On October 8th, 2019, the Velcro Pygmies came to Geneva High School. And they ROCKED!

And the Panther Sports Network was there to bring it to you live and in your face! But, if you weren’t able to watch the PSN live-stream of the concert, have no fear! You can still experience it on our NFHS page. Just click here.

 Velcro Pygmies Geneva High School Reach and Teach
They came, they saw, they ROCKED!

The Velcro Pygmies, hailing from all over the southeast and known for their high-energy rock show performances, are also an instrumental (pardon the pun!) part of an awesome school outreach program called Reach and Teach.

Reach and Teach Velcro Pygmies Geneva High School

What is Reach and teach you ask? Well nothing can say it better than their own website:

“Reach and Teach is an educational program that allows students to plan, promote and execute a concert, giving them hands on experience, which not only teaches content knowledge but also employability skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving. Complete with all lesson plans and resources, Reach and Teach is geared toward career and technical education, specifically business and marketing, and implemented into the daily classroom activities.”

https://www.reachandteach.rocks/about-us
Velcro Pygmies Lead Singer Cam
Velcro Pygmies Lead Singer Cam rocking the crowd!

Through the Reach and Teach program, the marketing and business students and FBLA officers of Geneva High School had an opportunity to learn all aspects of planning and executing this rock show, from garnering sponsors, to designing tickets and merchandise, to assembling the stage. They also could learn about other tangential aspects of organizing productions such as this by doing the backstage catering for the band members and VIP ticket holders, organizing a meet and greet for the show sponsors, and also doing required post production analysis of the success or failure of each part of the endeavor.

Velcro Pygmies Panther Sports Network
If it is too loud, you’re too old!

Though the Reach and Teach program is designed to target all students, it is especially geared to reaching the unique and artistic students that might otherwise not be engaged in normal classroom activities, and gives them an opportunity to use and explore their creative talents that might not be available in a “normal” classroom setting. Music is an artistic endeavor, and producing a full blown rock show gives these students all sorts of opportunities to be creative, from ticket design, t-shirt and merchandise design, set design, etc. All hands on and real world opportunity and experience.

Velcro Pygmies rock the crowd

PSN Go Fund Me Campaign??

Why does PSN have a Go Fund Me Campaign?

That is an excellent question! And, just to give everyone some background on the equipment, what it is for, why we want it, etc, here is the scoop.

Since PSN started, we have been expanding in leaps and bounds. We started with one camera and one tripod, and the other geeky bits needed to get the video from the camera to magically stream out to the internet and into your phone, computer, or smart TV. Though it was about the most basic setup you can have and still live-stream video, it worked great and we used this setup for most of our first season on the air.

But, nothing that stays the same ever grows, and we wanted to grow rather than stagnate. So, last year we got the idea of adding multiple camera views. You know, just like you see on other sports networks (ESPN doesn’t only use one camera per game, ya know?), including having wireless sideline cameras covering the awesome award winning “in your face” shots.

So we checked into how to do this…EXPENSIVE! The least expensive video switcher we would find was $1000.

That is a lot of cheese! And this was just for the magic box (shown above) that lets you switch from one camera to another, and did NOT even include the actual wireless HDMI camera equipment like the big boys use. But we DID find a reasonably priced $300 wireless HDMI video transmitter and receiver that looked like it just might work AND save $700 or more!

PERFECT!

We tried to take the “duct tape and bailing wire” engineering approach along with some good old country boy enthusiasm and make this cheaper wireless video option work! We will strap the transmitter onto a camera with some zip ties, attach this wad to a camera tripod, power it up with a cheap phone charging battery pack and *BAM* we are in business! In your face, Mr. & Mrs. $1000 professional wireless video thingie-do manufactures!

WRONG!

Well, partly wrong anyway. It worked perfectly fine for transmitting and receiving wireless video on a television or screen.

These were reasonably priced, but did not work for a wireless sideline camera. *sad face*

But the wireless HDMI transmitter and receiver we thought just might work as a low budget solution (shown here to the left) apparently didn’t work with the video specifications of our video switcher, and so it wouldn’t allow us to get the wireless video into our internet stream*.

Wow, who knew? Anyone that knows how to work on computers, is supposed to know everything about anything electrical or technical right? Well, sometimes things just don’t quite work out.

But, even though this wireless HDMI equipment didn’t work as we intended, it wasn’t purchased in vain! We have experimented with it to give video to the concession stand at softball and baseball, and we also used it once this year to do the same thing for the football concession stand on the home-side as well. (We are hoping to get the concession stand workers addicted to it and then get free food for the PSN crew in return…but we’re still working on that, so stay tuned right here for updates!)

Any way, the video switcher we originally purchased for wireless camera additions certainly wasn’t wasted either, and we have used it in just about every broadcast since then. If you’ve watched any sporting events on PSN in the last year, and have seen the view switch from one camera angle to another, well that’s the magic video switching box in use. It is pretty awesome, and with it we have been able to have a total of up to four camera views , or as we have been using it for the last two football games, for 3 cameras and the 4th video input is used for that awesome PSNstant Replay that Mr. Kevin Zheng developed (in your FACE Mr. $3500 instant replay equipment maker! This time the cheap duct tape and bailing wire method DID pay off! Instant replay for a total of about $50 in parts and pieces!)

So…the low-budget, piecemealed wireless sideline cameras didn’t work as planned. Which is why you don’t see any PSN cameras on the sidelines (YET!), and why, as a PSN viewer, you don’t see any receivers running towards the camera, or quarterbacks throwing the balls right into your living room.

But…we haven’t given up!

Isn’t this a beast!?!

This is why we want the current video camera and wireless video transmitter for which we are now trying to raise money. The camera is professional quality, and isn’t the $200 home level “little Susie has a ballerina recital” cameras we currently use. It is a real, live, professional quality 4K high definition slap-yo-mama and get out of town broadcasting camera. Heck, it even has the word “Professional” in the name!

We have also thrown in the towel of trying to make something work that wasn’t designed for wireless camera usage. Now that order has been restored to the universe and computer man has more thoroughly read up on wireless video transmission and video specifications in general, we think we know what we need. And unfortunately it is the real deal, “costs quite a bit” wireless video transmission system.

Turns out that sometimes you just can’t rig up something, and you just have to spend the money and buy a tool or item or piece or part that seems to be overpriced, but that is also unfortunately about the only option if you would like to accomplish your objectives.

Our objective now is to add sideline video, like we wanted to do a year or so ago, but which didn’t quite work out.

We have very AWESOME platinum sponsors that have selflessly funded PSN: Gilstrap Drugs, Bynum’s Heating & Cooling, Mrs. Melanie Garner State Farm, and Marvin Salter Construction .

And we thank you all every day

We have very AWESOME platinum sponsors that have selflessly funded PSN: Gilstrap Drugs, Bynum’s Heating & Cooling, Mrs. Melanie Garner State Farm, and Marvin Salter Construction. These wonderful sponsors make it possible for us to purchase spare equipment, maintain our existing equipment, to replace broken equipment (like the $200 headset that just died), and to afford to cover as many events as possible. But, we WANT to add this new equipment and the features it brings…we don’t necessarily NEED to add it…so emptying out the PSN coffers to add this new gear wouldn’t be quite prudent.

This is what we are trying to get. For $3000.

Which brings us back to our Go Fund Me campaign. We would dearly love to add this equipment, because we would dearly love to add another new dimension to our broadcasts and show you better views: views that are in the heart of the action, right on the sidelines, on the side of the court, in the dugout, or next to the stage. So we are asking for help doing that. You can purchase a Geneva High School graduation DVD that we have available. Or purchase a Mulkey Graduation DVD. But at $30 each you’ll need to buy 100 of them. Or you could also be an event sponsor. We would only need 30 of those!

Or, just make a small (or large!) donation to our GoFundMe campaign.

And when we have reached our goal, just sit back and watch what you’ve helped us do!

  • *For the geeks that just have to know… here in a nutshell is why the cheaper wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver pair wouldn’t work with our video switcher. The input on our video switcher has to be 1080p/59.94, but the wireless receiver’s HDMI output was 1080p/60. The specs of the new device (in graphic below), support both, as well as a myriad of other specs should we need some adaptability in the future.
Some geeky stuff about video specifications.

Get up Panther Nation!

IT IS GAME DAY!

Come out and support your Panthers! But if you can’t make the game, you can tune into the Panther Sports Network by going to http://GenevaPanthers.com and then clicking on the livestream link!

We will go on air as close to 6:45 as we can, and keep your fingers crossed that our Verizon MiFi will have a good enough signal to keep your video feed running smoothly!

Creation Of The PSNstant Replay

Ever since the start of PSN two years ago we have always strive to be the best. Since then we had continued to expand. The first year we existed we were chosen as one of the top three broadcasting in the nation. We were NFHS Select Broadcasting School last year, and this is our first year of being one of the only three elite schools in Alabama. We had implemented a lot of improvements to our live stream since we started 2 years ago. The implementation of our switcher board was probably our first big leap toward being the best. PSNstant Replay was something we always wanted to do since last year. Mr. Ricky Nicholson, our lead technology researcher and eye candy, has tried to implement this feature last year during the first game of the Softball Regional in Gulf Shores, but that prototype of the PSNstant replayed did not work the way we wanted so we just discarded the idea until now. The week of our game against Pike county we have been pursuing a new way to do instant replay Mr. Kevin Zheng worked on it all week and into the next to get everything working and when Kahari McRenolds made a touchdown on a kickoff return against Opp we had the first chance to showcase our new technology, the PSNstant replay. Our next big improvement we would love to have is our new sideline cameras. If anyone would like to graciously donate to our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/PantherSportsNetwork we could be one step closer to getting it and showcasing it on our live stream.

Volleyball: Beginning of Season Until Now

Geneva opened the season by going 2-2 at the Kingston Amelia Rhoades Tournamnet on August 24th. In pool play, the Panthers beat New Brockton 26-24, 26-24 and Zion Chapel 25-18, 25-22 and lost to Kinston 25-13, 25-18. They lost in the semifinals to Opp 25-18, 25-19.

Geneva improved to 4-2 on the season, downing Goshen on Monday, August 26th home 18-25, 27-29, 19-25, and Samson on Tuesday, August 27th on the road, 25-16, 25-18, 25-21.

Daydee Holt has five aces, five kills, and five digs, Chloe Nance had seven kills and five assists and Madison Johnson three aces, four kills and 12 assists. Emma Griffin had the team highs of nine kills and 10 digs. Addyson Martin and Shelby Hammock both had four kills and Hammock also had three digs. Pazley Lamb had three aces and Six digs and Camryn Sanders has two kills.

Since then, the Panthers are now 4-3 by losing to Houston Academy on September 5th in Dothan. Geneva’s rough day started from its opening serve, which went into the net. Two straight Panther hitting errors on kill attempts – one going long out of bounds, the other out of bounds on the side – gave HA a quick 3-0 lead. The Panthers closed to 12-7 off a couple of HA errors, but the Raiders ripped off 13 straight points to finish it out 25-7.

Daydee Holt’s serve

Houston Academy grabbed a quick 2-0 lead to start the second set with Nelson earning an ace on one of the points. The Raiders extended the margin to 5-1, but Geneva, in one of its better spurts on the day, came back to tie it at 6-6. An ace by Daydee Holt and a nicely placed two-hand touch shot to HA’s back end by Addyson Martin sparked Geneva.

Madison Johnson led Geneva with four assists and three kills and Chloe Nance had four kills and two assists. Emma Griffin had two kills and Holt had the lone ace. Houston Academy ended up winning in three sets, 25-7, 25-10, 25-9. 

The Panthers play Straughn next on Tuesday, September 10th at 4:00pm in Geneva.