TV2 first station in region to use 3-D set

Brittany Senary

A new, virtual 3-D set will allow TV2 to broadcast in HD beginning today. The technology employs software that allows cameras to adjust to a changing background, such as a weather segment. ABIGAIL S. FISHER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

Correction: TV2 is tentatively set to air its first broadcast of the semester next week, not tonight.

Today TV2 will be the only TV station in this part of the country with a 3-D virtual set that combines real people and objects in a computer-generated environment.

Installation began Jan. 23, and TV2 plans to go on the air with the technology today. The technology will allow TV2 to broadcast in HD, and it can be viewed in HD on the screens in the lobby of Franklin Hall.

Gary Hanson, faculty advisor for TV2, said the software works on the same principle as looking at the weather during a news broadcast.

Hanson said that during the weather broadcast, the camera zooms in, and it destroys the virtual allusion because the picture becomes blurry. With this technology, the software senses what it is looking at, and it adjusts the background according to the view.

Josh Talbott, TV2 media specialist, said that all camera signals get fed into a computer that is set up to see the grid lines.

“The camera figures out what part of the wall it’s looking at because all the squares are different sizes,” Talbott said. “Then it knows how to rotate the virtual set.”

Hanson said the studio could eventually have a new set for every program. TV2 plans to get students from different majors, such as visual communication design and architecture, involved to design the sets.

Faculty and students saw the technology at the Electronic Media Show by the National Association of Broadcasters and thought it would be a resource for students to learn the new technology to help students become employable, Hanson said.

Orad, a company from Israel, constructed the set. The company was in the TV2 studio for a week to train students to use the new equipment. The set TV2 will have is on, and it is called “News C.”

Lori Cantor, manager of the office of student media, said not many companies supply this technology.

“The virtual was a little more expensive, but now we have unlimited virtual sets,” Cantor said. “And we plan on leasing the studio out to area production companies when the studio is not in use by JMC students.”

TV2 multimedia editor James Madalinsky said the new studio has versatility and the ability to do every show with a different background.

“In comparing the new station to the old, it is so much better,” Madalinsky said. “It is a great opportunity to learn on something that is a step ahead of other stations.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Brittany Senary at [email protected].