Home TV Studio Setup: How to make a TV studio at Home
Today, working from home has become part of the normal even though many go out seeking connection with others. When Covid-19 broke out in early 2020, broadcasters around the world scrambled to set up home studios for their anchors and correspondents—often in a den, study or other room in the house.
Broadcasting live video from your own home tv studio still has much relevance as we move more into the future of broadcasting.
Home TV studio setup for news anchors and producers
Because of the desire to comply with social distancing norms, it was impossible to send a technical crew to the homes of talent to set up these home studios. So simple setups and ease of use proved to be especially important when building these home studies fell to non-technical on-air talent.
Of course, at-home studios are nothing new thanks to YouTube and social media influencers looking to create professional, but cost-effective streams at home.
But unlike video bloggers leveraging online platforms, however, broadcasters contributing from home have to blend seamlessly into a well-established on-air look and workflow to maintain the quality viewers have come to expect. But before going deeper into building a studio in your home, let’s first cover the basics.
What is a TV studio?
A TV studio, or television production studio, is a room with video recording equipment installations that enable video production for television or live television production. Pre-production, production, and post-production can all take place in a TV production studio. A home tv studio is built for the same reason in the same way. Pick a room in the home, gather video or live video production equipment, and broadcasting equipment, and build it all together – and here you have your very own Home TV studio.
Now it may not be that easy, depending on what you want your tv studio to achieve. With that said there are basics for a tv studio that need to be known that we will discuss more in this article. TV studio equipment can be very expensive. But with a bit of creativity and cloud technology, you can cut those expensive tools right out of the budget and still get quality broadcasting results.
How much does it cost to create a TV studio at home?
The cost of building a home tv studio depends on the content you want to make, the equipment needed, and the size of the room you are building it for. A studio using high-end cloud production equipment could range around $10,000 while a professional studio with high-end hardware equipment could range more than $50,000 all within an adequate-sized room.
The difference between these two is the technology used for capture, production, and live video distribution combine with high-end features used by big television studios of today. Here are some of the benefits when using cloud production technology for live broadcasts from your custom-built home TV studio.
- With cloud production solutions you can eliminate the costs of high-end hardware equipment.
- It provides more resources to set up the room for sound, lighting, production tools, and decoration.
- Producing in the cloud can provide the same high quality as high-end hardware.
Cloud-based live video production is an affordable alternative when building a tv studio for a single room. In order to take advantage of the benefits and power of cloud-based production, you want to be sure you have a proper plan for your home studio.
How big does a home TV studio need to be?
Essentially you want to have a good amount of space to record maybe in front of a green screen or a tv set. This can be achieved in a nice-sized room at home. Not to mention, since there are better tools for live video production, there is no need to worry about needing a very large space if you are building it in a room of your home. All you have to do is be creative with your tv studio layout to achieve what you attend for it to do or produce.
For others building a large television studio, is a different case. In a home TV studio that focuses on live video streaming, news, live YouTube videos, or a talk show and live video podcasts, only the essentials for a proper setup is needed. The primary concern should be the two points below.
- What tv studio equipment is needed for live recording, video production, and broadcasting?
- What is a good tv studio layout for this room that can better the media workflow and production for me or a small team?
Since the tv studio is set up in a room, you won’t need to worry too much about a full-blown television studio layout. Make it as easy as possible for one person to go lights, camera, and action.
Preparing a room for home tv studio production
Planning and preparation is the first step when building your studio at home. Knowing what you will produce, the studio layout, and how the studio will operate gives your the opportunity to optimize your production efforts and save more from equipment you may not need.
What is the goal of your home tv studio?
Understand where you are taking your studio and what is the goal of the content you want to produce. Here you will want to create a content plan answering all the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how. You want to know how this type of content will help you reach your main goal.
- What is the goal of the content you want to produce?
- What videos do you want to produce?
- How will you capture your content (camera or smartphone)?
- What do you need to produce and distribute your video?
- Will it be live, pre-recorded, or both?
- Do you plan to have live interviews?
- Do you need to invite remote guests or live guests?
- How will you distribute content to your viewers?
- What platforms do you plan to use?
- What type of look and feel do you want your studio to provide?
- How should the studio setup be to achieve this?
These are a good set of questions to ask to better know what is most needed to reach your content goal.
Pick a room & Create your ideal tv studio layout
After you have an idea of the content you want to make and how you want to do it, you can then start creating a tv studio layout of the room you want to use as your live production studio. The content will let you know what kind of room you need.
For instance, if you are creating video content around cooking you may want to use the kitchen. For interviews or talk shows you may want a small interview setup or a personable living room setup. The garage could be the best place for particular content or even a larger setup for a home tv studio.
Once you figure out what the best place is to set up you can then create a layout of how you want everything to be placed. Your studio layout should be in a way that makes it easy and simple for you to create live video content.
Choose a wall color for a home tv studio
For video and photograph studio setups, the wall color is very important according to the type of media you plan to produce. Most studios usually stick to three different colors – black, white, or grey. With this, it may be as equally important to keep the surroundings neutral to the wall color preventing color reflections.
- White – Allows light to bounce around and fill the studio making it easier to light the subject or background.
- Black – Minimizes the amount of light to fill the set giving you full control of how you want the subject to be lit.
- Grey – Can provide you with
Get a backdrop
A video backdrop is the setting behind your main subject. This would be more optional depending on the setup of your studio and the type of content you will be creating. There are many different types of backdrops for video, but you can go for any type of style that fits best with your content.
- Minimalist backdrop setup – Having specific colors in the background with material like paintings or books providing context to your video.
- Functional setup – This video backdrop is what most vloggers and live streamers use combining a functional room decorated for their background.
- Studio Design setup – More of a dedicated studio set designed from the ground up giving the complete look a feel desired.
Soundproof the room
This also depends on the type of content you plan to produce, but the last thing you will want is for random noise to interrupt the live video. It’s important to make sure the room has at least some kind of soundproofing ability. Preventing distracting sound from your live production creates a more engaging live for your viewers.
What TV equipment you’ll need to set up a home TV studio
There are a lot of considerations to take into account when setting up a home studio, such as: Will the contribution be live or recorded? What internet connectivity options and performance are available at home?
Will a single camera do, or will multi-camera live streaming solutions be required? This guide is generally intended for news broadcasters and media production companies looking to create a home studio for their anchors, but many of the tips can also be applied to just about any situation.
TV Studio Equipment list
What camera to use
Whether or not to use a broadcast camera depends on many factors, but for those wishing to keep the setup as simple as possible, smartphones are a good solution and will be suitable for almost all home studio productions.
Keeping a steady shot
Whether contributing live video or edited packages, steady shots are a must. A tripod is essential. Models designed for use with smartphones are available for under $100. Shaky camera footage will make your production look amateur.
Connectivity is king
Reliable internet connectivity is crucial. Wireless networks and wired Ethernet connections (100Mb/s) are good. Back-up with hotspots is advisable. To ensure a high-quality live video transmission, many broadcasters choose to equip their anchors with the TVU Anywhere app, which uses cellular bonding between multiple connections providing a more reliable transmission and utilizing HEVC encoding.
Single Camera or Multi-Camera home TV studio setup
If a home TV studio setup truly is being built as a temporary alternative to a traditional broadcast studio it’s hard to imagine many scenarios in which multi-camera production is necessary. A single camera trained on the talent should be sufficient in most instances.
If two cameras are needed, twice as much bandwidth will be needed. Ditto the number of tripods and teleprompters.
A PTZ camera under remote control from the broadcast facility could bring another dynamic to the shot, but will be added expense and complexity.
A full broadcast studio lighting would be a bit overkill, but a classic three-point lighting –key, fill and backlight—offer great results. Again, working remotely with production personnel on the positioning of lights is a sound idea, giving talent the guidance needed to achieve the best result. There are also many good online resources.
Sound & Communicating with the newsroom
Whether the home studio is intended for an anchor or a correspondent, the need to communicate with the control room and studio at the TV station is essential. TVU Partyline offers real-time, high-quality IFB (interruptible foldback) and intercom-like connectivity via an Internet connection along with HD-quality video return.
A small audio mixer –perhaps three or four inputs—between the output of the computer used to establish the Partyline connection and the earpiece being worn by the anchor or talent offers control over IFB audio levels as well as gain control, level equalization, filtering and other controls over the mic in use.
A lavalier mic worn on a lapel is a popular solution. Wired lavs and wireless alternatives are available. Once again, a wireless mic and receiver is one more layer of complexity with which talent working from home must contend.
If TVU Anywhere is being used on a smartphone to stream video from the home studio back to the station, inputting mic audio via the mixer to the smartphone will be required. An XLR adapter to 3.5mm plug should help, but remember some newer smartphone models have eliminated the 3.5mm port, making another solution necessary.
Another important piece of the technology puzzle is access to the station’s newsroom computer system via the internet and a virtual private network. The connection will provide access to the wire services, scriptwriting tools, video editing and even footage archived on the facility’s media asset management system used in creating a news story. It also will allow the remote talent to submit completed stories to be inserted into the newscast rundown.
Meteorologists producing weather reports from home require a variety of more specialized technology, which is beyond the scope of this article. However, an interesting description of one prominent meteorologist who set up a home studio is available here.
Cloud-based live production & broadcast equipment list
This list of cloud-based production solutions offered by TVU Networks will help you build an affordable home TV studio for almost any type of content you want to produce for many types of cases. With cloud solutions, you can easily manage to capture, produce, distribute, and even monetize your live content or existing content. This makes it easy to produce remotely, work with others from anywhere, and provides you with high-end broadcast quality features used in big studios right in your own home.
Produce live video in the cloud
Cloud-based live video production has become a staple in the media and entertainment industry, and there is no better platform other than TVU Producer. The versatility and full range of features offered by TVU Producer is unmatched. You can create professional live broadcasts used by big broadcasters and when using this platform the user interface makes it phenomenally easy to manage by yourself.
Capture live video with your smartphone or mobile device
For a custom-built home tv studio, you will definitely want the option to use a smartphone as a primary or secondary camera as previously discussed earlier in this article. While TVU Anywhere runs on TVU Producer, it gives you the efficient edge of capturing, producing, and distributing instantly or provides an opportunity to create a multi-camera live stream that can be managed by an operator in the studio or in a different location.
Inviting remote guests to your live
When you are looking to invite guests into your live or you are planning to collaborate with teams over live video in different locations for a large production setup. Both are made super simple with TVU Partyline. It is the only solution with broadcast-quality ability that makes it easy for live video collaborations or live remote guests to join your live content.
Easily manage remote commentary from your home studio
TVU Remote Commentator is another very useful cloud-based solution for sports broadcasting enabling on-air announcers to call the action remotely from their home tv studio. All that’s needed is to log in to the platform and become part of the production. With TVU Networks’ low latency streaming network, announcers are able to be 100% synced with the program.
Building out a full remote production system
For those working on larger live event production projects but looking to operate from home or a custom-built studio whether in an OB Truck or remote location TVU Remote Production System is the leading RPS solution in the industry. Remote production has become much more important due to the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and cost savings due to cloud-based technology optimized for video over IP.
Distribute & Monetize with FAST (Free ad-supported TV) Channel
TVU FAST Channel enables video content producers to easily create, manage, and monetize live digital channels for OTT, OTA, and Connected TV. When creating your own live production or if you have existing content material you have the ability to schedule broadcasts within your own digital tv channel and distribute it to FAST streaming platforms.
Tips for broadcasting at home
- Always do a test run before going to air to ensure everything is working correctly and you have the result you want
- Check your internet connection and cellular signal before going live, make sure no one else in your household is downloading or stealing bandwidth, you want the best connection possible
- Make sure your background is appropriate and not distracting, or use a TV with a still image as a backdrop
- Ensure no one is going to walk in on you when broadcasting or there aren’t going to be any distracting outside sounds
- If possible, ask someone to be your production assistant, who can help set everything up and check on things like signal and picture quality when you’re recording
- Rely on other station personnel for their expertise. Even if they aren’t with you in your home studio, you are setting up a remote video feed so they will be able to see what you are doing and guide you through the rough patches
If you need any advice or broadcast consultation on setting up cloud solutions for a remote studio from home, office, broadcast trucks, ob vans, or just upgrading to cloud production tools, our team can be contacted 24/7 via our contact form here.