All TV stations use TV studio equipment for program recording and Live broadcasts. Microphones, mixing consoles, players, reel-to-reel tapes, and computers are examples of this equipment.
Cameras, lighting equipment, monitors, speakers, cables, connectors, and studio accessories are all included— and many more, such as presenters’ and visitors’ chairs and tables and props.
However, we are more concerned with the technological equipment required for production. These pieces of equipment are usually kept in the studio and used whenever the need arises. Let’s take a look at the pieces of TV studio equipment that are vital for production:
The Tape and the Camera
The camera is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment for broadcast program creation, and without it, the show would not be able to go on. Video cameras come in various sizes, from small hand-held models to enormous, heavy-duty models.
Some have a higher level of automation than others. Unlike earlier cameras, created as fully integrated devices, today’s modular designs allow you to pick and choose features to meet your specific shooting needs.
There are many different types of television or video cameras, and the main distinction is the type of pick-up tube utilized. However, the cameras are divided into monochrome (black-and-white) and color (color).
The camera lens sends light to a single pick-up tube in a monochrome camera. Each of the primary colors, red, green, and blue, has its tube in a modern color camera.
Because color cameras typically have three times the number of tubes as black-and-white cameras, they require more light to take photographs than monochrome cameras. The tape is also an essential piece of equipment in the production process.
The camera is incapable of producing images for us to view on our screens, and the tape records and captures sights and sounds for later use. When it comes to production equipment, most writers seem to ignore or overlook this vital piece of equipment.
The compact disc player is an upgrade to over-reel-to-reel tapes, one of the first advancements brought forth by new technology. The new system (CD) provides clear sound, pictures, and clean signals. Although reel-to-reel tapes are now obsolete, some stations keep their historical artifacts.
Studio lighting has two primary purposes: to allow the camera to see and take clear photos and to present a viewer with essential visual information about an event, such as the physical area, time of day, and even the atmosphere of the event. There are three forms of lighting: base lighting, model lighting, and effects lighting.
Fill light is used in base lighting, which is standard studio lighting. The lighting is gentle rather than harsh, especially if it isn’t pointed at anything. Therefore it doesn’t cast a lot of shadows.
On the other hand, the illumination is sufficient for a television camera to transmit satisfactory images. Different intensities of base light are required by the Image Orthicon (black-and-white) camera, the Plumbicon (color) camera, and the Videocon (portable) camera.
Model lighting – This type of lighting is usually aimed at a specific scene or set of actors. It comprises three fundamental lights: key light, fill light, and backlight. The key light is directional, bright, and highlights the subject, yet it has the drawback of casting shadows.
On the other hand, the backlight outlines the subject and isolates them from the background, while the fill light softens the harshness of the shadows..
Effects lighting – Depending on the production requirements, one can change the amount of light. The ratio of key to backlight can also be changed, with the backlight being more potent than the key light. The artist’s hair and outfit color should also be taken into account while setting the strength of the rear light.
For example, a dark-haired artist in a dark dress will require a higher backlight intensity than a light-haired artist in a light garment. The lighting effect varies depending on the lights, their orientation relative to a camera viewpoint, and the subject’s position.
Effects lighting should accommodate the camera and sound boom moves and avoid camera shadows. Adequate lighting requires creative, anticipatory, and systematic planning.
A microphone is also necessary for broadcasters to carry out their everyday jobs. Microphones come in various shapes and sizes, but in terms of program production, they all serve the same purpose: to magnify the artist’s voice.
Omni-directional microphone — This microphone has a long cord extending across a large region within a specified area, and it’s simple to utilize for outside broadcasting.
A unidirectional microphone — can only be pointed in one direction, and it can only hold around two people at a time, and they must all face the same direction.
Bi-directional microphone — A bi-directional microphone can simultaneously pick up voices from many directions. This format is best suited to interviews and group discussions.
Personal microphone — A personal microphone is a compact electric clip-on microphone commonly used to pick up speech. It can be hidden beneath the clothing or affixed to the lapel, shirt, or tie.
Hanging or slung microphone — This microphone hangs above the activity area and helps pick up sound in large groups, such as choirs and orchestras.
The Control Panel
The microphone is connected to the recording channels via the console. It has faders, equalizers, and a variety of buttons and switches for controlling and modulating signals. The mixing console features many input and output points, which are now digitally controlled.
Despite the arrival of new technologies, most manufacturing facilities still use the console as a critical piece of equipment. The construction and operation of the broadcast consoles used by most stations are pretty straightforward.
Although the console’s board may appear intimidating due to the numerous buttons, knobs, and levers, most of them are repetitions of what you’ve seen before. The board has much different input and output because the console, like most other production equipment, is undergoing a digital transformation.
A dolly is a wheeled platform that enables the camera operator to perform seamless tracking maneuvers by easily moving the camera around while recording.
A tripod is a three-legged device used to hold a camera securely. Most tripods include a central pole and height-adjustable legs and are used with a head mount.
The primary purpose is to allow photographers to acquire photographs with slow shutter rates (long exposure) when there isn’t enough ambient light to handhold the camera without introducing a shake into the image, such as in astrophotography.
Tripods are also commonly employed when a photographer wants to capture the same image or scene numerous times, such as when making HDR photographs by photographing the same scene multiple times at different exposures.
Similar to a tripod, the pedestal is a sort of camera support. A central core tube sits atop wheels and a camera mounting platform on a basic pedestal. The central core telescopes up and down to accommodate different camera heights.
When photographing concerts, plays, ballets, or other acts where camera noise would be bothersome to the actors or audience, one can use the Sound Blimp to eliminate shutter and zoom noise from the camera and lens.
Place the camera and lens in the Sound Blimp according to the accompanying instructions, then reach through the Blimp or lens sleeve to access the camera controls and lens barrel. The camera can be placed on a tripod using a fastener on the bottom of the Blimp IF (Internal Focusing). Lenses must be used when attached to the camera body.
The Sound Blimp is black and comprises polyester, nylon, and polyurethane. The following are the weights: body cover (about 820g), lens cover (approximately 250g), and bag (approximately 250g) (approx. 80g).
Jibs are specialist camera support equipment that enables camera operators to produce a few unique and complex camera shots, if not impossible to obtain otherwise. A jib, also known as a crane, has a camera mounted on one end and a counterweight.
Consider a Jib in the form of a see-saw. The jib allows camera operators to lift and lower cameras easily, while the counterweight keeps the shot smooth. Jibs are used to capture crane shots.
A video switcher’s principal role is to create a master output for real-time video transmission or recording. They may create various visual effects, from simple mixes to more complex ones.
They can also assist in producing color signals by performing keying procedures. Video switchers work in the same way that audio mixers do, and they take many inputs, apply the necessary effects, and then generate one or more outputs.
Most video switchers work with a program and preview bus, each with its monitor. The main output feed is the program bus, while the preview bus is used to select and preview the source that is about to go LIVE. It is not required to use the preview bus. However, in the case of any visual effects, the preview bus is required.
Modern video switchers include capabilities such as saving complex mixing configurations and serial connections to use proprietary communications protocols.
Video switchers are rarely used because of the introduction of computer-based non-linear editing methods.
All audio sources in a studio, including microphones, CD drives and players, sound effects generators, and computers, are fed into a console. The mixing console regulates the volumes of various audio input controls.
A green screen is a green background used by video production teams to apply visual effects later in the post-production process. Since the nineteenth century, a green screen (or Chroma key) has always been used.
The transparent green screen serves as the background layer. The final image displayed is in the foreground, and the screen is positioned behind the image presented. Studio green backdrops produce a floating impression and are used to surround the object.
Monitors are used in post-production and should have a wide color gamut and replicate Rec709 and DCI standards. It’s equally as important to have a high contrast ratio and illustrated keys so you can work comfortably in the darker studio.
You’ll frequently be part of substantial project teams when working in post-production, and you may give your clients’ projects new life by collaborating closely with colleagues and external partners.
That means all colors, greyscales, and contrasts must be presented consistently across all project team monitors, just as they’ll seem to viewers afterward—professional audio speakers of high quality. To assist technicians in audio sweetening, monitors can reproduce various frequencies.
A reflector is nothing more than a tool that reflects light. A reflector does not create light in the same way that a flash does; instead, it redirects existing light or, in some cases, light from a flash.
This point is important to comprehend for two reasons. The first is that the light from a reflector is no stronger than what is already there, so you can’t use one to light up a night portrait unless you also use a flash or another light source.
The second thing to remember is that the reflector’s light quality will correspond with the light quality of the scene. For example, if you’re shooting at sunset, the light that bounces off the reflector will be orange.
However, there are a few exceptions. Reflectors come in various shapes and colors, and the color of the reflective surface can affect the light reflected. A standard white reflector merely bounces the light, which is pleasant and gentle.
A silver reflector does not significantly alter the color of the light, but it is slightly brighter than light reflected off a white one. Gold reflectors intend to alter the color of the light by warming it with an orange tone.