CASE STUDY

Redefining TV broadcasting with Canon PTZs for one of Slovakia’s most popular channels

Popular Slovakian channel, TV JOJ, is revolutionising the use of Canon CR-N500 PTZ cameras to produce TV-quality broadcasting. They are the first station in Slovakia to build PTZ-exclusive studios.
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TV Broadcasting, Studio. Cameras, Tripods, Set

Setting new benchmarks

Running a TV channel is no simple operation. A multitude of studios, some broadcasting shows live and direct, others recording podcasts for later, plus news coverage on the fly as. the story unfolds in real time. The broadcast equipment can range from being quite complex to requiring multiple skilled operators with many years of experience. In Slovakia, however, change is afoot behind the scenes and off camera.

Client - TV JOJ
Location - Bratislava, Slovakia

  • THE CHALLENGE

    When private channel TV JOJ built three new studios at its HQ in Bratislava, they needed to procure a solution that suited the needs of smaller spaces with low lighting.

    In fact, the studios were created specifically for sports, news and podcast productions and designed exclusively for PTZ cameras. Soon to mark its 20th anniversary, the TV station sought a broadcast-quality set-up that would see them through the next decades.

  • THE SOLUTION

    Canon installed two sets of new CR-N500 PTZ cameras alongside RC-IP100 remote controllers that together provided the optimum price point versus tech spec required. The client had specific needs for PTZ cameras to fit in smaller studios – without compromising on broadcast image quality.

JURAJ KNOSKO, TECHNICIAN, TV JOJ

“ Another important point is that we could automate camera movement via presets, which are fantastic and a feature we use every day ”

Cameras, Tripod, Staff, Control room, Monitor

Products that were used to achieve this

Canon’s new range of PTZ cameras close the distance with unrivalled clarity.

Ticking the right boxes

“One of the most important reasons we opted for a PTZ solution was that we had limited space in the new studios. Compared to traditional B4 mount cameras with lens, the Canon CR-N500s are super compact with a small operational radius,” says Juraj Knosko, technician at TV JOJ.

“Another important point is that we could automate camera movement via presets, which are fantastic and a feature we use every day. No cameraman is able to shoot it as precisely with the right speed and specific zoom points, as achieved via the automatic presets,” he adds. The station is the first in Slovakia to install and use PTZ cameras for TV use, and so far has produced strong results.

“The control of the Canon PTZ cameras has dramatically improved our productions since we first tested it in summer 2021 and the speed is perfect for the type of content we shoot, from news presenters to static panels of speakers.”

Exceeding expectations

The next key factor in the testing process was picture quality. How did the Canon PTZ camera stand up to industry-standard broadcast cameras?

“We did a blind test between the CR-N500 PTZ and competitor broadcast cameras alongside ENG cameras. To our surprise, experienced technical experts from our TV station couldn’t identify which picture was from the PTZ camera and which was from the competitor broadcast camera. That gave us the confidence in the PTZ to fulfil our TV needs,” comments Juraj.

“For the price we pay, the picture quality from the Canon PTZ cameras was perfect for our needs. It proves you don’t have to have most expensive camera to get the same result, with the latest tech of the CMOS sensor.”

The smaller studios have limited lighting, which is when the powerful CR-N500’s 1.0-type CMOS sensor comes in handy, retaining image quality in low light, with great low-noise sensitivity.

Canon Camera

Cost-saving set-up

Thanks to the innovative presets and the intuitive RCIP100 controller, production is now easier than ever at TV JOJ with only one operator required per PTZ studio, compared to five before. Now five CR-N500s are managed by the single controller.

JURAJ KNOSKO, TECHNICIAN, TV JOJ

“The technical presales and aftersales treatment we received from the product management team was absolutely spot on”

“Since they are much lighter in weight, we saved plenty of money on tripods and other accessories, which are not needed, such as zoom and demand focus. Also, no other operators are needed on standby if someone is off sick because the controllers are so easy to use with the presets. It means we don’t have to spend so much time training and there is a smaller margin for error,” says Juraj. “Out of the box experience is very easy and comprehensive and we were surprised with the picture quality. On product, we saved approximately €40,000 per camera chain, while the operational saving is about €200,000 per studio.”

Because of this outstanding cost-saving, TV JOJ was able to maximise its production capabilities by investing in three studios, rather than just one which they had originally planned for. In other words, they are getting a great return on investment. For this reason, they see PTZs as the resource-friendly way forward for static shooting.

“The technical presales and aftersales treatment we received from the product management team was absolutely spot on”

Juraj adds: “The technical presales and aftersales treatment we received from the product management team was absolutely spot on. They send us new firmware within two weeks of us reporting it. We have never received such fast firmware response from any manufacturer.”

In terms of hardware integration, the team seamlessly connects the CR-N500 with the NewTek TriCaster Mini for streaming purposes. “It’s also great that Tally Lights work natively in it, so it’s great for use in small studios, like we have in the podcast setup,” he says.

When time and space was of the essence, the Canon CR-N500 proved to be the perfect solution for the TV station, delivering all the essential technical specifications – without any superfluous, costly features they didn’t need. TV JOJ’s first slogan was “Nuda na Slovensku skončila” – “Boredom in Slovakia has finished.” Twenty years on, and the channel is keeping its audience engaged.

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