What do we need to get started?

Getting started with theprimarychannel couldn't be much easier

It's likely that your school already has most of the equipment you will need to upload and playback digital media around school. If your school already has a data network ('LAN') you can play videos and radio programmes from theprimarychannel anywhere you can connect a PC (or laptop or Mac) and get an Internet connection.

Elsewhere, we give some guidance on choice of video camera equipment, still cameras and setting up a radio station.

In addition to the equipment described above, you will need some space in which to set out your “studio” and a PC or laptop computer with which to edit and upload material to our servers. We advise the following:
  1. A room or space that can be used as your studio. The ideal is to have a room that can be dedicated for use as the studio – that can be decorated (eg; blue walls) and furnished as a permanent facility. But, even the corner of a classroom can be turned into a studio – by hanging a cloth backdrop, for example, (a suitable cloth comes with the Pinnacle video editing software package recommended below) and using tables or desks as your studio furniture. Whatever space you decide to use, it should be well-lit. Ordinary fluorescent lighting should be OK – even lighting is better than separate incandescent lights or spot lights that cast harsh shadows.
  2. A PC computer or laptop to at least this specification (If at all possible, this computer should be dedicated to the studio and have a clean operating system installed - ie, no other software previously loaded)
  • Windows XP with SP2 or Windows Vista operating system
  • Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor > 2.0GHz
  • 1GB RAM (Vista, 2GB)
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 or higher compatible graphics card (eg; Nvidia Geforce 6xxx or higher or ATI Radeon 9600 or better) with at least 128MB video memory (256MB preferred)
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible soundcard (most PCs that comply with this minimum spec have one of these as standard)
  • Minimum 5GB disk space to install editing software and minimum 20GB disk space for storage of videos being edited. Ideally you should have much more space available for editing and with 300GB disk drives available for around £50 this should not be difficult. NOTE: if you plan to use external disk drives, ensure they connect via Firewire or USB2.0 as video requires high sustained transfer rates. If in doubt, please ask.
  • A spare USB port or SD memory card reader
  • A DVD reader/writer to load software and burn DVDs of finished programmes.
  • A network connection to the Internet
  1. A copy of Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate video editing software (note: the Ultimate edition and version number are important)
  2. The school should have a broadband Internet connection of at least 2Mbps speed – preferably 8Mbps or higher for transfer of video material to and from our servers.
  3. A teacher or teaching assistant keen to act as the Studio Manager.