The Start and Evolution of One Button Studios

The Origin at Penn State University

The one button studio concept was created at Penn State. The team there sought out to simplify video recording and assembled components to make that happen. They chose to share their plan and software with the world, so others could benefit as well. Read more at

PSU faculty and students created a free app that runs on the MacOS platform. Their plan therefore utilizes a Mac computer running their app. Once a USB “record” button is pressed by the user, the app counts down 5 seconds and then begins recording. The app displays what is being recorded back to the user via a monitor connected to the Mac. To automate studio lighting, the app is configured to optionally work with Indigo Home Control Software.

A handful of bugs have been reported with connecting current versions of Mac OS, Indigo software, and Blackmagic software required for the capture device. 

To assist DIY builders, an extensive equipment list and a 39 page setup guide have been published, along with workarounds for some of the known issues and considerations for sourcing alternatives for discontinued components.  That legacy design, which Penn State now refers to as the 1.0 design can be found here.

Since 2020, Penn State has developed their own internal "One Button Studio 2.0" which is only available to users within the Penn State system. 

The Start of One Button Studios at Revolution

Various Revolution Lightboard customers sought to build recording studios using the open source OBS plans published by Penn State. Ultimately their feedback included quite a bit of unexpected frustration about the process of sourcing required components & alternatives and working through the published plans & workarounds. After "finishing" the project the owners had a number of common feature requests and lingering performance concerns that they didn't have an avenue to address.

We set out to develop and provide a one stop shop, integrated one button studio solution with commercial reliability and turnkey simplicity that our customers came to expect of our brand. 

The resulting patented Lightboard Control Center™ revolutionized the simplicity and functionality of self service recording and can be found on campuses around the world. One button startup and shutdown of the studio was combined with one button recording control and a variety of advanced features to interact with overlaid images/videos while recording or live streaming. 

This proprietary Lightboard Control Center™ functionality is now included in all of our Lightboard Studio Packages.

Revolution One Button Studios with Real-Time Green-screen Effects

After seeing the success of our integrated lightboard studio recording packages, customers asked us to do more. Our turnkey one button studio packages with real-time background effects via green-screen (chroma-key) technology were born.

These studio packages came with all required electronics and a Windows computer integrated into a lockable cabinet for quick setup on site. All of the equipment is configured to power on to the ready-to-record state from the first time it is plugged in.

A variety of recording modes were available to replace the background behind the presenter with a variety of scenes or presentation slides as well as picture in picture overlay options. 


Height Adjustability

In time customers requested height adjustability to accommodate users of any height, to present while seated or standing. This also allowed better accommodation of users in wheelchairs to be able to adjust the system to suit their needs with just the press of a button. To allow such systems to be simple to deploy and adjust, we developed a proprietary telescoping frame to slide the camera and monitors out from the tabletop. This even allows the system to roll through any doorway, yet expand into the usable state in seconds. All equipment including the camera rides along with the table as it is adjusted up and down for an incredibly simple user experience. 

Broadcast Quality & Teleprompters

As users experienced the power yet simplicity of our one button studios, a number of customers wanted to push the boundaries further. They requested a broadcast-grade image, an upgraded microphone and audio workflow, digital annotation and a teleprompter so they could read prepared scripts or make eye contact with the camera while looking at a Zoom meeting window (and more). Our One Button Studio Pro systems were born. 

An Economical Alternative

We've had a number of customers with limited budgets who want simple, self-service recording without a lot of frills. Sometimes these users would be comparing the hardware cost of the classic Penn-State plan with limited recording functionalities to the cost of one of our much more advanced one button studio packages with an incredible amount more features. In order to offer an economical yet rock solid self service recording system, we released our One Button Studio Lite Package

Browse the full collection of Revolution One Button Studio Packages