Case Study – RVTV Project Part 1 – Live Studio

control suite

17 Jul Case Study – RVTV Project Part 1 – Live Studio

The Requirements: In 2010 Rogue Valley Community Television (RVTV) had been in existence as the local public, education and government (PEG) operator for a decade. As most institutions that have been around that long, It’s systems started to degrade. The studio was analog standard definition and featured a linear switcher from Grass Valley and used Ultimatte Keyer that only weather reporters over fifty would remember. Image quality was fading on the cameras after years of heavy use. RVTV was in need of an upgrade to stay current and continue to provide industry level equipment to the students of the college, government clients and an active Public Access program.

Initial meetings about the upcoming studio build uncovered a lengthy list of requirements. Here is a shorter list of the requirements:

  • Digital High Definition studio over Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDI)
  • Fully featured integrated switchers with green screen and digital effects capability
  • Broadcast quality fully featured cameras
  • Three wall green screen
  • Integrated audio interfacing with existing mixers and wiring
  • Flexible Input/Output (I/O) with the ability to “Go Live” and stream to the web

After a fair amount of research about the best equipment to install a budget was agreed upon and an install timeline was set in place.


The Solution: After many demonstrations of specific equipment, the following equipment was finally installed to completely redesign the RVTV live studio:

  • 3 Cannon XF 305 Cameras on existing Camera Pedestals
  • 1 Tricaster 850 (now end of life and replaced by the Tricaster 860)
  • 3 Panasonic HD televisions as monitors for the switcher
  • 1 30′ weighted green screen curtain
  • 1 50′ foam core green screen floor

For this build an integrated switcher solution was chosen. Meaning the Tricaster 850 is a complete production solution. It handles the switching of multiple live cameras, chroma key as well as post processing effects, and audio all in the same super computer. It is a true studio in a box. It was paired with the Canon XF-305 because of sensor size and on camera control features. The 305 is really a broadcast field camera but with the addition of a zoom control and a sturdy base it converted to a studio camera quite nicely.

As an integrated switcher the Tricaster exceeds expectations with constant additions of new features and abilities. The switcher is able to produce a myriad of advanced transitions and video effects previously impossible with the station’s old switcher. It also introduced the 2 step chroma key process which is second to none in this market and Live Virtual Sets which revolutionized set building and professionalism at RVTV. Now a set can be built inside the computer with all associated graphics and broadcast live in real time. The only things on the set are the three wall green and the set pieces the talent interact with. It means RVTV is able to produce many different “looks” in the same studio space at an ultra low cost.

The Results: RVTV still uses this studio configuration almost five years after its installation. The station produces many studio shows using exclusively virtual sets as described above. One of the best examples of this type of show can be seen here. The only items actually on set are the chairs the talent is sitting in, the table and the rug. It is also important to note: all of the visual effects processing is being done in real time.

Below see images of this studio in action. Please remember this specific set of equipment is unique to this application. If the description of this studio has given you an idea for studio production or peaked your interest in any way please contact us to discuss your specific project.


By Nick Brandt (c) 2015

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