Nobody can deny that, over the last decade, the impact that the Internet had on the entertainment and creative industry has marked a before and after in the way of sharing content, contributing to the emergence of new business models and the proliferation of IP television channels and new creative companies. On the other hand, virtual studio technologies turned into a growing trend among big broadcasters in pursuit of offering a higher immersive and appealing experiences to their audience. How will these new business be able to success within that challenging sector?

With all this in mind, SmartSet arouse as a response to the growing demand from creative SMEs seeking for an advanced, cost effective virtual studio solution that enables them to increase their competitiveness in the market. Thereby, SmartSet is particularly addressed to small TV channels, production companies, online television channels or even educational centres.

The technical challenge resided in being able to provide a virtual studio solution that was both affordable and technically manageable for this new type of customer. A simplification of the technology was essential in terms of the hardware involved and the complexity of the graphic engine. After further developments, SmartSet succeeded in offering not only a user friendly interface based on pre-designed program templates but also comprising a software-based chromakeyer, a semi-automatic camera calibration system, realistic casting of shadows or automatic tracking of the talent within a scene, which bring a professional output to SMEs closer.

SmartSet has undergone an extensive validation process, performed by five creative organisations, BonumTV (Hungary), JoulupukkiTV (Finland), Hallingdolen AS (Norway), SolidariaTV (Spain) and Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Finland). Each one of them presenting different needs and expectations, this process provided valuable feedback from a user´s perspective. This synergy enabled to conceive a closer-to-market product taking into consideration the main demands that ensure an attractive and pragmatic solution. The main purpose of the article is to set out a short overview of the users´s experience compiled during the last months.

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