ASG Debuts Virtual Production Control Room

Advanced Systems Group’s Virtual Production Control Room is a multi-vendor remote production service powered by Google Cloud. Other vendors include Grass Valley, Harrison Consoles, LiveU, Ross, Sienna, Telos, and Vizrt.

ASG says that in contrast to all-in-one solutions, its VPCR uses cloud-based production tools from several established industry vendors to deliver a more powerful and versatile virtual control room solution.

“Today, there are a lot of applications to produce real-time video in the cloud, but you can’t expect a single application to do it all,” said Dave Van Hoy, president, ASG. “We’ve been building control rooms for decades, so we know there are a lot of elements that have to work together. Why wouldn’t you follow the time-tested concept of using best-in-breed products to create a virtual control room?”

VPCR requires no on-prem services to deliver cost-effective content complete with dynamic switching effects, graphics, animations, captions, and more. Video and audio streams are encrypted for security, and access to each production is fully controlled. The system also supports major videoconferencing apps with multiple live participants.

Each user receives a secure multi-view monitor of the production, and all users are linked via cloud-based communication channels. Remote operators and contributors can keep a live production running smoothly from desktop-based software or physical control panels. Plus, multi-region capabilities allow contribution sources from different geographic locations while minimizing travel costs.

ASG says the VPCR system was developed around a multi-vendor environment that communicated on a standard, unified signal. It has been refined over the past year by addressing real-world challenges, including redundancy and reliability, while producing multiple shows with ASG clients.

“VPCR has one of the largest possible ecosystems of products that can be effectively ‘wired up’ in the cloud to create these familiar workflows for audio and video professionals,” explained Van Hoy. “And because we based our methodology on standards that already exist in the industry, more products are becoming available for us all the time.”

As a result, VPCR’s cloud-based workflow more closely resembles on-prem production than other solutions. Users are not limited to, for example, a specific virtual switcher or audio board.

The VPCR ecosystem includes more than two dozen companies, with multiple vendor options in virtually every signal position in the control room. “The vendors we chose used existing technology as the basis for developing their cloud products,” Van Hoy added. “Google Cloud has been a great partner in developing VPCR, and we appreciate all our technology partners for their efforts to help pioneer this venture for us.”

“We’re excited to be working with ASG and their Virtual Production Control Room in Google Cloud,” said Kip Schauer, Global Head of Media and Entertainment, Gaming Partnerships, Google Cloud. “They have delivered on what was just a concept a few years ago, and deployed virtual production rooms to deliver live video broadcasts by bringing together a who’s who of broadcast software vendors. Their rich depth of knowledge in the broadcast industry combined with key parts of Google Cloud allows them to bring an impressive solution to our customers.”

VPCR is available in three different subscription models, with optional engineering services or fully managed production services.

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