There’s no doubt that off the shelf platforms such as Teams and Zoom have been a saviour for many businesses, enabling people to communicate and work remotely without specialist equipment or significant investment.
Rolling out mechanisms that keep a company running above day to day communication are a little more complicated. How can you enable secure remote access to servers when staff are working from home? How do you communicate commercially sensitive information that needs to be shared with large groups?
With the initial rush of lockdown mobile phone content beginning to wear a little thin, broadcasters also need to find ways of maintaining production values whilst keeping crews, post production and editorial teams safe.
Many organisations that may previously have been resistant or reluctant to change have had to embrace the rapidly evolving video landscape to survive. In turn, technology companies have stepped up to the mark fast tracking new products and services that help facilitate secure online alternatives to old ways of working.
These new cloud and hybrid solutions are already supporting creative teams as they take their first steps back into production, from ingest, edit and transcode through to QC and distribution.
- Remote production, whilst maintaining production values
The need to communicate, reassure and engage with staff and customers in uncertain times has led to a plethora of content being shared over the past few months that previously would only have been transmitted from a war zone.
Moving on, companies are now looking to technology to find ways to keep talking, but in a way that appropriately reflects their brand values, status and reputation. The subliminal effects of watching a CEO from a well-known financial institution struggle with the quality of their IT should not be underestimated.
This is where NDI technology, such as BirdDog’s PTZ cameras, encoders, decoders and remote production tools come into their own. If you’re not familiar with NDI, check out our quick guide here
On a very basic level, replacing a computer webcam with a BirdDog P100 PTZ camera means that the subject is shown at a higher resolution, in focus and not restrained by the location of their laptop.
The camera can also move to preset positions by remote control, so pre-programmed shots can also be changed without fiddling about mid transmission.
Add an inexpensive LED light into the equation and a decent microphone and the quality difference is palpable.
Move up from the P100 to the P400 for full i-frame NDI in 10-bit 4K and chroma subsampling in your choice of 4:2:0 or 4:2:2.
The P400 includes professional-level colour tools including Colour Matrix control, Black level, Gamma including 512 pre-set gamma positions.
- Communicate to large groups over public internet, securely
For companies looking to communicate securely with large groups, accessible low latency video over IP NDI solutions have prospered in this new domain.
BirdDog Cloud NDI remote delivery and management software, coupled with easy to set up BirdDog hardware allows entire production teams to work together from their living rooms.
BirdDog Cloud uses the SRT protocol (Secure Reliable Transport) to bridge two NDI networks.
SRT is an open-source video transport protocol and technology stack that optimizes streaming performance across unpredictable networks with secure streams and easy firewall traversal, bringing the best quality live video over the worst networks.
In short, it offers:
At the source location on the left of the diagram, a number of BirdDog PTZ cameras with native NDI integration are set up on a local network. The location also has a laptop running BirdDog Cloud - this acts as a gateway to convert from NDI to SRT and the public internet.
The remote event technician also has their own laptop running BirdDog Cloud. This Gateway takes the SRT feed back to NDI. At this end the technician has an NDI compatible mixer; software like Vmix or Telestream Wirecast or hardware like a Newtek Tricaster all work well. A BirdDog decoder enables the feed to be viewed on a large screen.
Once the link is established between the two destinations, the NDI feed is available in the technician’s remote location as though they were on the same network. The feeds can be then brought into the mixer or decoded using a BirdDog converter, and the technician can operate all cameras remotely, using a BirdDog PTZ controller.
To complete the picture a live return feed can be sent back to the source location so they can see the final program output.
- Create sophisticated multi system, multi site workflows over IP without migrating completely to NDI
For customers looking to link multiple locations over IP to create sophisticated multi system, multi site workflows, the NewTek IP Series ecosystem offers a modular architecture with the ability to transition gradually to IP-based and virtualised production.
The IP Series offers SDI compatibility with NDI flexibility, creating seamless workflows with Tricaster, Talkshow and 3 play systems.
The Video Mix Engine is the core of the IP Series, capable of bringing together up to 44 source channels, from cameras and media players to graphics systems.
The Video Mix Engine connects to a 4 strip control panel which brings the full range of these interconnected sources together in one place.
The studio input module of the system is a flexible extension of the facility which connects existing SDI sources into the system as NDI sources. The final piece of the jigsaw, the studio output module takes the NDI output of the system and converts the signal to SDI to connect to existing equipment.
Together the IP Series modules;
- Remotely Access Colorfront’s powerful Transkoder 2K/4k/8K transcoding application
Transkoder, Colorfront's 2K/4k/8K transcoding application that automates fast, top quality digital file deliverables at the highest performance for studios and VFX is now available remotely with AWS and Azure.
Teams can now interact with footage directly from S3 cloud storage with real-time playback of IMF, DCP, ProRes, OpenEXR, R3D, Sony Venice, ARRIRAW ARX and output professional video 10-bit 444 UHD HDR via SDI/HDMI.
Transkoder Engine is based on Colorfront’s award-winning On-Set Dailies architecture and uses cost-effective, commodity hardware to deliver faster than real time processing to transcode, decode, convert and process files to various high-end file formats.
- Simultaneously process premise and cloud-based content in a single workflow using Telestream Vantage Cloud Port
In order to enable media companies to continue to use their on-premise technology while moving new workflows and burst capacity to the cloud, the new Vantage Media Processing Platform supports hybrid workflows in a consumption-based model where users only pay for media processing results.
Vantage Cloud Port Designer offers a simple way to start processing your media that enables cloud-based and remote access to on-prem storage without requiring on-prem Vantage or interfering with your existing Vantage domains.
Remote work, remote production and business continuity are more important than ever. Remote login to NLE workstations enables editors to work from home, but only delivers a partial solution to remote workflow challenges. Using Vantage Cloud Port the non-creative work that's required such as transcoding, adding captions or changing frame rates can be moved to the cloud to remove dependencies on specific locations whilst releasing powerful editing workstations from being tied up doing non-creative work.