Radio Online: Let’s Talk Video

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The online world is one that radio is evolving into, embracing social media and streaming audio, among other new digital approaches. One aspect of this evolution not often touched upon is the usage of online video as part of radio’s online presence. “But wait,” you might say, “Isn’t that just TV?” No. Television is nothing but video. I’m talking about adding a video element to the existing online arsenal that stations have at their disposal.

As you might imagine, I was jazzed to find a recent article by Markell Lambright addressing this very topic. Lambright, a project manager for CBS Radio in the Digital Media Group, has implemented audio and video streaming projects for 134 radio stations. It’s always great to hear from one of the experts in this fast moving niche.

The wonderful thing is this post of his is practical. Real world experience and advice on tools to use and things to keep in mind.  Here’s an example:

[…]because most radio stations are designed for talking, they make terrible sets for video production. This means that camera placement or positioning usually is bad. In most of the studios I’ve visited, it was difficult to pull off a multi-camera shoot without getting another cameraman in the shot. In a tight space, usually one cameraman will do the trick, but to produce a quality morning show you’ll need a bit more.

What I’ve found to work well are stationary cameras that a producer can control remotely like the Sony EVI-D100. Canon and Panasonic also make small SD (standard-definition) and HD (high-definition) PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) remote cameras that can be mounted on walls, ceilings or a desk. Each camera usually requires a 12 V power source and many can be daisy-chained using VISCA control cable, which sends the pan, tilt and zoom commands to each camera.

It’s a quick read, but chock full of useful information and quick advice on technique. Anyone working at a radio station that’s considering implementing online video should bookmark this and share it with their team. As adoption of online video becomes more widespread, so will its attractiveness to advertisers. For the radio station of the future — radio in the broadband/flatscreen era — this will be an important aspect of its digital future.

Once again, here’s the link to Lambright’s RadioWorld article. My gift to you for the season: practical info!

Image: redfishid / CC BY-ND 2.0
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