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Outside Broadcast Production Facilities For Bentley

Outside Broadcast Production Facilities For Bentley

When Bentley Motors announced their latest investment in their site at Crewe and the production of their first electric vehicle, we were delighted to be asked by Connect Live (UK) to provide the outside broadcast production facilities which helped them deliver their message. With Connect Live (UK) delivering the overall production they approached us to provide the facilities and crew to film the on-site staff briefing, which was delivered to several thousand Bentley workers prior to the announcement to the press. As dawn broke over the Crewe plant, our cameras and OB production vehicle, S100, filmed the Bentley executives message and delivered the feed to a large LED screen on site as well as providing the feed for streaming by Connect Live (UK).

For more information on our OB Production Facilities click here or contact us

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Why Do I Need LU600 LiveU Cellular Bonding?

Why Do I Need LU600 LiveU Cellular Bonding?

LU600 LiveU Cellular bonding has made it possible for broadcasters and sports broadcasters to produce some of the most powerful live moments on TV in recent years. In fact, you already watched hundreds of “live shots” on TV that were contributed over cellular bonding, you just never knew it!

Let’s talk a little history first.

Twelve years ago, LiveU disrupted the broadcast industry by patenting its first cellular bonding solution, which eliminated the need for expensive satellite or microwave trucks to transmit high-quality live video from out in the field. From there, major news organisations took notice and started using LiveU to go live outside the studio. Over the years, LiveU became the standard for live news gathering and reporting.

Three years ago, LiveU revolutionised the online industry by taking that same technology and incorporating it into a smaller, plug-and-play encoder for the prosumer market – making the technology accessible to the growing online streaming market.

Today, social media networks have made it super easy to go live. Just sign in to your account, hit the go-live button, and boom you are live streaming to your audience. This is good way for people to start live streaming but once they need to scale up, they need a more robust solution.

We commonly hear people say “If I can go live on my cell phone, why do I need cellular bonding?” Short answer is, your one network cannot guarantee you will stream at the quality you want. Long answer is bandwidth is always fluctuating depending on different variables like your geographic location, people on the same network in your area, if you are inside or outside, and more. If the one network has little to no bandwidth your stream will either look pixelated or not even show up at all.

Many content creators started streaming outdoors using their cell phones simply because there was no alternative way to do it that they were aware of OR other solution were just out of their price range. Besides the bandwidth issues that come with mobile streaming from your cell phone, other hiccups include someone calling your phone (yes, the phone you are using to stream!) which can disrupt the content or end the stream completely. What else? Your phone needs to be free so you can use it to interact with your community. Isn’t that what producing live is all about?

The LiveU Solo uses cellular bonding technology (LRT) that adds multiple cellular networks together to create redundancy and reliability to the video encoding.

Our LRT technology expects cellular bandwidth fluctuation and corrects it in real- time, so your stream will stay HD quality your audience knows and loves.

LRT is optimal for content creators who are live streaming from different places. With cellular bonding, streamers don’t have to worry about cell service holding up in certain locations with questionable connectivity. With LRT, you know you will get your HD quality stream online, stress-free.

If you are serious about streaming and you have the means to make the upgrade, then cellular bonding is something you want to make the investment in. You’ll start to see the benefits very quickly – from going to places where you couldn’t stream before in the highest quality to freeing up your cell phone for more interactivity with your viewers. The viewers will respond to it and it will help you grow even more.

For more information on our LU600 LiveU Services click here or contact us

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The original version of this blog was first published in www.liveu.tv.

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Streaming Into your Webinar or Online Meeting Using LiveU LU 600

Stream Your Webinar or Online Meeting Using LiveU LU 600

By now, pretty much everyone has used Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Verizon Bluejeans, Facebook Workplace, or Google G-Suite to conduct a virtual meeting or a webinar with their co-workers or clients. In fact, you have probably done it so often that you no longer consider these meetings virtual. But did you ever consider using your LiveU field unit as a kind of super-webcam input for these meetings? Read on to see how LiveU LU 600 can provide a way to get high-quality and reliable video and audio into your webinar or virtual meeting from anywhere in the world, without having to acquire a network connection on-site first.

Why Use LiveU LU 600?

Whether you think of it as a meeting or a webinar, you may want to use a dedicated, portable encoder to stream live video into the meeting or webinar. For example…

  • Your CEO might need to address the company from a remote location.
  • You might want to present a new product directly from a location that just won’t fit in a meeting room – such as from under the hood of a car looking at the engine, from an airplane hangar looking at a plane, or from the assembly line of your manufacturing plant.
  • You may even want to use your webinar for things like government meetings, non-profit meetings, or large enterprise meetings, where you have a large audience with a single or few presenters.

…and to make this happen you would want:

  • The reliability of a dedicated encoder vs. software in your laptop.
  • The quality of a professional camera with a real lens vs. a webcam.
  • The bandwidth provided by bonding and cellular networks, whenever you don’t have access to reliable bandwidth at the location.

In these cases, LiveU can serve as the perfect live streaming solution to stream your meeting or webinar.

But before going live, let’s look into some considerations to take into account and some special setup options.

Starting Considerations

First step is to see if your meeting/webinar type can really match the use of a portable encoder such as LiveU. Think about who will present, and if they need to see or hear the audience they are presenting to. While it’s possible to setup a two-way connection to a meeting or webinar using LiveU, it does require a few more setup steps and special features / hardware. In this blog, we will explore only the basic use case of one-side video/audio where a single/few presenters are presenting to any sized group of viewers. Those viewers will interact with the presenter only via chat/built in Q&A that doesn’t require two-way audio and video.

Now let’s take a look at your platform of choice. If your platform has a webinar mode that accepts external encoder input, this setup is likely to be quite simple. However, in some cases, such as Zoom, your setup may require a few more steps to convert your LiveU feed into something that appears to Zoom as a webcam.

Platforms with Webinar Mode and RTMP Input Options

If your platform has a webinar mode and/or options for RTMP input, you can stream to this destination directly from your LiveU Solo or LiveU broadcast unit using the normal RTMP output options. Examples for such platforms include Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace and probably some others (check the support/help section on your platform of choice).

If you’re using such a platform, here are some typical steps to start streaming to them:
1 – Setup your webinar
2 – Get your RTMP ingress info from the platform
3 – Setup a destination with that ingress info on LiveU Solo Portal or LiveU Central
As a specific example, here are Microsoft’s steps about how to embed an encoder-sourced video into your Teams meeting.

Platforms Without a Webinar Mode

Some platforms do not have a webinar mode or even if they do, that mode will not accept input from an outside encoder. Examples for such platforms would be Zoom and Google G-Suite.

For such platforms, you have several options of how to get the video output of your LiveU 600 system into the platform as if it was a feed from any other webcam. Use the option that seems to fit your available hardware and use case the best:

Baseband to Webcam

If you are a LiveU broadcast user, and you already have an LU2000 or LU4000 receiving server, you can take the baseband output (SDI) of this server and plug it into a converter (e.g.: Blackmagic Design, AJA, and Magewell) which will make this input appear as a webcam to another computer such as a laptop.
*Note, video over USB is sometimes called UVC, the actual USB protocol used to transport video.

In this scenario, your LU2000 and the computer or laptop it will be plugged into via this adapter are at some central location with good bandwidth – away from the field location where you actually have the camera, presenter and LiveU unit. This lets you still have the presenter be anywhere in the world you want them to be while still being able to pull them into a program like Zoom as if they were on a webcam.

Stream to NDI, NDI to Webcam

When using LiveU Solo, or any LiveU broadcast unit, it is possible to receive the LRT stream and convert it to NDI (for the LiveU broadcast units), or receive the RTMP push stream and convert it to NDI (using the Garanin RTMP Mini Server). Once you have the LiveU stream as NDI, you can use the NDI to webcam driver to input the NDI feed to Zoom (or other programs that accept NDI) as if it was the computer’s local webcam.

In many ways this setup is similar to the physical setup above, except that it can be “all software”. This allows you to do it both at a central location, or even entirely in the cloud.

Conclusions

Present your next webinar in your resort chain from the poolside, your next CEO address from the factory floor, or your next book club meeting from the community center – big or small, it’s possible to have the presenter in your meeting or webinar be anywhere in the world and still presenting to a large (or small!) group of people.

While the setup may take a few extra steps and some extra software, you will be streaming in no time and become an expert at producing top-level webinars!

For more information on our LiveU LU 600 Services click here or contact us

The original version of this blog was first published in www.liveu.tv by Dan Pisarski, VP Engineering, LiveU

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Under the hood of OB Production Services Pt 2

Outside Broadcast Providers

Exploring the future of the supertruck and changing OB culture

Supertrucks used to be all the rage in Outside Broadcast Providers sports broadcasting, but are they still today? Although we are still seeing the launch of brand new large, cutting edge outside broadcast providers services trucks to enable live sports coverage, we are also seeing a rise in demand for smaller vans that are being used to facilitate remote broadcasts.

Here we talk to a panel of experts from the outside broadcast providers industry in part two of our series exploring the future for uber OBs and where this industry is going moving forwards.

Modular trend setters

Prior to the pandemic, new supertrucks were big news. Although several large vans have been launched over 2020 and into 2021, Christer Pålsson, president of NEP Central and Southern Europe, says modular systems are setting the trend today.

“Outside of the deliverables for specific contracts, we don’t have any current plans to build more of the really big supertrucks in the next year or two. When it comes to speculative builds, we’ve seen a shift in demand and our solutions need to be more modular.

“With technologies evolving so rapidly at the moment, the typical depreciation cycle of core technology is decreasing, meaning we need to amortise our costs over a shorter period of time,” notes Pålsson.

“The best way we can do this is through increased utilisation,” he states. “By having a modular approach, and ensuring our facilities are all cross compatible, we can combine a number of medium size units to create the ‘super size’ fire power, when required, but we can then split them back out and have them working harder on a week to week basis.”

Arena Television’s deputy director of operations, Daf Rees, has noted the same trend towards modular set ups for outside broadcast providers: “The days of supertrucks aren’t numbered quite yet, but I think there’ll be a shift toward a different configuration of units.”

He continues: “Our goal is to send fewer trucks to site as that has the greatest impact on sustainability, so I think we’ll see more versatile trucks that can carry cable and equipment, as well as serve as the technical hub of the on-site operation. Our trucks will always be super!”

Peter Bates, EMG UK managing director, agrees: “Supertrucks will always have a place in delivering major OB productions, however new builds will reduce to allow smaller, but still powerful units to deliver the increased requirement for remote productions.

“We launched OB12A and its sister unit OB12B last summer,” continues Bates. “This is a scalable setup with its datacentre located at the front of the tender connected by four fibre cables, enabling maximum operational capacity for personnel within the production units.”

Neville Hooper, NEP UK’s deputy head of sound, says that while we will see less uber trucks being built in the immediate future, they still have a place: “It is unlikely that any new large trucks will be built in the short to medium term. Focus has shifted to advancing remote style delivery, which often does not require such a large vehicle. But there are still those jobs which, for a variety of reasons, are not able to be delivered remotely. Jobs such as state events, due to their size and complexity, still require large trucks, along with certain major sporting and entertainment events.”

While Dan Regan, sound guarantee at Timeline TV, comments: “Full size OB trucks still have a part to play in the coverage of large sporting events. These smaller more compact vehicles are enabling the sports that previously might have struggled to justify having a full OB unit onsite, to be covered with the high-end production values a large OB unit could facilitate.”

Meanwhile, Andrea Buonomo, Cinevideo’s executive sales manager, says that OB truck providers have spent recent years preparing for demand for the latest technologies, so the lull in large truck builds now is simply part of the natural cycle. He explains: “I think that outside broadcast providers [have already] moved in time for the next future request about 4K, so this is why [over] the last three years we have seen a lot of new OB’s [being built]. Actually in Italy we have 10 or 12 UHD trucks [at Cinevideo] but [there is] no request for UHD (or very poor demand). Maybe in the future [this demand] will increase.”

Big love for big trucks

As to where the big trucks are needed in sports broadcasting today, and where we will see this changing as we move ahead, Pålsson comments: “For the big premium broadcasts the demand for big trucks will remain, and for a variety of reasons. A lot of clients want to be on site and have their preferred crew alongside them. Often it will be linked to the spec of the production where there is a lot of additional kit, high SLA’s, or other pressures; some clients feel more comfortable in known surroundings and the technical fire power of the big truck makes sense. Sometimes it’s a straightforward financial decision, where often it just doesn’t it doesn’t make commercial sense to remote everyone. For this reason we believe we will continue to see big trucks on the roads for many years to come.”

However, Pålsson adds: “Where we have seen a transition is on some of the big ‘once every four years’ type of productions, who are now looking more closely and remote and centralised workflow solutions. For the high volume work, this is where we have seen the biggest shift in demand across Europe. Many clients now actively request comparative remote solutions at the RFP stage, and once engaged more and more are shifting towards centralised solutions due to all the known benefits it can offer (agile scale, efficiency, reliability, environmentally friendly). This also offers the agility to ability to onboard additional content production tools, that previously may have been technically or financially prohibitive.”

Buonomo notes: “Big trucks are needed in sports broadcasting due to a large quantity of people on site. For example a normal Serie A game involves a crew of up to 35 people (cameramen, EVS, shading, etc,) which means we need to accommodate inside the OB a large number of technicians (three shading, five EVS. one engineering manager, one audio manager, one video mixer technician, plus the people from the client like director, producer, assistant director and so on.) It is also true that the space is never enough, because on a big event the truck will be a meeting place point with clients, producers, and technicians.

“Last but not least, there is a lot of technologies inside an OB for doing these kind of productions,” continues Buonomo. “Also for coverage of an event with 10 to 12 cameras it is necessary [to have a] support truck that needs to move a lot of equipment.”

Supertrucks are still a vital part of the OB arsenal, Bates notes: “Supertrucks with their flexibility, firepower and space will still be required at major sporting events such as finals, ceremonies and major special events. These will still be the tool of choice for single event day productions and are able to deploy and deliver full production facilities or remote surface productions with short lead times from event to event, irrespective of the location’s connectivity capabilities.”

Adds Rees: “Big trucks are still needed where either connectivity isn’t available, or the event itself is of such importance that there is still a strong desire to be on site. What changes, I think, is the number of big trucks on site as one truck might service both on-site and remote production demands, and there may be fewer visiting broadcasters using on-site facilities.”

Remote future or decay?

As to whether our experts believe that the trend towards remote working is here to stay, Regan says: “Since the start of the pandemic, most Timeline TV sporting OBs have made use of some form of remote production. This includes everything from remote graphics operators, to full multi-camera coverage, with only a handful of people onsite. There has been a very quick uptake with these remote technology and Timeline believes these changes are here to stay.”

Regan says remote productions are the future. “With all companies pushing to get to net zero carbon emissions, reducing travel is a key. OBs going forward will be a mix of onsite and remote production, with all roles evaluated to see which can be done remotely to ensure the least amount of travel for both crew and equipment.”

Rees agrees: “Yes, it is [here to stay]. Whether you’re thinking of remote or decentralised workflows, or smaller units operated by multi-skilled operators, there are technical, commercial and work-life benefits to be found in ‘the new way of working’. That’s not to say those benefits are to be found in every production; some will continue to operate in a ‘traditional’ manner as that will be the best fit for that production, but the new way provides us with a great set of tools in the box to leverage benefits and efficiencies in places where they fit.”

However, Buonomo believes remote working has the potential to kill the OB industry. He states: “I think that something will change in the future, but not so early. I believe that the OB on site will be always a good part of this job. If everything goes remote… I think this work is dead.

“It is necessary to safeguard the human side of this work, because we can have all the artificial intelligence we want, but only a human can put passion into what he does (and he needs to be on the field to feel the [emotion of the] game.”

Buonomo adds: “I’m not very convinced about [remote working being here to stay, especially] in a small country where you can reach all locations in short while.”

Changing OB culture

However, despite some scepticism about remote working, the majority of our experts are excited about where the OB industry is right now.

Bates says the last 12 months have pushed technology and ways of working for all, including OB providers, forwards. “This period has driven innovation across the industry,” he notes. “The move to remote and decentralised productions has allowed for production flexibility without compromise to the screen output. There are now so many options that can be used across delivery; no OB is the same and that is exciting!

“The OB culture is changing, and for the next generation of production and engineering talent this will be their normal,” Bates states.

Rees is also enthused about the state of the industry right now. He explains: “It’s an exciting time! The most noticeable change will be the appearance of remote operation hubs, like our CoreTX production facility based in Redhill or our portable CoreTX facility that can be built at a location convenient to the client. The technology within these production centres will utilise on-premise, cloud, remote production location and data centre co-location physical and virtual processing to create the most flexible production workflows we’ve ever been able to offer.

“Our fantastic fleet of OB trucks will continue to be a major part of what we do, and the new technologies and concepts augment our existing services to open up many new ways of working for the benefit of our production partners,” says Rees.

He goes on: “There’s a really interesting mesh of factors going on, between new technology, better connectivity, travel limitations, sustainability goals, better work-life balance and commercial pressures to name a few that’s driving this generational change to question the way we cover events. It’s a self-reflection that’s overdue and I’m convinced will lead to a much more diverse and sustainable industry.”

Hooper notes: “Moving forwards, the next steps will be more contracts delivered in various styles of remote and centralised models, and as contracts are renewed, it is likely their mode of delivery will be revisited. As technology and connectivity improves, there will be more options available. As already suggested, while things have changed, it’s more of a diversification than a complete change of direction, and ‘traditional’ outside broadcast providers are not yet a thing of the past!”

Finally, Pålsson says: “The future for NEP is to remain flexible. Our clients come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes so our solutions need to match. We believe in a modular and likely often hybrid approach, where both on location, remote and centralised workflows will need to co-exist and be interoperable. And while trucks are firmly here to stay, that’s not to say they aren’t going to look different as time goes on.”

Concludes Pålsson: “There will always be a request from some clients to be on site, to be closer to the action. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to have all the equipment on site. Advances in virtualisation, growing network capacity and emerging technologies means we can now remote more equipment off site to centralised and even cloud facilities. We can build and deploy lightweight production gallery facilities built for monitoring and control, but we can have all the dedicated hardware located centrally, which on any given day could be working different productions, different clients and even different countries!”

For more information on our Outside Broadcast Production Services click here or contact us

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The original version of this blog was first published in www.svgeurope.org by Heather McLean

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Under the hood of OB Production Services Pt 1

OB Production Services

Exploring the rapid evolution of today’s OB Production Services usage in Europe

OB Production Services have never been more in demand than they are today. The pandemic has created new opportunities for service provision as live sport attempts to recoup time lost to lockdowns, and broadcasters battle between schedules, COVID protocols, and new remote productions.

In this article, the first of two, we talk to a panel of experts from the OB production services industry to find out how OBs are being used across Europe today, what demand is being seen, and where small trucks are stepping into the breach.

Tricky times

On how truck usage has changed over the last year, Christer Pålsson, president of NEP Central and Southern Europe, comments: “The past six to nine months have been some of the busiest in recent memory. Due to the rescheduling of the sporting calendar, we’ve seen a huge peak in demand for OB production services all over Europe.

“However from a regional perspective, we’ve noticed demand coming in waves. So with the Nordics being one of the first [regions] to reopen, we saw a large number of sporting fixtures shift to that region as federations looked to clear the backlog.

“To cater for this our fleet has never been more European, with trucks regularly moving across the continent to cater for the demand,” continues Pålsson. “Of course trucks are easy to move, but people are more challenging, and being a responsible company we’ve done our best minimise cross border travel for people and have tried to crew all our productions using regional crew wherever possible. Brexit of course further complicates this!”

While Peter Bates, EMG UK managing director, comments: “With the worldwide travel restrictions introduced due to the COVID pandemic and especially the varying isolation and quarantine requirements for entry and exit from country to country, it makes complete sense to reduce the amount of travel across borders by sourcing facilities locally.

“At EMG we are very fortunate that we can call upon resources across the whole of central Europe from within our Group sister entities,” continues Bates. “For our customised golf fleet we carefully manage all the different logistical issues to ensure safe passage and timely delivery of onsite facilities together with remoting of many facilities. Within the UK we regionalise crew to limit travel and reduce accommodation requirements where possible.”

From a UK perspective, Neville Hooper, NEP UK deputy head of sound, says: “Because of the dual complexities of both Brexit and the pandemic, there has not really been any call to leave the country for anything other than regular contract work such as Formula F1, or the Women’s Tennis Association Tour. Obviously, this doesn’t include the Euros, but to be fair, this was a project initially planned long before the pandemic hit, and it will be our first major venture into Europe this year.”

Arena Television’s deputy director of operations, Daf Rees, has noticed a marginal truck usage change over the course of the pandemic, but he notes that innovative technology use is enabling more broadcasts to happen safely. He says: “[We’ve seen a] slight change, but we’re also seeing great technology like mixed reality environments evolve, that allow broadcasters to stay at home, but make it look and feel as if the presenters are at the venue, tempering the need to be at the far away venue.”

Meanwhile, Andrea Buonomo, Cinevideo’s executive sales manager, says there has been no change for Cinevideo in Italy. “None at all, in Italy from June 2020 (when we restarted our productions), we returned to covering all our events in person, everywhere.”

Evolving facilities

Production facilitation has definitely evolved over the last 12 months. Bates says: “Several factors have influenced how we facilitate productions since the return to sport in June 2020. These include the availability of connectivity from site, the size of the production teams, and safety and COVID protocols.

“EMG UK’s focus has always been to provide a safe working environment for our clients without compromise to the delivery of their production. We have been able to offer remote production solutions using our ROCs in High Wycombe, Salford and Stratford, as well as providing overspill solutions on site where connectivity has been an issue or our clients have requested it.”

More trucks have been needed on site to allow for social distancing, Timeline TV has found. Dan Regan, sound guarantee at Timeline TV, says: “Currently we’re providing more trucks to aid social distancing and within our Ealing Broadcast Centre, spreading operators across more rooms and providing COVID screens.”

While Rees agrees more OB vans are currently being used, he says remote production is also tipping the requirement the other way. He elaborates: “Yes, to aid social distancing we’ve deployed additional trucks or cabins, or built additional production space within a venue where the number of people on site can’t be safely positioned within one truck. That said, the remote production models our clients favour enables us to remove one of the production trucks from the venue, so the net result – presently – is minimal.

“As the need for social distancing subsides, the truck footprint in the OB compound will shrink because of remote production workflows moving some of the staff elsewhere and allowing equipment to be consolidated into fewer vehicles on-site,” Rees continues.

Pålsson agrees that more trucks are needed overall due to social distancing, but remote productions mean less truck space is needed on location. He explains: “This has been the case. We’ve seen a lot of outboarding of positions, so whether that’s additional primary OB units on site, or as it is quite often the case, the addition of some of our multipurpose production units.

“Of course, however, it all depends on the OB and its particular editorial requirements, but in some instances, working with our clients, we have been able to remote entire departments off site. For example, using our VT replay facility we’ve purpose-built in Manchester, we’ve freed up valuable space in the truck while also being able to avoid having to have crew members having to travel the length of the country,” Pålsson adds.

For Buonomo, as all the biggest productions in Italy have continued to be carried out as before the pandemic on site, there has been little remote production carried out. He states: “One thing that has changed is the add-on coverage for the football, Serie A. Before the pandemic we normally used our second gallery room for the rights-holding broadcaster; now, for the add-on with more than one camera, we need to use a separate truck. For example, on the Serie B, where normally one small truck is used, now we use two trucks (one for the director, shading and audio, and another one for EVS operators,) due to social distancing.”

Big is not always better (he said)

Some of our experts are seeing a new or increased role for smaller OB vans, while others believe it is business as usual. Pålsson comments: “We’ve not seen any real shift in demand in terms of truck size; some clients require big trucks, while others need and want smaller trucks. There has however been a steady increase in demand across remote and centralised production, so in this use case our smaller remote capture trucks are proving very popular.”

Bates says smaller trucks have always been popular. “We have had four vans working on remote production for IMG’s Premier League Productions contract since 2016. Smaller footprint trucks have always played an important role within the EMG UK fleet, enabling us to give our clients choice and flexibility. Now with the increasing popularity for both remote and simplified projects, we are able to deploy them on a larger variety of projects.”

Hooper comments: “It is a question of the type of work that will dictate the size of vehicle required. As was seen recently in the UK, we had two large trucks at the funeral [of Prince Philip] and with the nature of these type of jobs, they wouldn’t be possible in smaller trucks, due to the numbers of cameras, kit, and people involved. In some respects at these times, a larger truck can also be useful, as it allows more social distancing.”

Buonomo says small trucks are not the solution for Italian productions, agreeing with Hooper: “Small trucks are definitely not more popular; with the pandemic situation the request is to have more space inside the trucks, so it means bigger trucks. For example, our Dolphin7.0 in a normal situation can accommodate up to 39 people; now we can accommodate maximum 20 people, with plexiglass walls and so on.”

Rees notes: “Our fleet contains trucks of all shapes and sizes to cater for the wide variety of projects we undertake. Different truck sizes suit different productions, but the large trucks are still popular and provide a great working space.”

Nice things in small trucks

As to the value of small trucks in today’s remote productions, Bates says they are helping to simplify productions: “We have deployed smaller trucks on a large variety of projects from full remote off-site, delivering presentation facilities with an off-site production team, to simplified productions using a Simplylive system on site with a smaller production team.

“With the advancements in technology and the introduction of cloud solutions, smaller trucks not only meet the production requirements of our clients, they also dramatically reduce our carbon footprint; helping us to achieve our own sustainability targets,” notes Bates.

Pålsson comments: “We have a selection of capture vehicles, ranging in size from small flypacks up to large rigid tucks, all dedicated to the remote capture. The benefits of these solutions is they are fast and efficient in terms of deployment. They normally require less people to rig, and they have a smaller footprint on site. They can also get in and out faster, meaning we can do more jobs with them. Also they are often a lot cheaper to build, so we can afford to have more of them on the road at any one time.”

While Rees says: “Smaller trucks have an important part to play in fully remote workflows for certain events, where the truck at the venue simply becomes a signal gateway into the remote facility. They’re an important element in enabling a commercially realistic method of covering lower tier events.”

Hooper agrees: “Small trucks are invaluable, as their smaller footprint brings several benefits, reduced transport costs, for one. Also, reduced set up and strike times enable faster turnarounds between events. They also require fewer personnel to operate in many cases.”

Timeline TV is finding many benefits to using smaller trucks today, to the point that has recently launched a new one. Explains Regan: “Timeline’s fleet of remote working trucks have been used extensively to facilitate remote productions. As such we have launched a brand new ultra-compact OB production services truck, Streamline 2. This new outside broadcast truck boasts many benefits, being a smaller vehicle, it requires less fuel to get to site, less space in the broadcast compound and significantly less power compared to a full-size OB unit.”

Streamline 2 enables remote productions to be delivered where there is limited connectivity and can even work over 4G. Low latency monitoring feeds are delivered back to Timeline’s remote production gallery in its Ealing Broadcast Centre. The truck can provide all the benefits of a full remote production where connectivity is limited. Additionally, all of the broadcast equipment is contained within the truck and is remote controlled from the broadcast centre. “Having the equipment onsite also supports robust disaster recovery options if there were any issues with connectivity,” notes Regan.

The OB truck is equipped as standard with six SMPTE camera channels, one super slo-mo camera channel, two RF cameras and two mini cameras, with additional router and mixer I/O for ad-hoc sources. Cable rig times can also be reduced. The OB truck can facilitate a full presentation position with eight microphones, four IFB’s and reverse vision monitoring, all delivered over two camera SMPTEs. The remote production gallery contains full hardware controllers for all operators, providing the tactile control they are used to when working onsite.

However, it is not the same case across Europe. The Italian perspective is focused on larger vans. Buonomo explains: “In a remote production you can think of a small truck for the equipment, but is also necessary to remember that all the equipment need to be in a good working condition (that means air conditions, spare units, etc). So I don’t believe we can use too small a truck for a big remote production. And also you need to accommodate some people inside.”

For more information on our OB Production Services click here or contact us

The original version of this article was published in www.svgeurope.org

OB Production Services 1 Links Broadcast

OB Production Services 2 Links Broadcast

The original version of this blog was first published in www.svgeurope.org by Heather McLean

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Live Content Streaming Facilities

Live Content Streaming Facilities

COVID 19 presented new challenges to many companies on how to effectively address their online customer base. On behalf of a US based client, Links Broadcast provided production and live content streaming facilities for a major fashion brand as they experimented with a new live online shopping event. Hosting the production at Loft Studios in North-West London, we utilised our OB production vehicle plus our production trailer, to house the technical and production facilities for the show.

The set utilised three of our Sony HDC1500 cameras, and we even organised all of the props and support crew to complement the loft style industrial look of the studio. With our client being unable to travel due to COVID restrictions we established multiple zoom calls for direction and production feedback, we also had celebrity callers on zoom for two-way dialogue with the studio presenters. The event was streamed live to the client’s own web page, and with the presenters being able to showcase the latest fashions, the sales rolled in and the event was a huge success.

In addition to the OB production facilities and crew, our technical set-up utilised our VMix production and streaming software, plus Epiphan Pearl encoders and our LiveU LU600 being used as a backup path to deliver a faultless SRT stream on behalf of the client.

Live Content Streaming Facilities 2 Links Broadcast

Live Content Streaming Facilities 3 Links Broadcast

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Formula 1 from Red Bull HQ

Formula 1 Red Bull HQ Uses 4 Channel Multiplex

Links Broadcast provided a 4 channel multiplex on behalf of Whisper TV to deliver Channel 4’s production of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix from the Red Bull Racing HQ in Milton Keynes. Using our Nevion MUX multiplex we combined the 4 separate channels in to a single 27Mhz carrier across the race weekend including the practice session, qualifying, and the race itself. All of the services were delivered flawlessly over the whole weekend.

For more information on our Outside Broadcast Sports get in touch.

4 Channel Multiplex Links Broadcast

4 Channel Multiplex RB HQ Links Broadcast

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LiveU LU600 Corporate Client Press Briefing

LiveU LU600 Corporate Client Press Briefing

When traditional satellite transmission isn’t feasible we can always find other means of delivering content. For our corporate client in Edinburgh, Scotland, we discovered after our initial site survey that using an SNG was going to be difficult due to the City Centre location. So we took the decision to use our LiveU LU600 bonded cellular facility to deliver the client’s press briefing to the world’s media. The LiveU signal was delivered via the 8 sims of the LU600 plus local internet, and was provided to broadcasters and other media outlets as an SDI feed at BT Tower, so for the media recipients there was no change. In addition to the LiveU facility we also supplied our desktop mobile GSM unit & Telephone Balance Unit for telephony communications because a traditional phone line wasn’t available. The client was impressed with how we managed to deliver the same level of service regardless of transmission methods and how we are always able to support their needs.

For more information on our LiveU LU600 get in touch.

LiveU LU600 01 Links Broadcast

LiveU LU600 02 Links Broadcast

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Fastnet Yacht Race Satellite Capacity

Satellite Capacity – Fastnet Yacht Race

For the first time in the history of the Fastnet Yacht Race the end of the race and the prize-giving ceremony was planned to be in Cherbourg, France. Because of this Links Broadcast were asked by French TV Station Equipe TV to provide uplink facilities and satellite capacity to transmit the start of the race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. So our uplink vehicle, R19, was on site to witness this historic event and to provide uninterrupted coverage to the French broadcaster. This legendary sporting contest, now in its 49th year, is held over a 695 mile nautical course, and this year the trophy for the Fastnet Challenge Cup was presented to Tom Kneen and the British crew of Sunrise as ultimate winners of the race.

For more information on our Satellite Capacity get in touch.

Satellite Capacity Fastnet Yacht Race 01 Links Broadcast

Satellite Capacity Fastnet Yacht Race 02 Links Broadcast

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James Bond No Time To Die

James Bond – No Time To Die

We were delighted to be a part of one of the most significant and eagerly awaited cinema events of recent times at the World Premiere of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die. Working on behalf of Sassy Media and AOS Productions, our SNG uplink vehicle, S700, played a vitally important role in delivering the live satellite transmissions from the red carpet at London’s Royal Albert Hall as the film’s actors, including Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Ben Wishaw, Lashana Lynch, and a host of other stars, arrived to reveal the long-awaited film to the world. The service we delivered consisted of an 18Mhz satellite transmission uplinked as part of the pre-general release premiere to a select number of UK and European sites for special screenings via the Thor 10-02 satellite.

For more information on our SNG Uplink Vehicles get in touch.

SNG Uplink Vehicle 01 Links Broadcast

SNG Uplink Vehicle 02 Links Broadcast

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