Radio France International (RFI) has chosen RadioTV, Orads solution for the automatic production of radio shows, to publish two of its flagship shows on its website and social media channels. A French public radio station destined for foreign audiences, RFIs long term plans are to rely on Orads solution to offer a sizeable portion of its programs on different media such as smartphones, tablets, etc.
More often than ever, radio stations give their online audience the opportunity to watch talk shows live, especially political shows. Video can give radio the chance to reach a younger, more web-savvy audience, thus broadening its listener base, more so than podcasts, explains Thierry Fanchon, who is in charge of information systems and technical management at the AEF (Audiovisuel Ext©rieur de la France). However, we have no intention of getting into video without full mastery of our production costs. In addition, we immediately dismissed single-camera systems, which offer little added value.
Orads RadioTV is a fully automated system based on a voice detection algorithm; as soon as one of the participants speaks into a microphone, the system automatically starts recording video. Transitions from one speaker to the next are done in real time and with no human intervention. For longer exchanges, RadioTV uses a library of pre-defined scenarios allowing, for instance, splitting the screen or offering any other type of visualization, depending on parameters that are included in the system.
Once the preparation phase was over, the first show to be broadcasted both on radio waves and in video streaming was Linvit© du Matin (The Morning Guest), hosted by Fr©d©ric Rivire, in December 2011. We chose a two-camera system, since this show revolves around one guest who is a prominent figure in political, economic and social activity, and whose reactions to French or international news are influential. This results in exchanges that are rather guided.
Starting in March 2012, another of RFIs flagship shows, Mardi Politique (Political Tuesday) was fitted with the RadioTV system in a more complex format: This new show involves four journalists and one guest from the political sphere. In this situation, the system manages four cameras that film the guest (one camera) and the four reporters (two of them are filmed by a single camera), as well as a fifth camera for a wide-angle shot. Started April 15, 2012, Mardi Politique is also streamed live on DailyMotion.
Flexibility, Responsiveness and Affordability
What was attractive to RFI in Orads RadioTV solution was its capacity to adapt to our needs,continues the radio stations deputy technical director. Even after the solution was implemented, our production costs have not increased, and we are offering an additional service alongside our shows. Also being an open solution, we can easily switch out of the current scenario and take control during the show, without affecting its broadcast. Towards the end of the year, we are planning to use the automated graphical overlay function, which automatically manages the logo and the speakers name.
RadioTV also offers many overlay features, allowing users to set up a true window displaying information or to be used as a way to monetize content. We arent quite there yet, but we intend on moving towards online television as well as tablets or mobile devices.
RFI will soon move to a new location in Issy-les-Moulineaux (southwest of Paris), with larger studios. We will have 14 studios, in which we should be installing RadioTV systems on a more ambitious scale. The four-camera system was a first step, but we are now looking at every possibility.