What is a One Button Studio?

A One Button Studio is an automated audio/video recording system designed to make recording presentations easy for anyone. The basic functionality is as follows:

  1. The presenter, following onscreen directions, inputs a flash drive. (Also known as a thumb drive.) The system automatically turns on the studio lights.
  2. A new message appears onscreen, indicating that the user may start and stop recording by pushing the button.
  3. The presenter pushes the button, a recording countdown is shown, and recording begins.
  4. The presenter delivers the presentation and hits the button again to stop recording.
  5. The onscreen message indicates that the recorded file is being copied to the flash drive.
  6. When the file copy is finished, the presenter is prompted to unplug the flash drive, which causes the studio lights to turn off.
  7. The One Button Studio system returns to its beginning state, ready for the next presenter.

History of the One Button Studio

The One Button Studio concept was originally conceived at an EduCause conference, in the early 2010’s.  A working One Button Studio system was developed in 2014 by a team at Penn State. Combining off-the-shelf hardware, software and a custom Mac app, Penn State deployed around thirty installations at their own campuses, and the plans were released to the public. Dozens of other universities and colleges jumped on the idea of a self-service video production room and built One Button Studios, following Penn State’s online instructions and resources. Penn State’s One Button Studio website is here: https://onebutton.psu.edu/

In 2018, the first commercial One Button Studio kits were made available for sale by DVEstore Inc. Their most popular One Button Studio product is called the One Button Studio+Plus, which offers live presentation compositing. In other words, the presenter can load a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, select a background, select a watermark, and it all becomes part of the recorded presentation. Here is a comparison chart which gives an overview of the differences between the Penn State’s DIY One Button Studio and the DVEstore’s pre-built One Button Studio+Plus.


Penn State’s DIY One Button Studio DVEstore’s Pre-Built One Button Studio Kits
Software One Button Studio Mac app (last updated 2018), Indigo Domotics, Blackmagic Design Desktop Video mimoLive (updated monthly), OneButtonStudio Controller, Blackmagic Design Desktop Video
Hardware Off-the-shelf, ordered from multiple vendors Off-the-shelf, all included in the kit, pre-assembled and rack-mounted
Cabinet Custom rolling cabinet, w/6-week wait time Industry standard rolling rack cabinet w/19″ rack rails
Ordering multiple SKU’s, multiple vendors One SKU, One vendor
Assembly DIY assembly; plan for several days 80% pre-assembled; one-day setup; professional installation available
Support Penn State website resources Developer direct support via email, phone & remote login. One year of support included, with extended support contracts available
Functionality One click recording; green screen, presentation integration via projector or TV screen, thumb drive delivery One click recording; green screen, presentation integration via software or TV screen, thumb drive delivery; live compositing with Plus or Pro kit.
Performance 1-2 second program monitor delay; post-production editing required 5-6 frame program monitor delay; no post-production necessary with Plus or Pro kit.
Price $5K–$12K depending on options $10K–$25K depending on kit