Tools for Remote Production: Navigating Drastic Changes in the Industry

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

By Graham Sharp, Broadcast Pix CEO

Due to the pandemic, the way we produce live events has changed dramatically with remote productions using IP and the cloud becoming more important every day as the ability to produce broadcast quality TV or events with as few people as possible at the venue has become critical.

Technically, it’s all possible: Robotic cameras are reducing the requirement for camera operators to be on site, graphics, CG, and replays can be prepared and managed remotely, even the technical director may be remote, viewing feeds and making creative switching decisions from his kitchen.

This all pre-supposes that the system being used can support this kind of distributed work.

Broadcast Pix has been developing remote production solutions for many years based around our abstracted architecture, where all the key components exist on an IP network, that can be either remote, in the cloud, or local.

Sources such as IP cameras or other networked feeds, the switcher core, the control surfaces (either physical panels or software screens) and the output, whether streaming or video can all be connected to a standard IP network and be in different locations around the world. 

Physical video inputs or outputs can either be connected to the server running the switcher software or converted to IP at their location.

Video connectivity, however, is only half the story – collaborative control is the key and Broadcast Pix’s remote interfaces are fully customizable, with software multi-viewers and control surfaces that can run in any browser on any suitable PC, tablet or phone. 

Coupled with our physical control panels which are also IP connected, we can now have a director in California viewing a multi-viewer, a technical director in Florida with a physical control panel, a graphics guy with a custom graphics user interface in Boston and DDR operator with a custom control interface in Chicago — all controlling a single switcher engine, producing an event in Dallas (assuming of course they all have a reasonable domestic internet connection in the region of 25mb/s).

The pandemic is also driving another important requirement. We are seeing many non-video professionals needing to produce quality content remotely, from Aquariums to Zoos and everyone in-between, such as government agencies, universities, educators, churches and corporations. 

Many of these users have no broadcast operational training and find a regular M/E type control panel confusing. This is where our Remote Commander interface comes into its own. Coupled with our media aware macros, they can be configured to provide simple interfaces enabling users to produce entire shows with a push few buttons. We even have a MIDI interface, so a MIDI controller can trigger macros, camera moves, wipes and dissolves. This kind of configuration can easily be achieved working with us directly or with your reseller or integrator, and many of our products ship with simple templates that can be adapted to the type of content you are producing.

From full blown traditional TV workflows, to simplified user interfaces designed for specific shows, all based on our abstracted networked architecture, compelling remote event productions are easy with Broadcast Pix and Remote Commander. 

Once users see the quality that can be achieved at the affordable price point and with dramatically reduced travel costs, we believe these workflow changes will become permanent for many.

For more information on Broadcast Pix solutions, visit: www.broadcastpix.com

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