Is Remote Operation Underrated?

A recent Lawo remote activities case study notes, “It should be obvious by now that remote operation has been seriously underrated. For some, it allows to save substantial amounts of money, while others will appreciate the time gained from not having to travel.”

The industry trend to remote production, operations and control is supported by new technologies and new solutions that make sense. The following is information a visitor might have learned about new remote operation solutions, if there were trade show exhibits to visit.

Grass Valley is busy in 2021 expanding and upgrading its remote solutions. The company recently announced international esports and gaming solutions provider, Gfinity, deployed its cloud-based SaaS platform GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform) to support multi-day, live esports broadcasts. Streams are delivered, with RTMP and SRT via AMPP to video platforms and handed-off to linear television channels.

Running K-Frame engine on AMPP lets GV users immediately apply their control surface skills to cloud-based video production.

Running K-Frame engine on AMPP lets GV users immediately apply their control surface skills to cloud-based video production.

The company also announced a SaaS Version of K-Frame switcher engine that runs virtually on GV AMPP. Kayenne, Karrera, Korona, and KSP control surfaces maintain their familiar performance regardless of whether they are tied to a physical frame or to GV K-Frame on AMPP.

Grass Valley also announced an agreement with Gravity Media to provide best-in-class production solutions and advanced workflows across its international operations. The initial investment includes Sirius 840 Series routers deployed across 12 venues.

Lawo recently completed a project for Asharq News with IP Infrastructure controlled by Lawo’s VSM. A central role is also played by the use of virtualized on-premises systems and cloud applications as a hybrid architecture for content aggregation, production and distribution. The overall control of the infrastructure is carried out by the use of Lawo’s VSM Virtual Studio Manager Broadcast Control System.

Asharq News is the first MENA region project in which the media infrastructure is based entirely on IP technology.

Asharq News is the first MENA region project in which the media infrastructure is based entirely on IP technology.

Lawo’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) as the overall IP production layer controls the video backbone and manages the audio IP streams. 34 hardware panels and several software GUIs are in place as user/system interface for a smooth, standardized workflow.

VSM seamlessly integrates with the broadcast equipment, including video routers, video switchers, audio routers, audio consoles, multi-viewers, intercoms, modular equipment and many special third-party devices.

By talking native protocols where possible, equipment from different manufacturers can be seamlessly “glued” together, giving unmatched recall and logic control possibilities system-wide. With a modern TCP/IP backbone, VSM utilizes standard IT hardware but enhances reliability and redundancy with sophisticated software redundancy concepts.

LTN Live Video Cloud GUI provides control from acquisition to distribution.

LTN Live Video Cloud GUI provides control from acquisition to distribution.

LTN Global Communications unifies, optimizes, and automates video workflows, from production and publishing to transformation and transport. Three popular managed and monitored delivery solutions are Wave live hybrid transmission combining satellite and IP, OU Transport for occasional use and FT Transport for full-time channels.

LTN also provides Live Video Cloud infinite capacity live video management, M&C monitoring and control, Connect metadata signaling and ad enablement, and Cue for in-network metadata insertion and video delivery.

The Broadcast Bridge recently asked Media Links Director and Chief Marketing Officer John Dale, his assessment of remote operation and Remote At-Home Production (REMI) today.

“A live broadcast covering a sporting event is one of the most technically challenging assignments for any production crew. Large, demanding global audiences with ever increasing quality expectations create even more pressure to produce a well-choreographed, real-time production. Multiple signals in a wide variety of formats need to be transmitted around the sporting venue, as well as being seamlessly integrated with feeds from a studio or other locations to form a complete broadcast stream,” he said.

Media Links recently introduced ProMD Enhanced Management Software Version 2.0.

Media Links recently introduced ProMD Enhanced Management Software Version 2.0.

He continued, “Over the last year especially, we see our customers sending as few people as possible to the venues – we even see this with camera operators located at the studio rather than at the venue running pan/tilt capabilities. For local area video, we are experiencing the switch capabilities managed remotely, so when you need to establish services between locations, you do not need to deploy people. This can literally be done from someone’s home that has a secure connection into the Network Management System to then operate their specific links, observe their provisioned links, trouble-shoot etc. We see this transition to a software and controllable ecosystem being much more important right now when our customers want to have few people in the field.

Dale said “Managing all of the different signal types and locations can be a daunting task, which is why a robust and interoperable Network Management System that provides real time monitoring and troubleshooting of network elements for media networks is a necessity. Efficiency comes in scalability, whereby network operators and broadcasters can quickly bring new services online for studio, remote and field locations, all while monitoring and maintaining the reliability of active circuits, trunks, and network devices. Multi-level topology views and cross-linked device, card, circuit, and log screens make service provisioning and proactive troubleshooting over the network fast and accurate. Media Links' ProMD EMS system offers broadcasters a comprehensive tool for media network management including service scheduling, operational monitoring, troubleshooting and so much more. This ensures network providers and broadcasters can remotely (e.g. either from home and/or non-control room or other locations) maintain and securely operate their mission critical, contribution quality media over IP networks.”

The Net Insight Nimbra 400 encodes and decodes up to 4 parallel HD or  SD channels per unit and it supports H.264 and H.265.

The Net Insight Nimbra 400 encodes and decodes up to 4 parallel HD or SD channels per unit and it supports H.264 and H.265.

Net Insight and Wipro Limited recently entered into a strategic partnership to enable service providers, broadcasters and rights holders to rapidly launch next-generation media experiences.

For Net Insight, Wipro will address customers who are looking to outsource services and offers platform-as-a-service (PaaS). These customers can now access a unified solution to improve their media ecosystem workflows, service orchestration and business agility.

Wipro customers will also gain access to Net Insight´s Nimbra product portfolio. The Nimbra platform enables users to produce and deliver content from any location to any device, across any infrastructure. It provides an open, next-generation virtualized media ecosystem, capable of providing exciting end-user experiences and services that give customers a competitive edge.

The Riedel MediorNet MicroN is software-enabled, app-based hardware.

The Riedel MediorNet MicroN is software-enabled, app-based hardware.

Riedel Communications recently announced that Betamobil, a Berlin-based an advanced OB production facilities and services provider, is the latest European customer to adopt Riedel’s MediorNet MicroN UHD media distribution and processing solution. To support its ongoing migration to IP-based operations, Betamobil has deployed 14 MicroN UHD devices to handle decentralized signal routing on board its flagship OB van – recently renamed UHD5 to reflect its upgrade to advanced UHD production capabilities.

MicroN UHD is the latest generation of Riedel’s MediorNet MicroN family of modular, high-density signal interfaces. Reflecting Riedel’s distributed and software-defined approach to signal transport, several of UHD5’s MicroN UHD modules have been configured as multiviewers using the MicroN UHD MultiViewer App.

In addition to the MicroN UHD-based signal routing backbone, Betamobil chose Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom to form a fully integrated point-to-point intercom ecosystem with an existing Artist frame. With the ability to deploy up to three Bolero antennas and eight beltpacks, Betamobil is able to extend crystal-clear communications capabilities to its production crews for many types and sizes of live events.

A new release of Wirecast further enhances its flexibility for live streaming productions.

A new release of Wirecast further enhances its flexibility for live streaming productions.

Telestream has made numerous significant remote production announcements in 2021. Telestream bought Masstech, and it announced a strategic collaboration with Skyline Communications enabling on-demand, cloud-based video monitoring across over 70 global data center locations. Telestream also announced the latest version of Wirecast, its live production and streaming platform for Mac and Windows that now supports Secure Reliable Transport (SRT). The company also enhanced its CaptionMaker authoring software and Vantage Media Platform for the IMF file-based delivery format. They also support IMSC 1.1, the latest version is the SMPTE standard for subtitling and captioning. IMSC 1.1 is required when producing content for the Japanese market, Netflix and other international companies.

Telestream also announced the next generation of iQ Video Quality Monitoring Solution for OTT streaming and Linear TV. The solution now provides comprehensive Ad-Insertion Monitoring for enhanced visibility, alerting and diagnostics for ad-based streaming video operations teams.

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