RTVE - 24 hours - new dish 2023

The RTVE engineering team anticipates to Panorama Audiovisual what the visual revolution of public broadcasting will be like, which will materialize in new screens for 24-hour broadcasting, Territorial Centers and a decisive commitment to augmented reality and virtual production.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

What used to be a choice is now the way to go. Those extraordinary developments of augmented reality, present in special programs of great importance among the audience, have become central part of the visual commitment of news programs. Each television in Spain addresses this field with a range of ambition marked by its possibilities. In the case of RTVE, the bet is beyond doubt.

The elegant renovation of the news set of the 1, a display dominated by large screens and a game of reflections, has begun its expansion. The viewers of the channel 24 hours they are about to see how the visual identity of the news is blended with the news of the first chain with a display of LEDs to match. The same technology is already being enjoyed by followers of the territorial information, who have already seen how information spaces adopt a new aesthetic line starring the screens.

Concepts like augmented or extended reality will proliferate in a RTVE that is aware of visual and narrative value of the new television graphics solutions.

The deployment of these supports will allow the landing of tools that provide new narrative languages at the information. Concepts like augmented or extended reality will proliferate in an entity that is aware of visual and narrative value of the new television graphics solutions. In parallel, RTVE completes this commitment to the virtual universe with the imminent implementation of a significant number of virtual scenery in Studio 3 of Prado del Rey prepared to renovate numerous public service formats.

RTVE's mission is to inform its public, and to do so, it will deploy all the technological solutions it may have at its disposal. On our visit to Torrespaña, RTVE's engineering team allows us to discover what steps the Spanish broadcaster is taking in this field.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

24 Hours studio with a provisional floor, which will be replaced by a reflective one in the line of the Newscasts of La 1

Screens and more screens: why

Las LED screens They have come to RTVE to stay. at least, to medium term. It is a trend that has materialized among the main world broadcasters, which contributes dynamism and versatility to the usual stoicness of the news. In addition, as reported by the technical area of ​​RTVE, "it increases the communication capacity and contributes brand image”, pillars to understand the unstoppable expansion of these supports: “We started with the study of the Newscast of La 1. Now, the study of 24 Hours and the Territorial Centers will incorporate the screens and a scenery in which reflections prevail”.

RTVE - 24 hours - new dish 2023Within a few weeks, all these spaces will have sets dominated by LED screens of large dimensions, always adapted to the dimensions of each studio. In the case of 24 Hours, the premiere is imminent, while the Territorial Centers have already begun to broadcast from these new spaces after an important work of coordination its deployment: “We install the screens in two territorial centers every weekend, in a total of seven waves. In total, we have 17 territorial centers, of which three of them are integrated into the production centers of the Canary Islands, Sant Cugat and Torrespaña”.

“When it comes to renewing all our territorial centers to adapt them to High Definition, we have decided to deploy the same mixers, matrices, glue electronics, cameras... and with the screens We have done the same."

This deployment not only helps implement that brand image, but also allows to unify the technological deployment of each space: "When renovating all our territorial centers to adapt them to high definition, we have decided to deploy the same mixers, matrices, glue electronics, cameras... and with the screens we have done the same". This decision will allow RTVE to expedite each technical process y share resources so much technological as creative in the event that it is necessary: ​​"Regardless of whether each center has its graphics capacity, unifying the screens, scalers and production system will allow some resources to be exchanged, unifying the graphic line of all the centers".

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual renewal - New visual

The new 24-hour line replicates the successful formula of the news programs on La 1 and Territorial Centers

The renewal of 24 hours

In the short term, the most important visual change that RTVE will face will be the study of news from the 24 hour channel.

For this transition, the space on the set is expanded, which has made it possible to include large screens that will dominate the content. In parallel, the opportunity has been taken advantage of to equip this Studio 2 located in Torrespaña with a system of augmented reality what can you do immersive productions, so that the presenter is located, according to RTVE, "in the middle of a jungle or in the center of the dome of a cathedral".

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

The Mo-Sys system is key to the deployment of augmented reality in the news

Key to this bet has been the use of positioning systems absolute with Mo Sys, whose constellation based on retroreflectors allows deployments with great precision, as well as the integration of pedestals of Vinten, which incorporates positioning sensors that provide significant improvements over other types of alternatives.

The use of augmented reality is more complicated for the study of Canal 24 Horas. The informative programs will maintain their usual structure expanding its possibilities with the use of screens. The informative news, highlights the technical area of ​​RTVE, makes the instant deployment of augmented reality developments for each piece of news.

Camera system with Mo-Sys and the system of retroreflectors on the ceiling of the set and monitor

Today, "augmented reality is a content that requires a lot of reflection, preparation and rehearsals on many occasions", a time that is not always available in the context of the RTVE news channel.

The news on La 1 will continue to be the home of the most attractive augmented reality proposals, those in which positioning systems and software solutions are perfectly combined with movements with cranes Scorpio to make the most of the spectacularity offered by these informative graphic solutions.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

The perfect screen for RTVE

The bidding for the screen for these spaces has not been an easy path. RTVE has analyzed each of the solutions available on the market to discover which could be the best alternative to lead the visual line of its informative programs. To do this, once the RTVE technology team created the file for these screens, hired a independent laboratory to assess in a real environment the response of the screens of the main agents of the industry.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

Set of rear panels of the ModularPix Pro P1 ORIM models by Alfalite on RTVE

What was clear from minute zero is that the quality of the screen had to be the same for each of the centers. For this reason, they have all been tendered under the same standard of demanding quality and according to the modular formats determined in the designs of the sets, which makes it possible to maintain visual homogeneity regardless of the size of the screens: "It is true that in Madrid or Barcelona the screens are very large, several canvas and a more powerful computer system is needed to manage that content. In the case of smaller territorial centers, the feeding of these screens is done through the auxiliary buses of the mixer, so there is no specific computer system for screen content management”, García clarifies.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

Detail of the Alfalite module in the RTVE studios in Torrespaña

The screens awarded in the tender, made up of Datos Media Technologies, were the Alphalite ModularPix Pro P1 ORIM, sistemas modulares compuestos por decenas de paneles con una velocidad de refresco de 3.900 Hz, una luminosidad de 1.800 cd/m², un alto contraste de 5000:1, una importante precisión entre módulos (<0,02 mm) y una capacidad de reproducir más de 281 trillones de colores, siempre según datos del propio fabricante español.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

News set for La 1, with a system of screens and a reflective floor

The definitive criteria: angle, colorimetry, maintenance…

RTVE thoroughly studied all kinds of parameters to determine the technical bidding characteristics for the screens of this project. Same as him glow was not an absolutely decisive question, since these screens usually operate at a small percentage of its lighting capacity, the RTVE engineers especially valued other issues such as the vision angle, the maintainability of your colorimetry at low light capacity or, for example, its electromagnetic compatibility: "These large screens work in a television studio where there are many communications between radio stations, earpieces or wireless microphones. It is very important to take this electromagnetic environment into account, which is why we demand that these screens comply with the regulations with European laboratories”.

“Perhaps there can be better screens, but with a much higher power consumption. (...) We are very concerned that the manufacturer of this equipment, which will have great use, complies with all the environmental criteria”.

Other characteristics that were required in the specifications, such as the type of protective resin that had or the ability to endurance over time, some of the previous parameters improved remarkably.

The management of the Technical Area does not forget a criterion that is becoming increasingly important within RTVE: the sustainability. It is a factor to take into account in the public purchase of quality “Perhaps there may be better screens, but with a much higher electricity consumption. We have looked for parameters of low electrical consumption of the screen, as well as the absence of lead residues in the soldering of the components. We are very concerned that the manufacturer of this equipment, which will have a lot of use, meets all the environmental criteria.”

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

The green line marks the viewing limits of the news screen on La 1.

The renovation of Studio 3 in Prado del Rey (Madrid)

Apart from the renewal of the news studio screens of RTVE, which will open the doors to important improvements in the presentation of the contents, the public entity fixes its gaze on the capabilities of virtual space technology to continue contributing dynamism and visual appeal to your programming.

In this sense, the studio 3 of the RTVE headquarters in Prado del Rey will improve in the short term a significant number of virtual programs: "The deployment of new technological platforms for virtual sets allows us to improve these public service programs, which may have a more humble production budget, in every way." From the technological direction of RTVE it is considered that these systems will be able to increase the creativity of formats, making them “more rich in content, attractive and eye-catching”.

“The deployment of new technology platforms for the virtual scenery It allows these public service programs, which may have a more modest production budget, improve in every way”.

In a first phase, these virtual worlds will be built based on a green screen, although the intention of the RTVE technological team is to test the union of the chroma and one screen area, with the possibility of multicamera shots within one's own virtual scenery.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

Multiscreen system with preview of augmented reality systems (RA-5, RA-6)

Unreal Engine: RTVE's graphic bet

In search of graphics engine that will feed present and future developments in terms of virtual scenery, augmented reality and extended reality, RTVE is clearly committed to the Unreal Engine, development of Epic Games. It's an industry standard and, in fact, the muscle used by most companies offering graphics solutions. The decision is not surprising, but the way to apply it is.

The RTVE team seeks to have workstations of first level with the objective of being able to carry out "renderings of high quality and low latency" based on the Unreal engine. For the Technical Area of ​​public television, it would be desirable to have users with a sufficiently deep knowledge of Unreal, although it is true that, today, there are different brands that develop an intermediate layer. These systems, RTVE points out, perhaps do offer operators more facilities or speed. However, when Unreal proposes a new update, it takes time for these manufacturers to adapt the improvement that Epic Games has provided.

"And RTVE acquires a particular platform for that middle layer of user with respect to Unreal, the concurrency is restricted, because not all production companies or service companies you may be familiar with our choice.”

Another key factor that has led RTVE's Technical Department to make this decision is giving more opportunities for the content industry with a view to future competitions for all kinds of formats: “When we publish a specification, there has to be a competition. If RTVE acquires a specific platform for that intermediate user layer with respect to Unreal, competition is restricted, because not all production companies or service companies may be familiar with our choice. However, if we provide our IT infrastructure with the Unreal system, any company can apply its own layer of control”.

RTVE - 24 Hours - Visual Renovation - New Stage

Operator working on an AR project for newscasts.

A future in-house

All these decisions that the RTVE team has been making go in the same direction: to unleash the visual creativity, relying on the possibilities that the visual technology (either with physical supports or with virtual solutions) can contribute to the contents.

Changes will not come overnight. It is true that the implementation of the screens in all production centers is just around the corner, but there are still opportunities in new formats, studios or on the sets of telesport, the RTVE sports channel. In the same way, virtual scenery and the use of AR and XR will gradually take new steps with the support of the industry, whenever the public corporation itself requires it.

On the horizon, along with all these decisions, there is also a a new way. The Spanish Radio and Television Institute has promoted since last year a superior cycle of 3D animation, games and interactive environments: “The type of content that is addressed is directly applicable to what we are doing on television. At the moment when there is a generation of these students who can do internships on television, we would see if it is possible to incorporate them into our virtual element management or animation departments, working directly with the entire Unreal platform”.

A report by Sergio Julián Gómez

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By • 16 Mar, 2023
• Section: AR / VR / XR, Study, reports, Television