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Artel And Wheatstone Develop Joint Live Remote Production Solution Using Virtualized Audio Services

A key reason the industry is eagerly moving towards an all-IP future is that it affords new cost and operational efficiencies. The result can mean less equipment and fewer staff needed on remotes. And, there is added ability to leverage visualized services to move content quickly and efficiently to multiple viewing platforms.

In the area of audio production and delivery, Artel Video Systems, a provider of real-time video transport technology, and Wheatstone, a leader in IP audio networking, will host a series of live demonstrations to showcase a live remote production using virtualized audio services over a wide-area network. The demonstrations will take place in the Artel (N4511) and Wheatstone (N6531) exhibit floor booths.

On one side of Wheatstone booth N6531, foosball players will be knocking around balls in a simulated sporting event that will be captured on camera. The feed will be transmitted to the other side of the booth for final mixing and production using a networked Dimension Three (Touch) IP audio console. (Other Wheatstone IP-networked consoles will be available for viewing as well, including the Series Two and Series Four mixers, D8-EX audio board, and large-format IP-64.) 

The WheatNet-IP virtual audio network originates in I/O blades mounted in an on-site chassis.

The WheatNet-IP virtual audio network originates in I/O blades mounted in an on-site chassis.

Audio routing, control, mixing and processing are all done over a wide area network (WAN) at the Wheatstone booth, creating  a WheatNet-IP network of virtual audio services. The I/O blades, or access units, populate the WheatNet-IP chassis and store the virtualized services that enable operators to manage almost any audio function from the network. Included in each I/O blade will be two stereo 8x2 utility mixers along with audio processing tools to mix various network sources to create the program audio feed. In addition to gain control, pan/balance, and direct audio monitoring and metering, blades also provide cross-point control for the entire signal matrix, so zero latency IFB feeds can be created and controlled at any location.

Jay Tyler, Wheatstone Director of Sales, said that the demonstration will illustrate that by using audio services virtualized on a network as software, rather than as external single-point-of-use hardware devices or as features limited to the console, users can leverage the WheatNet-IP audio network to seamlessly integrate functions between a remote and the broadcast studio.

Already in use across major U.S. and international markets, Wheatstone's WheatNet-IP is AES67 compatible and designed specifically for broadcast applications.

As part of the NAB live demo, an Artel InfinityLink IL6000 broadcast media transport chassis will provide the Ethernet fiber links between the Artel and Wheatstone booths.

As part of the NAB live demo, an Artel InfinityLink IL6000 broadcast media transport chassis will provide the Ethernet fiber links between the Artel and Wheatstone booths.

Rafael Fonseca, Vice President of Product Management at Artel, said that the demonstrations are designed to attract broadcasters looking for new efficiencies in their operations. For the NAB demonstration, an Artel InfinityLink IL6000 broadcast media transport chassis will provide the Ethernet links between the foosball sporting event and the IP audio console as well as the fiber link to Artel booth N4511 a few aisles away. On the same bidirectional fiber link, a GoPro feed from a drone in the Artel booth will be networked into the WheatNet-IP using an I/O blade.

At the booth, a small rack of equipment not much larger than a mini refrigerator replaces the traditional mixing console with routing and outboard gear on the venue side. Included in the rack are I/O blades, including one to retrieve SDI audio directly from the camera, de-embed it and send it “home” as discrete audio, and another to ingest audio feeds. Because the M4IP-USB mic processor is also an I/O blade, mic processing adjustments can be made locally, at the venue, or remotely from the home IP audio console. An Ethernet Cisco edge switch is also included in the rack to network it all together.

The demonstration will show how easy it is to control levels remotely from the studio IP console as well as trigger IFBs and turn mics on or off. It will show broadcasters how to mix and process the audio locally or remotely in real-time and how the WheatNet-IP audio network itself can serve as an IFB backbone that is routable by simply triggering cross points in the network – with zero latency between talent and crew in the field. 

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