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During a production of Kripo Live in Studio 1 of the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) (2005).

A television studio is an installation in which television or video productions take place, either for live television, for recording live to tape, or for the acquisition of raw footage for postproduction. The design of a studio is similar to, and derived from, movie studios, with a few amendments for the special requirements of television production. A professional television studio generally has several rooms, which are kept separate for noise and practicality reasons. These rooms are connected via intercom, and personnel will be divided among these workplaces.

Contents

Studio floor

The Al Jazeera English news room studio floor under construction (April 2005).

The studio floor is the actual stage on which the actions that will be recorded take place. A studio floor has the following characteristics and installations:

  • decoration and/or sets
  • cameras on pedestals
  • microphones
  • lighting rigs and the associated controlling equipment.
  • several video monitors for visual feedback from the production control room
  • a small public address system for communication
  • A glass window between PCR and studio floor for direct visual contact is usually desired, but not always possible

While a production is in progress, the following people work in the studio floor.

  • The on-screen "talent" themselves, and any guests - the subjects of the show.
  • A floor director or floor manager, who has overall charge of the studio area, and who relays timing and other information from the director.
  • One or more camera operators who operate the television cameras, though in some instances these can also be operated from PCR using remote heads.
  • Possibly a teleprompter operator, especially if this is a news broadcast

Production-control room

The production control room (also known as the 'gallery' or Studio Control Room (SCR)) is the place in a television studio in which the composition of the outgoing program takes place. Facilities in a PCR include:

  • A video monitor wall, with monitors for program, preview, videotape machines, cameras, graphics and other video sources. In some facilities, the monitor wall is a series of racks containing physical television and computer monitors; in others, the monitor wall has been replaced with a virtual monitor wall (sometimes called a "glass cockpit"), one or more large video screens, each capable of displaying multiple sources in a simulation of a monitor wall.
  • A vision mixer, a large control panel used to select the video sources to be seen on air and, in many cases, in any monitors on the set. The term 'vision mixer' is primarily used in Europe, while the term 'switcher' is usually used in North America.
  • An audio mixing console and other audio equipment such as effects devices
  • A character generator, which creates the majority of the names and full screen graphics that are inserted into the program
  • Digital video effects, or DVE, for manipulation of video sources. In newer vision mixers, the DVE is integrated into the vision mixer; older models without built-in DVE's can often control external DVE devices, or an external DVE can be manually run by an operator.
  • A still store, or still frame, device for storage of graphics or other images. While the name suggests that the device is only capable of storing still images, newer still stores can store moving video clips.
  • The technical director's station, with waveform monitors, vectorscopes and the camera control units or remote control panels for the camera control units (CCUs)
  • In some facilities, VTRs may also be located in the PCR, but are also often found in the central machine room
  • Intercom and IFB equipment for communication with talent and crew
The Al Jazeera English studio-control room under construction in London United Kingdom (August 2007).  
The production-control room for Sky Italia's news channel SKY Sport24 (August 2008).  
The production-control room for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer during an interview with General Peter Pace (November 7, 2005).  
A Vinten remote camera-control unit station at the Al Jazeera studios in London, United Kingdom (August 2007).  

Master-control room

The master control room houses equipment that is too noisy or runs too hot for the production control room. It also makes sure that wire lengths and installation requirements keep within manageable lengths, since most high-quality wiring runs only between devices in this room. This can include:

In a broadcast station in the US, master control room or "MCR" is the place where the on-air signal is controlled. It may include controls to play back programs and commercials, switch local or network feeds, record satellite feeds and monitor the transmitter(s). The description of an MCR given above usually refers to an equipment rack room, which is usually separate from the MCR itself. The term "studio" usually refers to a place where a particular local program is originated. If the program is broadcast live, the signal goes from the production control room to MCR and then out to the transmitter.

Other facilities

A make-up room at the Theatre Royal in Wexford, Ireland (October 2002).

A television studio usually has other rooms with no technical requirements beyond program and audio monitors. Among them are:

  • one or more make-up and changing rooms
  • a reception area for crew, talent, and visitors, commonly called the green room.

See also

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