With COVID-19 forcing television productions to work remotely — from local news stations to SNL — we’re seeing explosive growth in reporters, anchors and entertainers quickly turning to web-based videoconferencing platforms to produce programs. In many cases, networks eager to get their talent and content on-air as quickly as possible, are making do with a hastily thrown together patchwork of technology that isn’t optimized to work together or designed for this purpose. Unfortunately, what we are seeing most often is the use of a simple webcam connected to a laptop with some home lighting.
Except for the higher budget productions that can afford to roll in a satellite truck and a studio camera into the talent’s home, most are limited to a unidimensional shot where the presenters are fixed in one place. The viewing experience is exacerbated by poor audio quality and misplaced cameras.
Outfitting the Crew
Poly offers multiple levels of video and audio solutions to help producers address these challenges with studio-quality AV gear that can be quickly and easily deployed for home production, without the need for an IT Guy to set up.
The Anchor or Host
These are the folks that will be on-air the most. Therefore, top notch gear is critical to ensure high-quality audio and video. Poly recommends going with a Studio X30 on top of a 24 or 27 inch monitor. The X30 has a built-in 4K camera with automatic speaker framing so they can move around freely and stay in the frame as if they had a videographer in the room. The Poly Studio X30 also has incredible audio pick-up and local sound.
The correspondent can use their laptop with our Poly Studio USB solution. This device still offers the freedom of movement with audio framing and speaker tracking while providing incredible local audio and microphone pickup. The video service is connected via their computer.
The Guest or Remote Expert
For on-the-fly guests, you may be limited to using whatever camera and audio setup they have at their disposal. However, for the recurring expert panelist or pre-scheduled guest, Poly offer solutions that will greatly enhance their experience and ensure they sound amazing to viewers on the remote end.
- Headsets or portable speakerphones with HD audio will ensure their voices are heard clearly.
- Discreet headsets such as the Voyager 5200 Office and UC Series will block out unwanted noise.
- For video, the EagleEye Cube provides incredible crisp HD video with the most amazing backlight compensation algorithms that makes the participants “jump” off the screen. The Cube also has a built-in stereo microphone for true-to-life quality. Click here to see it in action.
Pro-Tips for Your DIY Production Studio
As for the camera setup, position the camera at eye-level or slightly above. You may need to get creative here and use whatever you have at your disposal — boxes, books, pillows — just get that camera high enough to avoid showing off your nose hairs.
Network Quality is Key
In a live, conversational scenario, ensuring that you have a low latency connection will reduce the amount of awkward cross-talking and long pauses. Among other factors, latency is greatly influenced by your network quality. That’s why choosing your service provider wisely has never been more important. And, in the case it’s your slow connection is due to your geographic location, a cellular hotspot can go a long way.
A Quality Headset
That “hollow” echoing heard in many rooms is merely the due to using the wrong kind of headset. This is because most standard headsets are tuned for music — not for speaking on broadcast TV!
Standardize on a Video Platform
It’s important to choose a reliable video platform for your productions teams to stay connected and collaborating when everyone is working from home. Standardizing on a reliable platform and getting everyone up to speed with the user interfaces and content sharing functionality will ensure your teams will be ready for primetime. Poly works with leading cloud-based communication services such as, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoTo, and Skype to deliver optimal content regardless of the video platform you choose to go with.
Poly (formerly Polycom & Plantronics) has long been trusted in the broadcast industry for providing the highest quality audio and video experience. Our solutions have been used for thousands of remotes and continues to be the company of choice for leading live or live-to-tape productions. From remote locations to the studio….and now even to home offices, Poly’s gear seamlessly fits into your workflow, even when life throws you a curve ball!
Visit Poly.com for more information.