News Station Turns Mercedes Van Into a Fully Functioning TV Studio
Lech Marcinczak is a reporter and camera operator for Poland’s TVN24 news network. Off the clock, though, Marcinczak is a self-described inventor with a particular passion for live video streaming. These days, Marcinczak’s off-work interests are increasingly tangled with his on-the-job responsibilities, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. His station requested that he find—or invent—a way for TVN24 (owned by Discovery, Inc., MotorTrend Group’s joint-venture partner) to isolate and interview guests in a professional-looking on-screen setting outside of the station’s main studio.
While Marcinczak initially built a small stationery studio for this purpose, he soon realized a mobile studio would allow TVN24 to reach guests wary of wandering too far from their residence. In short order, Marcinczak converted the station’s 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cargo van into a fully functioning television studio.
The diesel-engined van’s once-empty cargo bay now includes a dedicated green screen, an array of LED lights, all necessary camera equipment, and a laptop for producing and keying in proper backdrops behind any on-air guest. After all, half the appeal of TVN24’s mobile studio is that nothing appears out of the ordinary to the station’s viewers. In other words, there’s no indication the station’s on-air guests are filming from a van.
In total, Marcinczak estimates it took about six hours to convert the Sprinter into the mobile television studio it is today at a cost of around $100. Admittedly, that figure largely reflects the money spent on a few tools, magnets, tape, and fabrics, which Marcinczak needed to purchase in order to bring his concept to reality. Add in the cost of the technical equipment required to film and produce a live segment (which TV24 already owned) and that sum surely swells.
No doubt, Marcinczak’s mobile studio is a successful concept. In fact, TVN24’s already turned to him to prepare two more vans in such a manner (one of which, the studio’s Volkswagen Crafter passenger van, he recently completed). It’s not just the station or guests that appreciate Marciczak’s work, either—his kids do, too. Then again, can you blame them? Sure, there are plenty of Mercedes-Benz Sprinters set up for carrying cargo or camping, but TVN24’s Sprinter might just be the only one that hides a makeshift television studio in its cargo hold.