Hampton, New Jersey– April 29, 2011 – Kramer Electronics, a worldwide supplier of innovative switching products, put its technology to work helping Kiowa County, KS, rebuild after a devastating tornado that took 12 lives and left 1,200 townspeople homeless and without any communication.
Since the 2007 tornado, residents have been working to revitalize their community with an innovative multi-media communications hub. Due to be completed this year, the two-fold project includes a Media Center plus an HDTV production trailer for remote broadcasts that features Kramer products as the foundation. Working with Dr. Bert Biles, Executive Producer in the Division of Communications and Marketing at Kansas State University, and Janet West, President of the Board of Directors of the Kiowa County, KS, Media Center Foundation, Kramer provided nearly $10,000 worth of product at cost. The items included switchers, audio, video and DVI distribution amplifiers, and a variety of cables and accessories.
“We’re delighted to be involved in this exciting project,” said Clint Hoffman, Vice President of Marketing at Kramer Electronics. “We applaud Kiowa County for their unique approach to developing a communications method that will withstand any future storms. Kramer’s product technology and reliability make it the right choice for the backbone of the system,” Hoffman continued.
The Media Center is built around the concept of high definition television delivered via the Internet and “fiber-to-the-home” cable, an Internet radio station, and a significant web presence. It will use a novel, dedicated fiber system to provide “back haul” links from each of the remote sites in Kiowa County -- the football field and the basketball gym at the new K-12 public school campus, the new City Hall, the Kiowa County Courthouse and the Kiowa County Fairgrounds. The HDTV production trailer has the capability of delivering live high definition video from any location.
The HDTV production trailer is outfitted with 16 Kramer 1x4 HD/SDI video distribution amplifiers, four Kramer 1x4 DVI distribution amplifiers, and a Kramer 1x10 composite video and audio distribution amplifier for the most flexible signal routing. A computer-based 8-channel high definition switcher powers the system. The video signal travels to a Kramer DVI distribution amplifier, which simultaneously sends signals to the technical director’s monitor and to two multi-vision displays in the front of the trailer. The production trailer sends an HD/SDI signal from the Kramer distribution amplifiers back to the Media Center. The Kramer product maintains the quality of the HD signal, and the audio distribution amplifier allows the signals to be divided.
“We set out to build a center that runs in HD/SDI from start to finish,” Biles said. “We were able to achieve that with the Kramer product line – it all works together, it’s convenient, flexible and easy-to-use.”
Citizen journalists were trained on the equipment and have produced over 70 short features that were broadcast on YouTube from the Kansas State Fair. The new Kiowa County Commons building will house a permanent HDTV Studio, along with the library, museum and the Kansas State Extension office.