Talking Broadcast: Niels Borg Finds the Right Workflow with Autoscript’s VoicePlus
Autoscript’s voice-activated teleprompting software module, VoicePlus, is the new solution that’s transforming broadcast one studio at a time. With an accuracy that blows users away, the add-on to Autoscript’s market leading WinPlus software is getting great customer response.
One of the early adopters of the 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, “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.”
For Borg, reliability is key to prompting. TV MIDTVEST has relied on Autoscript WinPlus for years, integrated with Avid iNews, and VoicePlus is a natural extension to the trusted software. “It does exactly what it says on the tin! It delivers what you expect it to deliver. It scrolls when it’s supposed to and doesn’t scroll when it’s not.”
When asked to describe VoicePlus in 3 words, Borg chose just one: Freedom. “All of a sudden you can be anywhere and the prompter will follow you – so freedom. VoicePlus offers the anchor the freedom to use the prompter without having to control it or rely on someone else to control it. Recently our prompter operator had to focus on other urgent tasks, thus couldn’t focus on the prompter operation. Without VoicePlus our anchor would have ended looking silly. VoicePlus gives anchors the assurance and freedom they need to get the job done.”
For more information on TV MIDTVEST, go to tvmidtvest.dk