MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University recently made some major upgrades to their video production equipment at the Berry Events Center. The new equipment includes cameras from a company called Allied Broadcast Group, which sells used professional equipment from places such as NBC Sports, so NMU was able to upgrade their system using new, used, and existing equipment for a fraction of the regular cost.

The upgraded cameras include three professional style cameras that will replace the older cameras, as well as two new cameras that will help give new angles that will help enhance the crowd’s experience.

“There are two cameras that we added, one is called a PTZ camera, pan-tilt-zoom,” said Mike Lakenen, a producer and director for video and sports at Northern Michigan University. “It’s on the opposite side of the rink so we can see a reverse angle. We get really good shots of the penalty box and the home team, which was something that we always wanted to get, a nice shot of our own team in the building and we didn’t have a camera over there. So we put that camera over there to get a totally different angle. We also have a wireless camera that is able to go pretty much anywhere in the building and in the bowl of the seating area.”

The new cameras won’t just enhance the experience for the crowd, but using the equipment will also be a great hands–on experience for the students to learn on professional equipment to better prepare themselves for life after college.

“All of the students get to work on professional equipment that they’re going to find out in the real world when they graduate,” said Lakenen. “I’ve had some of them for over three years now, so they get a really good idea of what it’s going to be like out in the professional environment. To get their hands on and use equipment like that, the only way you’re going to do that is if you have ‘NBC Sports’ or ‘ESPN’ on a jacket, and this is a very rare opportunity for our students and we’re pretty excited about that.

The new mobile video production system also added two more positions to the game–day crew, bringing the total number up to eight students and two staff members, and this past weekend was the first time they were able to use it.