Mo-Sys transforms Radio Studio into a virtual production studio – rAVe [PUBS]


Mo-Sys Engineering, a global leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, has collaborated with talkRADIO, the UK’s leading commercial radio news service, to create a virtual production environment turnkey that was first used for the coverage of the US Presidential Election.

talkRADIO, part of Wireless Group, a division of News UK, broadcasts twenty hours of its production live each day, to listeners using devices with screens. As the US election approached, talkRADIO was looking for new ways to engage audiences and keep advertisers happy. Going beyond the simple installation of cameras in radio studios, he wanted to create a rich virtual environment.

Just four weeks before election night, talkRADIO turned to Mo-Sys Engineering, which had recently launched its all-in-one preconfigured virtual production system, StarTracker Studio.
Providing multi-camera camera tracking, switching, capturing, photo-realistic Unreal Engine graphics, composition and recording, StarTracker Studio is designed for live, shot-by-shot multi-camera VFX virtual production workflows , supporting both Green Screen and LED Wall Studios.

“We wanted our little studio to look big, luxurious,” said Nick Prater, head of broadcast technology for Wireless Group. “Mo-Sys could provide the complete solution, and they figured out we wanted it to look real. Getting the textures and lighting in the virtual studio took a while, but the designers at Mo-Sys figured out what we wanted and delivered it.

In any election broadcast, even without the complications of Covid-19, there is a need for flexibility as the guest list changes and contributions arrive online – usually Zoom – as well as in person. Using a combination of Panasonic PTZ cameras with StarTracker PTZ tracking systems allowed cameras to be dynamically moved around the virtual studio, simplifying studio setup and allowing complete creative freedom.

“TalkRADIO has a strong, loyal audience and great broadcasters,” said Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys. “What we achieved with this project was to bring them together in a new way, to improve broadcasters’ engagement with audiences. It’s absolutely unique, a whole new way to view radio.

TalkRADIO’s Nick Prater added, “After the show I spoke to a TV executive who said of our coverage ‘that looks really good – as good as the TV’. For a small radio team, supported by Mo-Sys and with only four weeks to get everything set up, I think we have achieved something remarkable. This is a sensational achievement that offers our audience and pushes the boundaries of radio viewing.

The upcoming release of talkRADIO’s virtual production environment will mark the end of the December Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, bringing reporting from across the country into the studio.


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