30 ROUND TABLE Remote Studios
evening shows, adjusting the camera height for sitting or standing, bringing the audio levels up when the mic has been positioned higher or lower than at set-up will have a greater impact on the final product than the standard of technology we use. DANIEL MALONEY: The basics are good setting, good lighting, good soundproofing and a comfortable, private space whether the talent is sitting behind a desk or standing. While these may seem straightforward, you need to minimise the obvious giveaways that the talent is at home. You need to decide if you want a single or multicamera production. Even in small spaces, two cameras add production value. The cameras can be fixed, but a PTZ camera could add some dynamism to the production. You will need audio equipment, most likely a lapel mic, which will be your production audio. You may also want an intercom or even a cell phone earpiece to speak to the remote production staff who are monitoring the production. Finally, you need a link to an encoder that can send the camera feeds and audio to your cloud-based production tools. For live productions, these feeds should have minimal latency without sacrificing quality. Without this, it will be difficult for production staff to communicate with talent without frustrating delays. Last, audio/video sync must be guaranteed, even when using multiple cameras. An audience will quickly click away if they see lip-sync issues. AN EXPERIENCED CREW WILL GET BETTER RESULTS FROM A SMARTPHONE THAN AN INEXPERIENCED OPERATORWILL GET FROM THE BEST EQUIPMENT
SHUTTLEWORTH: WHAT IS THE BASIC TECH SET-UP WE NEED FOR CREATING A VIRTUAL STUDIO?
GIDEON FERBER: This is relatively straightforward. You will need a green screen, basic lighting and a camera that can provide tracking data. I personally like the Panasonic AW-UE150, which is a small PTZ and has a built-in encoder. Now comes the tricky part. You need to transfer the video and tracking data to the station/ gallery for rendering and publishing. It’s not too complicated – you can easily embed the tracking into the video stream and then transfer the feed. Ross offers such a solution by using our TES cards, which can embed data into the VANC signal. Once the signal arrives at the station, you can de-embed it and run a graphics engine to place the talent in the virtual scene. This way, you keep the amount of equipment to a minimum. All the talent needs to do is turn on the lights, turn on the camera and stand in front of it. The rest is handled remotely. LIAM HAYTER: To start with, simple is best. You can get some fantastic pop-up
and pull-down green screens now. Lighting is crucial, as you’ll need to evenly light your green screen and then use three-point lighting on your presenter. Camera and sound are relatively straightforward, a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera with good sensitivity is a must. Many PTZs have a mix input, so you can ensure video and audio are in sync, depending on how you’re going to get the remote studio back to production. From a production standpoint, systems like our TriCaster Mini 4K are a great fit for remote home production with both built-in keying and virtual sets and tools to create your own. IAN HUDSON: A home studio need not be complex – many people have extremely good results from very simple set-ups. An experienced crew will get better results from a smartphone than an inexperienced operator will get from the best equipment the market can provide. Managing the changing light between the morning and
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