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How I Got Sucked In
The first time I saw the commercial for the Creation Station from Rip Roar Media I immediately thought “Video Podcast”. It looked like it would be the perfect starter kit. Camera, green screen and software all included. Even if it only worked half as well as it claimed to, it would be a bargain basement video casting solution.
The price even seemed reasonable, ranging from $79 to $100 depending on where I looked. I did a little looking into other options for chroma keying, the Creation Station’s main selling point. This kit looked even better. Chroma key equipment can be expensive.
When I was Christmas shopping with my girlfriend we saw the Creation Station at Wal-Mart. It was marked down to $35. This should have sent up a few red flags, but I figured it was marked down because it wasn’t selling well and they were trying to unload their stock. I didn’t ask myself why they were trying so hard to unload that stock. I couldn’t resist a bargain like that and agreed to let my girlfriend buy it as a Christmas present for me.
I was planning to write a review of the Creation Station, with a few tips and a video made with the kit. There is a reason this post doesn’t have that video.
The Creation Station Does Not Work
I wasn’t expecting much, but the Creation Station couldn’t even live up to my lowest standards. I did expect it to work, even if it didn’t work well. Instead of a review here’s a list of reasons not to buy the Creation Station.
Cheap Camera. The camera is as cheap as they could possibly make it. You’re much better off buying a cheap webcam for around $20-$25.
Tripod Is Useless. The little plastic tripod included in the kit is so poorly made it can barely support the camera. Forget adjusting it. The materials and construction are so cheap it doesn’t even work.
Software Does Not Work. I tried for hours to get it to work. It kept crashing any time I tried to use it. I did find a solution to the crashing. I updated a .dll file and that fixed the crash problem. It wasn’t enough to fix the software itself. It’s still incredibly horrible.
Green Screen Is Split. I thought this was odd from the beginning. Any time I saw a description for the Creation Station it said it contained a green screen measuring 9.8 x 6 feet. What it really contains is two green screens that have velcro on them. This is bad. Even a cursory search into chroma keying will tell you that the screen needs to be smooth and well lit. A line down the middle of the screen where the pieces are stuck together is a very bad thing.
Don’t buy the Creation Station. It’s garbage. I’ve seen the price drop as low as $15 at Walmart.com before it was removed completely. It’s not even worth that much. A trip to a fabric store will get you a much better green screen for $15, and that’s the only functional part of the Creation Station.
I’m still looking into an affordable way to make a video podcast. I’ll let you know if I find something good.
[tags]Fun Stuff, Podcasts, Video, Reviews, Rip Roar, Rip Roar Media, Creation Station, Chroma Key, Green Screen, Cheap[/tags]