At the BVE 2018 media and entertainment technology tradeshow, staff and students in higher education were sharing their opinion on what media equipment provided by their institutions was most highly valued and important. They also disclosed what they hoped would be invested in next. Here’s an overview of our findings from the show.
Most valued equipment already provided
As you would expect, high quality, industry standard equipment is highly valued, and many are proud of providing or benefiting from access to such high-end kit as: Arri Alexa cameras, Blackmagic cameras and ATEM mixing systems, Avid post-production, Red Dragon 6K cameras, and Sound Devices mixers. Several students from one institution were also very enthusiastic about their impressive TV studio for which they enjoyed trying out multi-camera work and gaining experience with vision mixers.
What's needed next
Ideas on where institutions’ money should be spent next resulted in a very long wish list indeed. But here are the main insights into what both students and staff want next:
- 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 maximise skills for potential work experience opportunities and to fulfil career aspirations
- 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
Simply put, anything ‘Industry standard’ is keeping staff and students happy, but they may be satisfied with less expensive equipment if it offers a comparable learning opportunity and good creative results. They are also very aware when their universities need to upgrade or provide greater numbers of certain items.
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’. By this token, it’s not surprising that the most important benefit of using booking and inventory management systems is judged as being improved availability of items for student use. Read more in our last post here.