Remote Production


Jim Green TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Jim Green
Issue 113 - May 2016
calrec

Ten years ago,remote production was the stuff of dreams,a glimpse into a brave new world. The prospect of providing real-time audio control of live events thousands of miles away,without even leaving the studio,was as enticing as it was unlikely.
But broadcasters are already reaping the benefits of remote production. San-Francisco based Pac-12,for example,provide live coverage of some 850 sporting events every year,across several states,and they mix these programmes on an audio console in a centralised production facility hundreds of miles away.


This is the allure of remote production it offers broadcasters the ability to capture a much broader range of live events with minimal cost increases. It promises the ability to produce a program centrally,in a studio-based control room,improving the quality of monitoring and allowing more efficient utilisation of equipment and highly skilled personnel.

This reduces the financial outlay of a full dedicated on-site team. And while there is no substitute for a skilled OB team,for niche programming such as local sports or local music events,remote broadcasting provides an incentive for broadcasters to increase their range of local programming.
In these environments audio and video streams can be transported over backhaul technologies like IP or satellite uplink. And it is in this way that the audio operator can theoretically mix the programme mix in the comfort of their own studio,in their slippers. Why not?
That said,if it were that simple,we'd all be doing it.
And we're not all doing it, because it's not that simple.
There are some major barriers to effective,reliable and manageable remote broadcasting: latency,control and infrastructure.
1. Latency
The biggest single issue is latency. Broadcast audio workflows rely on quality monitor mixes with no latency,and over long distances total latency might be measured in seconds rather than milliseconds.
2. Control
Operators need real-time control over mic gains,fader levels and monitor mix levels,especially when they are geographically remote from all the action it's not always possible to physically check a connection or fix a mic position (especially in such luxuriously fluffy footwear).
3. Infrastructure
How are those bi-directional signals going to be transported and still be in sync with the video? And all in real time? And above all,how can all the control protocols required to mix a production remotely be managed as part of the network?

These are challenges which are inherent in traditional broadcast audio infrastructures. But this isn't traditional broadcasting; the rise of reliable IP infrastructures have enabled both broadcasters and manufacturers to develop solutions to these challenges. Launched at NAB,Calrec's new RP1 core is a 2U rackmount box which addresses these problems.


Primarily,RP1 provides local DSP to enable the generation of monitor mixes and IFBs with no latency. It gives an operator in a remote studio direct control over channel functions such as mic gains,aux send/monitor mix levels and fader levels. It also provides a mechanism to embed audio into existing backhaul technologies,such as SDI,as well as newer IPs like SMPTE 2022.

Fig.1

The core contains Calrec's FPGA-based Bluefin2 processing,and it is this DSP engine that manages all the IFB routing and remote monitor mix levels at the venue. Local DSP means there is no latency for commentary or talkback,and it also makes it possible for remote mix engineers to set up IFB mixes and bus configuration on-site so that all venue infrastructure,routing and monitor feeds can be checked prior to establishing the link with the remote console at base. With DSP processing for monitor mixes taken care of on-site,the transmission console at base can concentrate purely on the main programme mix.
This covers both latency & control.


To solve any issues with infrastructure,RP1 embeds all transmission audio into existing video transport mechanisms; using an established video transport to embed the audio ensures that there are no synchronisation issues. RP1's modular I/O backbone accepts any Calrec's I/O cards which provides connectivity via analogue,AES,MADI,SDI,as well as the latest IP solutions from AES67,Ravenna,Dante,and SMPTE 2022.
On the transmission console at base,all these remote I/O resources appear like any other local I/O box,so workflows are exactly the same as on any other broadcast which means there is no operator learning curve.


With an increasing requirement for more content,at more locations,and with fewer resources,remote production is becoming a more attractive prospect to broadcasters. Some examples of remote broadcast environments are outlined in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.

Fig.1 Niche sports venue: As seen above
Some sports,such as US college football,may be too regular and too expensive to cover with traditional outside broadcast units,or they may be of limited local interest. Remote production technologies allow more efficient utilisation of equipment and skilled on-site personnel. There is no requirement for a full team of audio engineers onsite at the venue; just a technician to check on-site connections. Audio connections can be made and tested in advance of a broadcast,and monitor feeds for on-site commentators can also be made in advance. The remote studio mixer can map RP1 controls onto the studio console,and commit this connectivity to memory to recall the same configuration at a later date.

Fig. 2 Large scale sports broadcast: As seen below
At a venue where there are a number of events happening simultaneously,such as an athletics event,a traditional outside broadcast truck may not have the capacity to provide coverage of all disciplines. Events will almost always have local commentary and so the creation of monitor feeds can be very complex,and often they will be made on location. RP1 allows IFBs to be set up in advance and processed on-site to eradicate latency.

Fig.2

Tags: iss113 | Calrec | Latency | Control | infrastructure | IFB | DSP | AES67 | Ravenna | Dante | SMPTE 2022 | Jim Green
Contributing Author Jim Green

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Calrec at BVE 2017

    Calrec at BVE 2017

  • Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

    Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

    Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

  • Calrec at NAB 2013

    Calrec at NAB 2013

  • Calrec at NAB 2012

    Calrec at NAB 2012

  • Calrec at BVE 2012

    Calrec at BVE 2012

  • Calrec at IBC2011

    Calrec at IBC2011

  • The Latest Production Control Solution from TSL Products at IBC 2018

    The Latest Production Control Solution from TSL Products at IBC 2018

  • Control Centre Digital from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2018

    Control Centre Digital from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2018

  • Zixi announce their user interface control ZEN Master at NAB 2018

    Zixi announce their user interface control ZEN Master at NAB 2018

  • LCA - Snapgrid lighting control - BVE 2015

    LCA - Snapgrid lighting control - BVE 2015

  • CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

    CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Quantum C80 from Cineo at NAB 2017

    Quantum C80 from Cineo at NAB 2017

  • Studer Glacier at IBC 2016

    Studer Glacier at IBC 2016

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2016

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2016

  • CueScript at IBC 2015

    CueScript at IBC 2015

  • Rascular Technology at IBC 2015

    Rascular Technology at IBC 2015

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2015

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2015

  • KITPLUS rig setup at IBC 2014

    KITPLUS rig setup at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream HARBOR at IBC 2014

    BroadStream HARBOR at IBC 2014

  • Pronology at IBC 2014

    Pronology at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Videosys Wireless Transmitters at BVE 2014

    Videosys Wireless Transmitters at BVE 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

  • Trilogy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Trilogy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • RTW at IBC 2013

    RTW at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2013

    Pixel Power at NAB 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at NAB 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at NAB 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

  • VideoSys at BVE North 2012

    VideoSys at BVE North 2012

  • Autoscript at BVE 2012

    Autoscript at BVE 2012

  • Sony at IBC2011

    Sony at IBC2011

  • Polecam at IBC2011

    Polecam at IBC2011

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Phabrix RX2000 at NAB 2013

    Phabrix RX2000 at NAB 2013

  • Glensound at BVE 2013

    Glensound at BVE 2013

  • Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

  • Oxygen DCT at IBC2011

    Oxygen DCT at IBC2011

  • Intercom over AES67 with V-Series IRIS from Clear-Com at IBC 2018

    Intercom over AES67 with V-Series IRIS from Clear-Com at IBC 2018

  • Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

    Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

  • PARADISO Lite commentary unit from Glensound at BVE 2018

    PARADISO Lite commentary unit from Glensound at BVE 2018

  • Glensound Beatrice Dante Intercom at ISE 2019

    Glensound Beatrice Dante Intercom at ISE 2019

  • Glensound Anthens 2 Dante Turntable Pre-Amplifier at ISE 2019

    Glensound Anthens 2 Dante Turntable Pre-Amplifier at ISE 2019

  • Glensound Dante Intercom System at IBC 2017

    Glensound Dante Intercom System at IBC 2017

  • Glensound Dante at IBC 2014

    Glensound Dante at IBC 2014

  • Virgil OB headphone amplifier from Glensound at NAB 2018

    Virgil OB headphone amplifier from Glensound at NAB 2018

  • 32 Keypanel Intercoms from Clearcom at NAB 2017

    32 Keypanel Intercoms from Clearcom at NAB 2017

  • Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

    Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

  • Glensound at IBC 2016

    Glensound at IBC 2016

  • Glensound at NAB 2016

    Glensound at NAB 2016


Related Shows
  • Day 2 of BroadcastShow at IBC

    Day 2 of BroadcastShow at IBC


Articles
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Future proofing post production storage
Josh Goldenhar Advancements in NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), the storage protocol designed for flash, are revolutionising data storage. According to G2M Research, the NVMe market will grow to $60 billion by 2021, with 70 percent of all-flash arrays being based on the protocol by 2020. NVMe, acting like steroids for flash-based storage infrastructures, dynamically and dramatically accelerates data delivery.
Tags: iss135 | nvme | sas | sata | it | storage | post production | Josh Goldenhar
Contributing Author Josh Goldenhar Click to read or download PDF