HPA Tech Retreat: Latest in Remote, Mobile, Live Productions

Grass Valley regional account manager Mark Chiolis moderated the HPA Tech Retreat 2017 version of an annual panel looking at the latest trends in remote, mobile, live productions. “Last year’s panelists focused on traditional remote, mobile, live,” said Chiolis. “This year we’re expanding the definition of what live and remote is.” NEP technical advisor George Hoover, focusing on the use of IP in live events, described a new remote production model in which only cameras, camera operators and audio capture are at the venue.

“In live sports in particular, there’s an interest in increasing these kinds of productions, where everything goes back to the home control room where the shows are switched and transmission is done by uplink,” he said, reporting that Univision has done just this on numerous soccer games. “These games are using 13, 14 cameras, so they’re pretty extensive,” he said. “It’s been pioneered and now it’s mainstream in many parts of the world.”

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But it’s not just sports that use this kind of new live production system. Hoover noted that reality programmer Endemol, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, uses a cloud-based production model for shows including “The Voice.” “There are cameras and audio, but it’s switched back at the studio,” said Hoover. “That’s proved to work well and reliably.”

Likewise, in Australia, where there’s a relatively small talent pool, they are in the midst of an “ambitious effort” to build multiple control rooms as a REMI (Remote Integration Model) project. “You may not have enough EVS replay operators in Sydney but have them in Melbourne,” he said. “We want to virtualize this so we can have enough talent everywhere to create a seamless production.” The bottom line, according to Hoover, is that these new kinds of mobile, live productions are aimed to do two things: “People are looking to maintain quality levels and manage costs.”

VideoGorillas chief executive Jason Brahms offers Live4, a live streaming platform with consumer and B2B applications, for use with GoPro, underwater robots, thermal cameras and drones, among other capture devices.

“We’re focused on sensor data and telemetry, which we use to create a unique experience,” said Brahms, who used the example of combining GoPro and sensors to show images of a racecar driver’s heart rate as he accelerates around a turn. Currently, VideoGorillas works primarily with law enforcement, first responders and industries like telcos doing cell tower inspections.

“Drones are replacing that hazardous work,” said Brahms. “We are building real time video analysis using machine learning, which we add to our customers’ workflow. We’re also working on wearables for firemen in the field as well and leveraging AR. We’re not hyper-focused on media and entertainment, but in the future we’ll be able to apply this technology to live event productions, specifically sports.”