actively using it to produce home and away basketball games since November 2012.  We can be set in most facilities in two to three hours. We are highly portable and can be utilized in a wide variety of ways.  At WKU there is a rich history of quality television production and we are ready to showcase it at the next level.
LED Studio Lighting System
Our studio facility was built in 1969 and, because of some power delivery issues, needed to be rewired to function properly. The lights in our studio were not operating consistently, there were small electrical arcing problems, and wires were becoming fused together. Infrastructure was original to the design of the space. In the mid 1990’s the wiring began to show significant signs of wear. Replacement bulb prices continued to rise and the fixtures became even less reliable. The problems associated with a complete system replacement were significant. The power delivery system was unreliable and out of code so a simple renovation of fixtures was not possible. Wiring replacement at the same level, due to the amount of copper required, was unaffordable (approximately $200K). Also, bulb replacement costs for the existing fixtures were exceeding practical budgetary allowances. Finally, the lighting control system needed to be completely replaced due to long-term wear and non-functioning, non-serviceable parts.

Incandescent tungsten television lighting instruments were, by design, inefficient. These fixtures generate heat first, light second. This studio utilized eighty-five fixtures generating a combined 62,860 watts of light. But it was inefficient light generated as a by-product of heat. A secondary problem of this type of lighting was increased cooling costs. After a significant amount of discussion and research, we felt that our best option was a complete replacement of all wiring and lighting fixtures. We couldn’t replace the existing wiring because of the cost. We didn’t want to continue using the existing lights because of power consumption, heat, and replacement bulb costs. Enter LED lighting. Significant advancements had been made in quality of light generated by Light Emitting Diodes. Several companies were working on developing instruments that were stable enough for the specific demands of television lighting. At the same time, lighting power distribution companies were integrating computer based technology to solve power distribution issues. Through technology we were able to replace the wiring, distribution system, and all lighting fixtures for significantly less (25%) than the cost of just re-wiring the studio at the previous level. And, we reduced our lighting energy consumption by 97%, yes ninety-seven percent. We are now using 1,826 watts of highly efficient LED light for our entire studio. We originally had 1,500 amps of power installed in our lighting system. Today we utilize 38 amps.

Additional planning and technical advice was provided by True Grip and Lighting in Knoxville, TN (truegrip.tv) We used LED-Z lights (led-z.com) as the primary white (key, fill, and back) lighting source. We found that this particular brand and style of instrument worked best. It also passed all of our color reference tests. In all we used 17 -LEDZ Brute 9 instruments, 18 -LED-Z Brute 16 instruments, and 1 –LEDZ Brute 30 instrument. For color changing we used Dortron 39" LED Wall Wash Bars RGB 84W (28R, 28G, 28B) and Dortron LED Multipars 54W (18R/18G/18B). Control was provided by Jands Vista. The iTap Mobile VNC (Virtual Network Computing) app was installed on an iPad and other mobile devices to provide remote control of the lighting system. That feature has been useful when setting color and intensity. 

Since implementing this system we have been very pleased with the functional results. There have been no functional instrument failures and the system is working as designed.

WKU has added us to the campus sustainability tour as a regular stop and has placed descriptive signage outside our building. We were recognized with an Ohio Valley Emmy Award for Technical Achievement and we received the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) Enterprise Innovation Award for 2011. 


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WKU's PBS station, WKYU, will soon roll out its brand new high definition production truck. In this week's View from the Hill, Amy Bingham takes a look at this new addition that will benefit the university and the community for years to come.


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The WKU PBS LED Studio Lighting Renovation project involved replacing wiring, lighting communication technology systems, and lights. The innovative design has been recognized for utilizing "green" technological practices that reduce energy consumption by 97% in the studio.

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