Understand how to choose the optimal remote production strategy for your workflow. Latency, circuit data capacity, and quality of service all influence the best strategy decisions when figuring out where to install cameras, production switchers, microphones and sound consoles.
With talk of an impending Metaverse and augmented reality graphics increasingly becoming part of mainstream television broadcasts and live eSports events, top graphics artists are looking past traditional 3D animation and virtual environments and using fully rendered 360-degree 2K and 4K video to get a more captivating effect.
If 2020 was considered a disruptive one for the television production community, 2021 was a year where trial and error and the lessons learned became real-world REMI deployments to keep live sports and entertainment content on the air. Production studios too learned to adapt with fewer crew allowed inside and social distancing becoming the new normal.
Back in the fall of 2020, several months after private equity firm Black Dragon Capital completed its acquisition of Grass Valley, it became apparent to the company’s management team that it had an unpolished jewel in the GV portfolio that needed attention. Given the virtualization changes, cost cutting and high demand for new content occurring within the industry, customers who served as beta testers told them, “this AMPP thing is going to change the industry.”
Planning for any kind of live TV broadcasting starts with a ‘what-if?’ list. What if the power source fails? What if a key production person gets sick or hurt? What if broadband internet access becomes unstable? What are the chances for each ‘what-if?’ and what back-up alternatives fit the budget? The list should be as lengthy as it is easy to edit.
Most live remote outside broadcasts are thoroughly planned by producers and directors who are often too busy to consider potential equipment problems. Technology is an engineering responsibility. Engineers must be ready for any circumstances that threaten to take the show off-script or off-air, from dead wireless mic batteries to unexpected foul weather. In live TV, anything can happen and probably will, usually at the worst possible time.
Due to the flexibility and virtually unlimited access of the Internet Protocol, manufacturers of broadcast and production equipment have for years provided customers with the remote ability, via an HTML 5 browser interface, to monitor and control hardware devices via a smart phone, tablet or laptop. Vendors have now begun to take that access one step further and have developed dedicated applications for mobile phones—which have been optimized for the reduced scale of a phone screen—that put this control in the palm of your hand.
While cameras continue to be its forte’, Sony’s most recent virtual press conference made it abundantly clear that the company has gone to considerable lengths over the past few years to emerge as a comprehensive solutions provider that is no longer just helping customers make pretty pictures. Sharing those files, collaborative workflows and remote production are all part of the portfolio now.
Live TV production may not be the best fit for perfectionists who can’t recognize ‘good enough’ and move on. Live TV has no patience, no second chances and can never be late. Every live shot is a first impression.