The Parliament of Serbia finds the perfect low-light broadcast solution in the Canon CR-N500 PTZ camera, shining a clearer spotlight on the country’s most important political issues of the day.
CR-N500 Case Study Serbian Parliament

Parliament. Tilt. Zoom.

Located in the Belgrade Square of Nikola Pašić, the Parliament of Serbia is where 250 deputies in the National Assembly debate the top political issues of the day. With a duty to uphold transparency and visibility for its citizens, the government institution broadcasts important political events on national media service Radio Television Serbia (RTS). RTS runs 13 channels in total of which 3 of them are national. Yet with 9 outdated cameras, which all required round-the-clock operators, it was time for an upgrade albeit on a limited budget.

Client: Radio Television Serbia – RTS (TV broadcaster for the Serbian Parliament)
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Case Study Serbian Parliament

    RTS required an effective solution to deliver high-quality TV productions of Parliament sessions on a medium budget with a reduced team. The main aim was simple. To upgrade the image quality to full HD, while shifting towards a more reliable, remote-controlled system. The system needed to enable a single operator to switch between 250 members of Parliament quickly and accurately, so pre-set functionality was crucial. Matching picture quality with CCD cameras and old HD EFP tape-based cameras was also important so audiences couldn’t distinguish which camera was on air. Due to difficult indoor lighting in the National Assembly, the PTZ cameras had to offer strong low-light performance.


    With the help of Serbian systems integrator, Zanus, RTS explored the different PTZ cameras on the market. After a tender process, the TV channel ordered 4 units of Canon CR-N500s, which vastly improved overall production quality with 4K resolution. The PTZs are now a permanent fixture covering the Parliament debates, controlled by a Skaarhoj controller.


“The time spent finding the speaker has been significantly reduced compared to when it was done by an operator in the hall”

A unanimous decision

Serbian national TV channel RTS records around 10 days of government broadcasts each month. They needed an imaging system that could power through long debates up to 14 hours a day, stressing the importance of robust and reliable equipment.

“Depending on the schedule of Parliament, we broadcast an average of 10 days per month normally from 10am-6pm. Extraordinary sessions can last up to 14 hours a day! We needed a system that could work 24/7, sometimes until the early hours of the morning,” explains Aleksandar Topalovic, Deputy Chief Technical Officer at RTS.

After receiving a sample to test, Aleksandar said: “Our first concern was picture matching, which we were happy with. We wanted to keep the old EFP HD with tape recorder cameras, so it was important that the image quality matched. Then we tried out where we could position the cameras in the main hall and what shots we could capture.

“Another thing was to test the image quality and compare it to our existing system. Everything worked well, we were happy the Canon CR-N500 met our requirements.”

“We had good support from Canon during the integration, and Zanus as well. They even invented a bespoke shade to fit on top of the camera to block out some of the light from the glass roof.”

In terms of positions, one PTZ is central, two are on the side and one is fixed upstairs in the gallery for a wide shot and voting. “Now we have 7 cameras controlled by one person from one place, with two operators taking turns, reducing the overall manual operation.”

CR-N500 Case Study Serbian Parliament

Broadcast made easy

“You don’t need a university degree!” remarks Aleksandar about how easy the CR-N500 is to set up. The power over ethernet streamlines the number of cables for easy integration, while the pre-sets have made life simple for the operator.

“Every Parliament member speaks from their seat. Therefore, we have a pre-set for each person, per political party, per area. Up to 10,000 pre-sets are possible. The sky is the limit!” he says. As the Chairman nominates who to speak next, the operator must pick the name of the MP to point the camera, and navigate any fine adjustments if people happen to be sitting in a different place.

“Pre-sets help a lot. The time to find the speaker has been significantly reduced compared to when it was done by an operator in the hall.” To customise and control the pre-sets, the team is using a bespoke software called RoboProd together with a Skaarhoj controller, which Zanus helped to programme and predefine.

According to Aleksandar, his operators now can’t tell the difference between the Canon CR-N500 PTZs and their previous broadcast cameras. Unsurprisingly, the jump from SD to HD means the quality of picture is “much, much better”. Thanks to the Canon upgrade, viewers can now clearly see the Parliament interior in all its stately beauty. While most debates are more contentious, it seems the CR-N500 has received the vote of confidence from all parties.

Serbian Parliament System Wiring Diagram

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