UNC-TV creates hundreds of hours of original programming a year and much of it needs to be edited into the final product you would see on your television. That equates to thousands of hours of raw footage and B roll that must be seen in order to create that final product.
Nowadays, most of the material is digital and can be viewed from an office PC, laptop or similar device. In years past, it might be on any manner of videotape that could require a special tape deck or playback machine to watch. Thus screening rooms were set up where producers, directors, talent and other personnel could view raw footage or the perhaps a final edited product.
FYI: since the advent of digital, these screening rooms are virtually unused and most have been converted into audio booths or coopted as storage space or something else entirely. What’s in this one? Can’t tell you – the door is locked.
Here’s a sight you honestly don’t see much anymore at a TV station – a videotape cassette. Specifically, one of Brain Maker with David Perlmutter, MD. If you’ve ever seen this pledge special, it’s entirely possible it was broadcast from this source.
In the early days of television, all programming was broadcast live but the introduction of magnetic tape in the broadcast industry allowed programs to be recorded and shown later. Over the years, the videotape sources have changed and this is probably one of the last to be used here at the station. Most of the shows you watch on the services of UNC-TV these days air from digital or satellite sources and not from tapes like the one seen above.
Over the years, how television is produced and broadcast has changed dramatically. One of the biggest changes to occur during the lifespan of UNC-TV is digitalization. The shows you watch on your screen are now transmitted from digital files rather than videotape, as was the norm – even a few years ago.
That means sights like the one below are relics of the past.
This is a shot of one of the many shelves in our videotape library. A decade or so back, this library was filled with dozens of similar shelves, all stocked with videotape in different formats. These tapes were broadcast masters, edit masters, raw footage, B-roll and anything that might be used to edit together a program that aired on UNC-TV. Many of those tapes have been transferred to digital. Others have been thrown away because the videotape had deteriorated to the point of not being broadcast quality or even transferrable. A few remain, as those above, and may be retained for archival purposes or future production use.