The StudioCast visual radio system at Radio France station, France Culture. Photo courtesy of StudioCast
PARIS — After calling for tenders for a visual radio solution, France’s public broadcaster Radio France has chosen StudioCast, a turnkey video system for radio, developed by Eurocom.
This fully automated solution enables the easy video capture of a radio program or an external event. It provides a mixed full HD video stream, via a voice detector and real-time intelligent analysis of the best shots, without requiring a specialist operator.
Radio France has been using the first StudioCast models since 2018.
Thierry Lesage, project manager within the projects department infrastructure at Radio France’s technical and information systems department, has been supervising the StudioCast installation from the start.
“Initially the StudioCast HD8 chassis model only had eight inputs/outputs. We asked StudioCast to develop the HD16 model (14 inputs and two SDI outputs), now deployed at Radio France studios in Paris. To date, we’ve equipped six studios with the StudioCast solution,” explained Lesage.
Lesage expects this number to double by the end of next year, to include all the national radio channels, in particular France Musique, France Culture, Mouv’, FIP and perhaps France Bleu.
“In 2018 and 2019, we equipped France Musique and France Culture. I have ordered six new StudioCast chassis to equip the next studios for France Bleu, FIP and Mouv’,” Lesage said.
“StudioCast sits in the technical room — there is one bay dedicated to video per studio. The main functions are automatic, with voice-detection-switching. The automatic production algorithms monitor the level of each microphone in the studio and select the best shot.”
The automatic production algorithms monitor the level of each microphone in the studio and select the best shot.
The system sometimes requires adjusting when hosts or guests have a particular voice sound level or tone. “For some shows with multiple hosts, a prior adjustment of the microphone to the voice may be necessary, as everything is based on the voice,” he added.
Interfacing with DHD consoles
At Radio France, most broadcast studios have RX and RX2 consoles from DHD, also supplied by Eurocom, DHD.audio’s distributor in France. “The StudioCast system intuitively communicates with the DHD consoles over IP and reads the information. With the fully automated DHD ergonomics, everything is integrated,” explained Lesage.
Radio France is considering another collaboration with StudioCast for a future automation system migration to everything over IP. “We should finalize the ‘Maison de la Radio’ modernization project at the end of 2023 after we complete renovating the building, which has taken over 10 years,” said Lesage. “Within a year and a half, we will standardize all the ‘filmed radio’ studios, with StudioCast solutions.”