A television studio is an installation in which video productions take place, either for the recording of live television to video tape, or for the acquisition of raw footage for post-production. 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.
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:
While a production is in progress, people composing a television crew work the studio floor.
The studio control room (SCR) is the place in a television studio in which the composition of the outgoing program takes place. The production control room is occasionally also called a studio control room (SCR) or a "gallery" - the latter name comes from the original placement of the director on an ornately carved bridge spanning the BBC's first studio at Alexandra Palace which was once referred to as like a minstrels gallery. Master control is the technical hub of a broadcast operation common among most over-the-air television stations and television networks. Master control is distinct from a PCR in television studios where the activities such as switching from camera to camera are coordinated. A transmission control room (TCR) is usually smaller in size and is a scaled down version of centralcasting.
Facilities in a PCR include:
- A video monitor wall, with monitors for program, preview, VTRs, 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 multiple-camera setup and other various sources to be recorded or seen on air and, in many cases, in any video monitors on the set. The term 'vision mixer' is primarily used in Europe, while the term 'video switcher' is usually used in North America.
- A professional audio mixing console and other audio equipment such as effects devices.
- A character generator (CG), which creates the majority of the names and full digital on-screen graphics that are inserted into the program lower third portion of the television screen
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 and motion graphics.
- The technical director's station, with waveform monitors, vectorscopes and the camera control units (CCU) or remote control panels for the CCUs.
- In some facilities, VTRs may also be located in the PCR, but are also often found in the central apparatus room
Intercom and IFB equipment for communication with talent and television crew
- A signal generator to genlock all of the video equipment to a common reference that requires colorburst
The Master control (MCR) room houses equipment that is too noisy or runs too hot for the Production control room (PCR). It also makes sure that coax cable and other wire lengths and installation requirements keep within manageable lengths, since most high-quality wiring runs only between devices in this room. This can include the actual circuitry and connections between
The Master control room in a US television station US, is the place where the on-air signal is controlled. It may include controls to playout television programs and television commercials, switch local or television network feeds, record satellite feeds and monitor the transmitter(s), or these items may be in an adjacent equipment rack room. 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 PCR to MCR and then out to the transmitter.
A television studio usually has other rooms with no technical requirements beyond broadcast reference monitors and studio monitors for audio. Among them are:
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