Video Morning Announcements
How To Use Video to Build School Community
You aren’t still reading your school morning announcements over a tiny public address system designed in the 1960s, are you?
Delivering live video morning announcements (news) school-wide – in the building and remote – is not only amazingly easy, it’s a great way to engage students, boost morale, and build a sense of community.
Setting Up Your "Studio"
You’ll need a place to record your morning announcements, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive broadcast studio. Most schools use a library “reading room,” classroom, storage room, or other suitable location.
And in the age of COVID, of course your broadcasting team can all be virtual.
Morning Announcement Video Broadcast Equipment List
Most schools have old AV equipment, but as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.”
You’ll want to use the newest technology and electronics to get the best quality picture and ease of use.
The equipment list is the same for remote broadcasting, although some elements will need to be replicated for each broadcaster or production contributor.
In the “studio,” use a modern camera with an HDMI output.
For the remote broadcaster, this could be a smart phone, webcam, or any mobile device.
If you use two cameras, your second video input could also be the HDMI output of a computer, allowing you to switch to show a web page, image, Powerpoint presentation, video, or anything else on the presenter’s screen.
Modern cameras will balance the light automatically, so you don’t need exotic lighting systems.
However bright and even lighting will improve the quality of the video and look more professional. Consider an inexpensive LED lighting system for your studio. An LED light ring is perfect for remote broadcasting.
You can use the microphone that’s built into the camera, but for best results a “newscaster”
should have a desk or wireless lavalier microphone.
If more than one person will be speaking, consider using multiple microphones connected to an inexpensive audio mixer.
Many webcasters also use the microphones in headsets or the one in the webcam. Accessories like wind screens and pop filters deliver cleaner sound and reduce background noises.
A green screen allows you to put images or videos behind the people on camera. To use this feature, you’ll need a green screen, which could be as simple as painting a wall green, hanging a green blanket, or using a commercial green screen setup.
Once you have your inputs of camera, mic, and presentation device, and an appropriate broadcasting space, you need an encoder and a video server.
What’s an encoder and how do you pick one?
Simply put, an encoder compresses and transforms the video into a stream. The stream runs over the school IP network to a server. The server sends the
live or recorded stream to whatever device requests it.
Example Shopping List
Canon XA10 HD
- 1/3” CMOS Sensor
- Native 1920 x 1080
- 24Mbps AVCHD Recording
- 60i, PF30, PF24, Native 24p
- 64GB Internal Flash Drive
- 10x HD Zoom Lens
- Dual SD Memory Card Slots
- 3.5” Touch Panel LCD Screen
- Dual XLR Inputs w/Detachable Handle
- Waveform Monitor, Peaking, Zebra 70/100
- Built-in Microphone, supports external mic
Magnus VT-3000 Tripod
with Fluid Head and Dolly
- Supports 6.6 lb (3 kg)
- 65mm Ball Diameter
- Quick-Release Plate
- Fixed Counterbalance
- Separate Pan/Tilt Locks
- 2 Stage Leg Design
- Mid Level Spreader
- Adjustable Wheel Base
- Independent Wheel Locks
- 31” Doorway Width
- Shure SM58
- XLR Cable & Boom Mic Stand
- 20’ cable
- Desk Stand
- Bescor LED-200K Twin 300W Kit
- Two LED Light Panels & Stands
- 304 5mm LEDs Per Panel
- 300W Equivalent Output Per Panel
- 5500K Color Temperature
- 15-100% Brightness Dimmer
- Two Soft White Diffusers
- Two Orange Correction Filters
- Stands Feature 74” Max Height
- HDMI Cable, 15 foot
- HDMI Mini Adapter
Making Students the Stars
For your daily morning broadcasts, be sure to make your students the “stars.” Student participation keeps students interested and helps to build and reinforce the school community. Students love it and their confidence and skills grow with practice.
Camera, Mic & Tripod Setup Instructions
- Mount camera on tripod; connect camera to power supply (charger)
- Mount microphone on stand; connect microphone to cable; cable to camera (if not using camera internal mic)
- Mount lights on stands; connect to AC power using provided adapters.
- Connect HDMI adapter and cable to camera; connect to Captiva HDMI input (Spirit, Rover, Streamsie, MCE, Mantis)
- You May Also Need
- Power cord extension; power strip for lights, camera power supply
- SDHC Memory Card (Class 10 UHS-1) for camera recording
Your Live Morning Announcements Broadcast
A morning announcement program is usually about 10 minutes long. It typically starts with a pre-recorded introduction, a pre-recorded Pledge of Allegiance, and a moment of silence. The camera switches to the newscasters who read the news, weather, and talk about special events. Sometimes there are guests, such as a local or national celebrity, teacher, or other person of interest. The program often ends with a pre-recorded segment.
Before you begin broadcasting live morning announcements, create a video called “Pledge of Allegiance.” You can record this in your new studio, but you may wish to use a video editor and create a video with professional polish.
For example, your video might start with a picture of your school and play dramatic music. The video might then ask students to “Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance,” followed by a reading of the pledge accompanied by a video of a waving flag. The video might then show interesting shots of your school set to dramatic music, followed by an announcement saying, “And now, here is today’s news.”
You might want to make another video to end your broadcast, perhaps with music and a credit roll.
Both the intro and exit video clips are available on your software encoder. In our Streamsie Pro they are accessed as “File as Input.”
Live Streaming vs. Recording
Your streaming software, or hardware encoder should let you stream, record, and do both simultaneously.
Broadcasting your morning video announcement in real-time can be exhilarating for students, but may not be the best option for your school. Although your newscast is streamed at a scheduled time, you can record your live broadcast to a video hosting server, like DEVOS, or with your software encoder to a local file.
Whether you broadcast in real-time or stream pre-recorded clips at the scheduled time, recording your content is always recommended. The recording is available as video-on-demand for anyone with the link, and to be shared on social media platforms and professional news organizations for the wider community.
Delivering the Video Morning Annoucements
Now that you’ve created your announcement, you need a way for people to watch it.
TVs, Devices & Digital Signage
Most modern classrooms are equipped with a computer attached to a projector or “smart board” capable of displaying video.
For classrooms still using TVs, the live video can be selected via a remote to a Roku-type set top box connected to the TV.
Alternatively, the TV can have a USB “stick” that receives the video from the server. With DiscoverVideo’s DEVOS system, TVs with SignSticks can display digital signage. The signage is interrupted to display the morning announcement, and returns to their normal display when the announcements are over.
Of course, individuals can watch from any computer or mobile device with just a web address, in or out of school.
When you use Discover Video to deliver morning announcements, you can also use the system to stream conventional TV channels to classrooms, boardrooms, and desktops, eliminating legacy “CCATV” systems.
Putting Your School Announcements Together
When ready to start your broadcast, press the Stream button in your software or hardware encoder. Select your introduction “Pledge of Allegiance” video. When that is complete, switch to show your camera video.
As the newscast progresses, you may switch to other video sources, change templates, add titles or overlays, etc. When the newscast is over, select the pre-recorded ending video, and when the broadcast is complete, simply stop streaming.
With a DiscoverVideo DEVOS streaming and video on demand platform, your broadcast is automatically recorded and uploaded to the server.
Allowing parents and extended family to “tune in” from home, at their workplace, and on their mobile devices enhances parental engagement by keeping them informed of their child’s school life. A personal login allows videos to be served over the public Internet, while protecting children’s privacy.
Video Communicates Best
Nothing communicates better than video; live or recorded, school morning announcements engage students and staff alike. With a streaming video platform and tools like the ones from DiscoverVideo, video school news, and more, can be affordable and easy.
Video School News Resources
- Learn More About our School Video News Kit
- Green Screen tricks and trips using OBS
- Streamsie® Software Encoder
A DiscoverVideo app for smartphones, tablets, PCs, and Macs for live streaming and recording. It can be used with any camera with our Captiva® Razor USB Converter. Free Download for PC, Mac and iPHone.
Open Broadcaster Software is an open-source software encoder. Free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- OBS Plugin
For DEVOS clients who want to use OBS and easily integrate with our service.
A lightweight mobile streaming system that incorporates the Streamsie Pro encoder onto a powerful laptop computer.
- Scorpion IPTV Encoder
Our Multi-Channel Encoder lets you deliver multiple video sources from one encoding platform. Ideal for internal cable TV distribution or 24×7 webcasting.
- Mantis® Encoder
A self-contained universal HD encoder for live HD streaming from multiple cameras and video inputs.
- Spider Encoder
“Video production in a box,” Spider supports multichannel inputs and switches display templates without software.
- DEVOS Streaming Platform & VoD Hosting
A live streaming and video on demand hosting platform to manage and deliver all your video content. Available on premises or as cloud service.
- Set Top Box
A simple appliance to allow any TV to connect to the network’s private IPTV and stream in-school content and traditional TV programming.
- SignStick ®
This USB media player turns any TV into digital signage
- All DiscvoerVideo Products
DiscoverVideo is a US-based leading software, hardware, and services provider for streaming live and on-demand video, presentations, and digital signage. We focus on the enterprise where network citizenship and security are crucial. We support a complete video ecosystem to stream, record, connect, manage, and deliver to any device anywhere. Our customers are schools, colleges, corporations, hospitals, and local, state, and federal governments.