This year’s NAB show is approaching fast! Many of us will be making the annual trip to Las Vegas for ideas on how to spend our media equipment budgets. In this post, we’re sharing with you some useful information in advance of your visit – recent findings gleaned from our Higher Education survey.
Lorensbergs works with a large number of institutions offering film and TV production, journalism and communication programs to undergraduates. Our connect2 reservation and checkout software helps these colleges improve student access to the relevant kit – often a fundamental part of their courses.
In preparation for NAB, we asked them which types of resources for student use institutions should invest in next. Over 100 staff and students shared with us their opinions…
Higher Education media equipment – what to invest in next
Ideas on where institutions’ money should be spent resulted in a very long wish list indeed. But here are the main insights into what both students and staff want next:
- New technologies to try out and stay ahead of the curve (e.g. drones and 360 cameras), and to ensure that student skills are ‘future-proofed’ for industry, such as familiarity working in 4K and now 6K
- A greater choice of devices and types of kit to broaden their experience e.g. some students mentioned needing experience of using external recorders as part of modern workflows and good practice
- The versatility of equipment in practical applications (such as the Lumix GH4, used for film/video and photography) and to support their creative freedom, e.g. a greater range of lenses
- Sufficient capacity in servers and computers to support post-production 4K work and performance of applications, as one respondent said: “We’re almost at max RAM now and new software requires more”
- Having adequate quantities of kit, so they can use it longer and have freer access, especially in the essentials, such as Canon 5D DSLRs and Sony FS7 camcorders
- Some expressed the importance of getting the best value for money, indicating the practicality of their choices, e.g. the DJI Ronin gimbal or the Microtech Geffel omnidirectional microphone, both suggested as being as good as industry competitors but at a much lower price
- Equipment for outside broadcast, to maximize skills for potential work experience opportunities and to fulfil career aspirations
Currently anything ‘Industry standard’ is keeping staff and students happy, for example, Arri Alexa cameras, Blackmagic cameras and ATEM mixing systems, Avid post-production, Red Dragon 6K cameras, and Sound Devices mixers. But are your budgets big enough to accommodate these hopes and expectations? Fortunately, our survey results indicate that students may be satisfied with less expensive equipment if it offers a comparable learning opportunity and good creative results.
Overall, 60% of participants felt that access to the right equipment was ‘essential’ when studying subjects around film, media and TV production. A further 30% felt it was ‘very important’ or ‘important’. Many were also very aware when their institutions need to provide greater numbers of certain items of equipment. By this token, it’s not surprising that the most important benefit of using scheduling and inventory management systems like connect2 is judged as being improved availability of items for student use. Read more in our last post here.
If you are not yet a connect2 customer, contact Danny Thomas to find out more and to arrange a personalized demonstration of the software, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646 583 2215.