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?
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.
Television ratings service Nielsen recently released a report that showed streaming platforms pulled in a bigger share of viewers’ time then broadcast networks did. In fact, Netflix and YouTube alone now make up about 12 percent of the time Americans spend in front of their TVs.
Sitting at home watching the Olympics 400m Women’s hurdles final live on NBC’s 4K HDR channel, home audiences were captivated by the sweat and effort displayed on screen with immersive sound of the runners’ feet hitting the track. Viewers thousands of miles away could be excused for thinking they had the best seat in the Japan National Stadium. The live 4K HDR broadcast of NBC’s primetime show throughout the Games were an extrasensory experience unlike any previous Olympics telecasts.
Although latency and resource coordination continue to challenge those considering cloud-based remote live production, the distributed architecture model is steadily gaining traction as a cost-effective alternate to hardware-based on-premise projects. To date this IT-centric architecture has not been deployed for high-profile productions like the Super Bowl or World Cup, but remote IP-video contribution, production and distribution has allowed second-tier sporting events to be televised globally whereas they might not be - due to cost and fully remote access - using traditional production methods.
New, in-cloud, pay-per-use business models offer new advantages to occasional REMI, field reporting, remote event production and similar content producers and distributors with a better business model to remain competitive and profitable without huge ongoing capital investments.
The pressure to extract more revenue from ever shrinking budgets, due to expensive content rights contracts, is causing Broadcasters to re-evaluate—and in many cases reduce—how they spend their money on production tools and infrastructure. Recognizing this, live production technology providers like Grass Valley are getting “creative” in how they sell their products and cloud-native systems.