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.
The new year is a time to ponder the past and muse about the future. In the past, nearly each technical device needed to produce broadcast TV cost more than building a new house, was as huge as it was heavy, and made pictures nobody would accept today. About 20 years ago, many analog TV stations were launching their DTV stations. Today, US TV stations are launching ATSC 3.0. Can you imagine what TV broadcasters will be doing in 2042?
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.
An obvious place to look is how COVID-19 has reshaped the workflows of productions across the industry. Remote working and geographically dispersed teams linked online and via cloud are now embedded.
In the action-packed and frenetic world of motorsports operations, crew communications at the track can be as important to success as the actual performance of the car itself. Monitoring telemetry from the cars and managing and distributing hundreds of audio channels has also become vital. It’s hard work configuring the required technology infrastructures on a weekly basis during the 11-month Formula 1 (F1) racing season, but well worth it.
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.”
For broadcasters to be profitable and stay ahead of the curve in this competitive market, they need to develop hybrid strategies with secure technology to accommodate remote workers without losing productivity. This was a direction the industry had been heading towards for some time, but the pandemic forced the industry’s hand at a more accelerated rate.
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.