RFI Deploys RadioTV for Automated TV Production

VANVES, FRANCE – Radio France International has chosen RadioTV, Orad's solution for the automatic production of radio shows, to publish two of its shows on its website and social media channels.

The French public radio station destined for foreign audiences plans to rely on RadioTV to offer a portion of its programs on media such as smartphones and tablets, and the station is joining the trend to allow online audiences to watch talk shows live.

“Video can give radio the chance to reach a younger, more web-savvy audience, thus broadening its listener base, more so than podcasts,” said Thierry Fanchon, who is in charge of information systems and technical management at the Audiovisuel Extérieur 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.”

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 without human intervention. For longer exchanges, the system uses pre-defined scenarios allowing, for instance, splitting the screen or any other type of visualization.

The first show broadcasted both on radio and in video streaming was "L'invité du Matin" ("The Morning Guest"), hosted by Frédéric Rivière. “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,” explained Fanchon.

Then in March 2012, “Mardi Politique” (“Political Tuesday”) was fitted with the RadioTV system. “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,” Fanchon said.

Orad's solution was attractive to RFI because of its “capacity to adapt to our needs,” said the station's deputy technical director.

RadioTV also offers overlay features, allowing users to set up a true window displaying information or to monetize content.

RFI will also soon move to a location southwest of Paris in Issy-les-Moulineaux 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,” said Fanchon.