If you listened to radio shows or podcasts in the first few months of this crisis, you may have noticed that some sounded clear, while others sounded like people were sat in different rooms, speaking into empty soup cans tethered by a string. We’ve all experienced the technological growing pains associated with new media in 2020. But as the circumstances evolve, so too does the technology. Stijn already sees improvements with long-term potential, particularly in the realm of audio engineering. Recently, VRT was able to produce a radio show with four different hosts participating remotely via a home setup that sounded natural and gives hope to the future of remote broadcasting.
However, capturing the “natural” flow of human interaction is not limited to on-screen productions. Stijn’s department realized very quickly that collaboration wasn’t just about sharing files, making edits, and having a chat over messenger. To fully facilitate the creative process, editors and directors and engineers need to feel like there is a connection when working together, with the ability to freely communicate in real-time. “We realized the best collaboration happens between two people in a natural environment, so now we are focusing our efforts to provide an environment that facilitates this creative process.”
There have been remarkable efforts made to keep television and radio programming on-air while dealing with the behind-the-scenes disruptions. Even during these times, according to Stijn, VRT has discovered a renewed interest in its platform: “We’ve found that, with so much information coming in at such a high pace, viewers are turning to public broadcasters as a source of truth. A lighthouse on a rocky shore, one could say, guiding people in the right direction.” This gives hope to the future of the industry and demonstrates the importance of taking a holistic approach to solve problems and overcome technological barriers through adaptation and innovation.