Lights, camera, action: High-tech TV studio ready for primetime
The lights are ready to shine and the cameras are ready to roll inside the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) television studio.
The broadcast studio will allow Radford University students to gain advanced experience in a professional setting.
"Students are able to get in and get hands-on experience in a TV studio," said technology specialist Jeremy Jennings. "The studio is set up so students are able to get dedicated experience at different positions. Students will know the function of each piece in the studio."
A closed-circuit cable network is being planned for the future.
"We want to give students the experience in here running live news shows," Jennings said. "It gives students an opportunity to get positive feedback on running a live news show and gives students tangible experience. We will have a place where students, faculty and staff can get real campus news."
The TV studio is packed full of advanced technology that meets or exceeds that of local newsrooms.
"The studio is a product of when it was constructed, so the TV studio inside of CHBS is on the higher-end,” Jennings said. “Around the area, we are comparable to, if not better than, other studios."
A piece of that new technology is a robotic camera, which is controlled from inside the control room.
"If a professor needs to do an interview on a television network, it is possible to do this interview with minimal staff," Jennings said. "The camera can be controlled completely from the inside the control room. The robotic camera has the same lens as the other cameras, so there is no difference in the image quality between any of the cameras. Otherwise, the camera is a secondary camera during productions."
Jennings said that the robotic camera functions are easy to control "especially if you have played a video game before."
Advanced flooring is also present in the studio.
"It was just cement at first, but it caused some jitteriness when rolling the cameras around," Jennings said. "We can now roll the cameras freely and output a smooth, consistent image. The floor is a no-noise material, so movements don’t impact the audio."
A green screen is a common tool inside of production studios. The screen is comprised of a material that allows the background to be changed during recording or post-production work. The screen is made of a uniform color, and in the case of the CHBS TV studio, a bright green.
The screen inside of the studio goes to the floor, with a gradual curve at the base, which allows for consistent lighting over the entirety of the screen to enable proper image replacement.
"We just got approval for a green screen floor," Jennings said. "That will hopefully be coming in by spring break. When we get that down, it will allow us to stand on the green screen and get a full-body shot."
While the TV studio didn't open with the CHBS building, Jennings said, "It was worth the wait."