Hunan TV Chooses SRT For Live Remote Production

Chinese provincial broadcaster Hunan TV made a live remote production of its flagship variety show, Singer 2020, using SRT over the public internet across three locations: Changsha, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Having just wrapped up its eighth season, Singer is the most popular variety show in China, airing on Friday nights and garnering the country’s highest viewer ratings. Due to the pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions and safety concerns, the show’s producers had to make alternative plans for producing the show while still creating an engaging experience for the audience. This was especially true for the finale, which, unlike the qualifying episodes that are pre-recorded, is always broadcast live.

Instead of the traditional format where all the finalists appear on the live stage in Changsha, two of the seven finalists performed remotely in Taipei and one in Tokyo.

The Haivision solution comprised of Makito X video encoders and decoders, Haivision SRT Gateways, and the SRT protocol to overcome network congestion and prevent packet loss. Nine video feeds were sent as SRT streams to Hunan TV’s Changsha studio from Tokyo and Taipei over the internet and SRT Gateway in the cloud.

Five of the individual camera feeds were focused on the live reaction of the singer teams (three in Taipei and two in Tokyo) and were kept in sync with the Stream Sync feature supported by the Makito X video decoders located in Hunan TV’s Changsha production studio. Live return feeds were sent back to Tokyo and Taipei to enable bi-directional interviews.

The main program feeds from the Tokyo and Taipei stages were also sent to Changsha using the Haivision solution which was able to reliably deliver the live streams at such low latency that the pre-allocated satellite link was repurposed as a backup.

"During the pandemic, although we experienced some difficulties in the production of media content, we were able to innovate by fully exploring new technologies and applications,” said Lihong Zhou, Director of Technical Dispatching Center of Golden Eagle Broadcasting Systems (Hunan Broadcasting Systems). “With the help of remote production workflows supported by Haivision and SRT technology, the interactive live broadcast of the finals of Singer 2020 was broadcast from three different locations, (Changsha, Tokyo, and Taipei) with great results achieved."

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