NAB 2012 – Video Broadcasts Using Virtual Sets


TechMarketeers recently attended the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas. Toward the end of the show, we had some time to walk around and see if there were any products that might be of interest to our clients or to marketers. Needless to say, if you use video in your marketing (and most of us do), there was a lot to see!  The theme of this year’s show was “Where Content Comes to Life” – something that should resonate with all marketers.

One application in particular caught my attention and spawned all sorts of interesting ideas. The app – virtual, real-time TV sets. The idea is to lower the costs associated with creating a high-quality set for a video program. The demos at the NAB Show were TV news sets, but it could be any setting you wish. The way it works is straight forward: the ‘talent’ is live, shot against a green background and the rest of the set (or setting) is computer generated. A demonstration used at NAB was a live field reporter sitting in a remote truck (with a green screen no bigger than 2’ by 3’ behind her). The final image was actually projected as if she was in a sophisticated studio with all of the accompanying video, animation, graphics and text support.

Here’s a demo video to give you some idea of what can be done. It opens with a shot of the ‘talent’ in front of a green screen.  Then, almost magically, the news set appears around her. Remember, everything else is computer generated – only the human is real! Virtual TV studio demo.

Green screen techniques and high-end virtual products have been available for a couple of years, but now new entry-level products are starting to appear that cost between $500 and $5000, bringing them into the reach of businesses that want to insert more sophisticated video into their marketing programs. Applications such as internet video, podcasts, virtual events, online training, video presentations and newsletters can take on a whole new, and more professional, look and feel. I suggest you take a look, if for no other reason than to see what is possible.