OBs are still outside and so are broadcasts


Mike Ransome - new TV-Bay Magazine
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With the advent of new and emerging technologies, and with the one getting the most oxygen at the moment being video over IP, a number of people are asking whether the ability to move control rather further way from an event has, or will, change the nature of OB production.

Well, yes...and no.

OB requirements always depend on what type of broadcast you're talking about. Whether it be sport, news, or live events; the technical requirements are largely a function of size and location. There are myriad variables that determine what is most appropriate for each situation in terms of technology, but the bottom line, is this - there's not currently a lot of change in OB requirements.

That's because, for major events in sport, most broadcasters still want to cover it live and, importantly, on site. Remote production over IP, which many are rightly talking about, has its place and will continue to grow but is, in my view, not quite ready yet for major events.

Notice I said "major" events. Remote production, which is already taking place, is actually an ideal production option for more niche or minority interests. Lots of such special events occur throughout the UK and Europe and I can easily see many of them increasingly being covered on a remote production basis. That approach is contingent on having the right kind of connectivity available, whether satellite or fibre. The availability of suitable fibre-based connectivity is less advanced in some areas than others, but where it is available, it's a highly compelling option.

Although remote production still has issues to be resolved, a lot of people are looking into it with great interest, predominantly as a way of reducing costs while still giving them the leverage to produce the amount of content they need to fill an increasing number of, for example, 24-hour sports channels. However, it's not quite a viable proposition for major events just yet, and here's why.

It will be quite a while before we see, for example, a major sporting event that doesn't have six or seven trucks sitting outside. Although there are obvious advantages to IP-based production, what a lot of people are forgetting is that it could in some cases come at the expense of the feel of a "live" event. Remote production, almost by the term's very definition, suggests a vague notion of detachment. There is subtle, sometimes overt emotion associated with big events and a "feel" that most viewers at home (or on a tablet or mobile these days) miss when it's not there, even if they can't quite put their finger on what's missing. It, in short, "just doesn't feel right".

Presenters, cameramen, directors and crew are professionals, but they're human beings, too. Very few are able to stay utterly detached when they are live, in the moment. It shows through in the production. The excitement, drama - the human element, if you will - at least for major events, can potentially be diminished if produced largely from afar.

Don't misunderstand. Remote production over IP has huge potential for introducing monumental changes, for the better, in terms of providing more ingenious types of coverage at a lower cost. However, from our point of view, the production approach doesn't matter all that much. Whichever avenue you choose, you need cameras, lenses, tripods, pedestals and all the rest. Your method of getting the images and audio captured by those devices back to an OB or studio is entirely up to you and your situation.

But enough of the theorising, back to the technology. We are already seeing significant advances in, and the increased deployment of, RF, in particular more Mesh products to provide what I call "smarter" coverage. By smarter I mean, with a Mesh system you can start at "A" and complete an entire production right through to "Z", as opposed to "A" to "F". Stop. Move some equipment. Then do "F" to "M". Stop. Move equipment again, and so on. New RF products can offer continual coverage and are increasingly being deployed as a technology of choice for OB productions large or small.

The only reservation I have in terms of RF and Mesh products is that the ability to transmit in 4K has yet to emerge. So far, I've not seen any product from any manufacturer that can genuinely deliver ultra-low latency 4K transmission, and I suspect it may still be some way off.

There are other ways to achieve low latency transmission, and new technologies will probably arrive before existing ones can adapt, but the bottom line is that the ability to transmit low-latency 4K has to happen. It's not there yet, but that's not to say it won't be in 12 months' time.

Modern production standards notwithstanding, in recent weeks we've nevertheless embarked on a significant investment in new stock, but much of it is a replenishment and extension of technology that our customers expect us to have on hand and for which demand, if anything, is increasing. However, we are also investing in more HD cameras because we have a huge demand for them, as well as 4K cameras and associated lenses for those who want to take it a step further.

Having said all of the above, it's fair to say there haven't been major tectonic shifts in terms of OB technology requirements in recent years, and that continues to be the case, at least in the near-term. In my view, the reason for this is two-fold, a lack of standardisation, i.e., a number of broadcast and production standards are still being worked out, particularly in terms of UHD and HDR. Although neither are particularly new anymore, both are necessary for high-end production and the relevant standards still need to be agreed and ratified. Standardisation is getting close, it's there but not quite there yet. That leads to delays in manufacturing and, hence, investment and deployment at our end. However, I've no doubt that once those standards are agreed and adopted, a whole new raft of technologies will emerge that could potentially usher in a new age of production, whether onsite or remote. But until then - and it may not be too long - we'll keep a watchful eye.

I anticipate our already busy hire desk will become even busier as broadcasters and production companies leap forward together under a common drive to see UHD and HDR finally come into its own.

We've been around since well before HD was the new black. Those blacks will be much richer on the balance sheet when UHD and HDR become mainstream, and we'll have the kit ready to support any OB with those high standards in mind.


Tags: iss123 | remote production | ob truck | presteigne | ip | Mike Ransome - new
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Submitted by Rod Aaron Gammons Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
IP Based Remote Production
Ed Calverley Over the last few years Suitcase TV has been getting involved in remote production at the software layer, and I want to talk about some of the ways we have been getting involved in remote production, including a specific trial that we did last year with BBC Sport for the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris.
Tags: iss126 | remote production | IP | jt-nm | smpte 2110 | suitcase | Ed Calverley
Submitted by Ed Calverley Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Dressing Room - shooting steamy scenes
Josh Portwine W's latest factual entertainment series relies completely on the ability of fixed rig filming setups to make cast members forget their inhibitions. Described as a fly-on-the-wall documentary, "The Dressing Room" gives TV audiences unprecedented access to team-sport dynamics off the field of play by inviting them into the hidden world of dressing rooms at venues across the country.
Tags: iss126 | aw-eu70 | aw-rp120 | stv | motion content group | shooting partners | Josh Portwine
Submitted by Josh Portwine Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
State of the Nation - part 1
Dick Hobbs - new Imagine you are the director of the Champions League Final, knowing that 200 million people will be watching your every decision. Or you're directing the Eurovision Song Contest. Or even, to be honest, the Tunbridge Wells local news opt out. And at live minus 30 seconds, all the screens in the monitor wall suddenly go black then show a demand, in broken English, for 300 Bitcoin.
Tags: iss126 | iabm | british airways | ransom | bitcoin | cybersecurity | cots | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 Review
Ben Sherriff The Canon Cine range of lenses have been around for quite a few years now. The CN-E Cinema Prime lenses became an early alternative to using PL adaptors or the Zeiss Compact Prime lenses. Other than that the choice was rehoused stills lenses or maybe if you were lucky a set of Zeiss super speeds. The cine lens set became a cost effective offering for sharp prime lenses with clear and accurate markings for proper functionality.
Tags: iss126 | canon | review | cn-e | 18-88mm | t4.4 | Ben Sherriff
Submitted by Ben Sherriff Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Monetizing OTT
Oliver Botti Competition in the TV arena is hotting-up for traditional broadcasters with even ESPN, a strong-hold of sports TV, seeing a reduction in subscriptions with the number of American homes paying to get the service declining by more than 12m since 2011. With Mintel reporting that the subscription video streaming market in the UK is due to exceed revenues of GBP 1 billion (EURO 1.37 billion) by 2019, and account for 38% of the total UK video market, traditional broadcasters clearly cannot afford to turn a blind eye.
Tags: iss126 | ott | moentizing | fincons group | Oliver Botti
Submitted by Oliver Botti Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Lighting - the stuff you do not see
Tama Berkeljon Lighting is the stuff you don't see that makes a difference in what you do see. How the audience feels about a character and whether the scene is scary, tense or upbeat are communicated by the quality and placement of light. Lighting can take the drama to a whole new level - think about film noir with all those shadows on the wall.
Tags: iss126 | outsight | ghost in the shell | led lighting | Tama Berkeljon
Submitted by Tama Berkeljon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Getting started with IMF
Bruce Devlin - new Content is still King, but only if you can get it out to the consumer. I have just had the privilege of doing a live episode of Bruce's Shorts at the EBU IMF Workshop in Geneva. It was a privilege because I was able to talk about real world issues in making IMF compositions rather than talking about the theory of IMF. I was happy that people laughed at the jokes but even happier that people were taking notes and came up to discuss practical solutions to these difficult problems.
Tags: iss126 | class | imf | mam | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
TV Futures
Jane Lawrence When I was younger my dad used to encourage me to be a Jack of all trades and a master of none. One of those clich© things parents hand down to their children. However, as I have grown and gone through different stages of education I have found this little piece of wisdom has followed me. Don't get me wrong, being amazing at one thing is a great skill to have, but for me having a good understanding of everything is also vital.
Tags: iss126 | tvfutures | ccitv | portsmouth | preditors | Jane Lawrence
Submitted by Jane Lawrence Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Implementing an IP workflow
John Smith -new The eventual move to incorporate IP into your infrastructures is an inevitability. However, with justified concerns about interoperability and uncertainty about which vendors are best placed to help organisations achieve their IP media networking and content delivery goals, is it any wonder there is hesitation about moving forward? Broadcasters very wisely, don't want the pain without the gain!
Tags: iss126 | medialinks | ip | mdp3020 | gateway | John Smith -new
Submitted by John Smith -new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Media Production Show and other news
Duncan Payne So, the 2nd Media Production Show has been and gone. Hands up who went to Islington by mistake? I know at least two people who did. Their secret is safe with me! For me, the sign of a great trade show is when I come away really enthused about an innovative use of existing technology or a brand new product. When I find something that combines both these things, then I'm a very happy man.
Tags: iss126 | adamantean | finance | leasing | mps | ptz | sam | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Integrated and automating marketing campaign production
James Gilbert ITV, as an integrated producer broadcaster, creates, owns and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms. It operates the largest commercial family of channels in the UK and delivers its content through traditional television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub. ITV has the largest share of the UK television advertising market and its family of channels attracted a total share of viewing of 21.4% in 2016, the largest audience of any UK commercial broadcaster. ITV's main channel is the largest commercial channel in the UK, delivering 99% of all commercial audiences over five million.
Tags: iss126 | pixel power | itv | marketing campaign | James Gilbert
Submitted by James Gilbert Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Understanding the process of video production
Joseph Adamson In this article I will focus on understanding the process of video production. The use of miniaturised video equipment and understanding the capability of the kit chosen for the job will be mentioned. The video production process is a road map, which not only helps the producer to minimise problems during production and achieve professional results, but also saves time.This process can be tricky to understand and many videographers are self taught, including myself.
Tags: iss126 | video production | wasd | ail | africans in london | Joseph Adamson
Submitted by Joseph Adamson Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Ad servers and switching solutions
Peter Blanchford Hardware-based ad servers and switching solutions have been around for a long time and, broadly speaking, do the job just fine.
Tags: iss126 | starfish technologies | ad server | ts splicer | ts switch | gop | Peter Blanchford
Submitted by Peter Blanchford Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Audience engagement with advertising in an OTT world
Hank Frecon Adapting to how we advertise in an OTT world starts by reaching audiences on every screen with tailored content. Most consumers viewing habits include multi-tasking and juggling different activities at the same time, particularly the younger viewing audiences who tend to watch in a more fragmented, on-demand manner. The task of monetizing content in a way that suits this method of viewing pushes monetization strategies to adopt new technologies, so first let's look at the opportunity.
Tags: iss126 | ott | advertise | acr | source digital | Hank Frecon
Submitted by Hank Frecon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The 7 Steps to Saving Film
KitPlus We live in a world where - thanks to everything from smartphones to cheaper professional gear - more and more footage is being shot today than ever before. It's a little known fact, however, that as more movies are made, archived physical film works all over the world are in danger of being lost to the damage of time. The Library of Congress alone has documented that only 20% of U.S. feature films from the 1910 and 1920s survive in complete form, and according to European Parliamentary Research, as of 2014, 21% of European film works were held in archives, yet only 1.5% was digitized.
Tags: iss126 | bmd | film scanner | cintel | blackmagic | goldcrest | davinci | grade | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
360 degree video storage requirements
Dave Frederick Swim with bears, run with the bulls, get a pads-eye view of a rocket launch: 360 degree video production, also known as cinematic VR, makes these and many other bucket list-worthy events more accessible than ever. The format has evolved into a powerful storytelling tool, and one that changes not only the way in which visual experiences are shaped, but also the way in which media consumers perceive and interact with video content.
Tags: iss126 | 360 degree | vr | storage | vfx | ssd | san | nas | quantum | Dave Frederick
Submitted by Dave Frederick Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Remote Production - Speed, Control, Infrastructure
Ian Cookson - new Remote production gives broadcasters the ability to capture a wider range of live events, such as regional sports, news or music festivals, and mix them in a remote facility hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Tags: iss125 | calrec | live production | pac-12 | artemis | Ian Cookson - new
Submitted by Ian Cookson - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine