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.
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.
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.
The pandemic has affected the system design and operations of live sports production in a myriad of ways. At first it was difficult for many to figure out but then evolved into the deployment of innovative types of distributed workflows and crews that drastically altered the physical positioning of technology and human resources.
As users return to the studio and office the need to work remotely is more powerful now than ever. Hybrid is the new way of working and computing innovation is rising to the challenge to provide broadcast users with easy to use, and secure operations from their local PC/Workstation.