Talking broadcast: Niels Borg finds the right workflow with VoicePlus
One of the early adopters of the Autoscript VoicePlus module was TV MIDTVEST, led by Project Manager and Technical Director Niels Borg. Catering to an audience of around 500,000 people in the mid-western Jutland region of Denmark, TV MIDTVEST is a publicly funded 24-hours channel that has five time-slots on the national TV2 station with a prime newscast in the evening that includes 50-70% news in addition to a documentary piece.
Because of how the TV MIDTVEST studio is laid out, the anchor can use the foot pedal whenever he or she is sitting during production, but for standing segments they had to choose an alternative solution. To avoid hiring an expensive operator, Borg chose to invest in VoicePlus as an add-on to his WinPlus workflow.
He explained, “VoicePlus was a great way to give the anchor control of the prompting without having to operate something, giving us a brilliant opportunity to avoid additional controllers as well as enabling the anchors to control the speed of prompting while presenting naturally. The first test of VoicePlus blew us away because it was completely seamless and showed us this great new possibility for our workflow.
“And, in the end, we made no significant changes to our original infrastructure to accommodate it,” said Borg. “We do have an operator available right now, so our main target is not cost reduction, but to ensure the script is where it is supposed to be at all times.”
With the voice activation capabilities of VoicePlus, the presenters can control the scrolling speed of the text simply by adjusting how fast they’re speaking. Thanks to its simple operation, the system can be turned on with the press of a button, and productions can choose to include an on-screen message informing the presenter if voice activation is “Enabled” or “Deactivated.” “Actually, I was directing yesterday and, at some point, the prompter operator had to focus on other activities, so I turned on VoicePlus,” continues Borg. “The transition was completely seamless – I’m not even sure that the anchor noticed. VoicePlus ensures that the text the anchor needs to read is by the white marker, and it just works. So if we are ever shorthanded, we can just enable it.”