One Button Studios: Commercial Solutions vs. Build Your Own (DIY)

The Typical DIY Recipe Book:

The One Button Studio Concept was born out of an effort at Penn State University. The team there sought to simplify video recording and assembled components to make that happen. They graciously shared the resulting plan and parts list openly with the world.

Simplified video recording was a great thing to bet on, and the idea spread around the world, in particular on college campuses where IT groups sourced and assembled components according to the original plans. 

While many key features were present, there were a handful of nagging problems and there had not been further development to solve those issues or add commonly requested helpful features. For these reasons a number of colleges have moved away from the Penn State published plans, scrapping the hardware they purchased for that system. Frankly, this feedback is what pushed Revolution to start out building a better solution. Read more about the start and evolution of One Button Studios.

When comparing self-built to a complete commercial solution...

Critical elements can be easy to overlook: 


The amount of time needed for development & trial-and-error is often greatly underestimated when wading into uncharted waters, even with a solid understanding of the main elements needed.

Also consider lead time. From the day you get a green light to implement a one button studio, how long will it take until that studio is up and usable? Revolution systems typically deliver within 2 weeks and all setup is completed within one day. We've seen new users building their own taking several months or even years to reach a minimally viable launch.


The level of quality of a DIY system is often limited by the amount of time which can be reasonably devoted to such a project. Unforeseen little issues which pop up along the way can tax a developer or studio owner for years as users ask for support, improvements and solutions. We've witnessed more than a handful of career changes pushed by such experiences.


As the basis of most DIY builds, the Penn State approach makes video recording relatively easy. However, if you want to insert a presentation, that must be done using an analog projector onto the wall (or a wall-mounted display) to capture your presentation. Not surprisingly, the clarity (and resulting professionalism of your video) is diminished.

You can add a green-screen but you are then limited to capturing one mode: the presenter standing in front of the green-screen (no use of a projected presentation, though a wall-mounted display could be used). There is no processing of that video to remove the green background and replace it with an image so post-shoot editing will be needed every time. 

In contrast, our team has spent thousands of hours researching, developing, and tuning the commercial systems we produce to make the process of setup and use as seamless as possible.

Users of the Revolution One Button Studios can switch between a variety of presentation modes, digitally integrating presentation slides, backgrounds and more in real time with nothing more than the touch of a button. Live streaming capability is included in all of our systems, other than the Lite package. 

We place an immense value on customers' time and overall experience. We will spend ten hours or more to make a change that will save five minutes for every customer during setup & launch.


If something comes up with any of our products, you can pick up the phone and talk with someone on our team who will address the issue, often live with you on the first call. 

Purchase Cost

Many customers are surprised how little they'd save in trying to build their own systems, even a basic system. The hardware list for the basic Penn State plan would cost $5500 without a projector or green-screen. That goes up to $10,000 if including the green-screen (which still requires editing every video)!

With that in mind, which option sounds most economical in the end?

If you are responsible for helping a group of faculty or employees create better video lessons and content, look no further than the One Button Studios from Revolution.


Like the funny picture? Office photo created by master1305 -