In Broadcast - September 2020 - 22

22

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 10 - Issue 9 | September 2020

InUSA

IP Brings Remote
Production To Fruition
Contributing Editor Michael Grotticelli
considers if remote production seems
destined to be the way most live
production is accomplished...

T

he benefits and efficiencies
of using Internet Protocol (IP)
infrastructures have all been proven
effective as live sport begins its slow
and careful resumption. Broadcasters
and production companies are
experimenting with new distributed
architectures based on SMPTE 2110
methods, which was the plan when
the spec for sending video over an IP
connection was finalized in 2018. This
in turn spawned the concept of REMote
Integration (REMI) or "At Home" models
that employ less equipment and crew
on site and can logistically cover more
events using an IP infrastructure.
Today, with the mandated lockdown
easing, remote production seems
destined to be the way most live
production is accomplished, due to
fewer crew and travel requirements.
With live sports slowly resuming play,
the number of remote productions
being done versus three years ago is
sure to be significantly higher.
In fact, At Home productions have
significantly increased over the past
two years, enabling producers to cover
multiple venues for the same "Tier-1"
event and also many "Tier-2" sporting
events that would otherwise not be
covered to due to cost (and lack of
advertiser support). With each new
remote project, new lessons are being
learned and systems infrastructures
tweaked to make the most of available
resources.
Across the industry, three types
of remote production workflows
have emerged as the most effective,

although
each
has
successful
for different reasons - including
geography, budgets, and bandwidth
availability. There's an uncompressed
model, a compressed model and a
distributed workflow. [Of course, there
are more options and a myriad of ways
that people split up their resources.]
Uncompressed Production
The Uncompressed method is
considered the most ideal, due to
signal quality, but it brings the cost of
sending uncompressed signals (that's
12Gbps for 4K) back and forth between
a hub facility and the remote site.
Camera feeds are sent straight from
the camera head over IP to some sort
of production hub. In this scenario you
send only the camera to the venue
and the signals are sent back to a base
station at the hub facility via fiber.
This requires consistent 3Gbps and
higher bandwidth, which can be tough
to get in the last mile (from the "home"
production facility to the remote site).
So, if you've got 10 cameras, that's a
lot of required bandwidth, which is not
typically realistic in today's budgetconscious world. Most stadiums don't
have those types of connections,
anyway, so it's that last mile that is
the most challenging. Even with its big
budgets, producers of the Olympics are
challenged each time with procuring
available bandwidth.
Certainly there are places where
that type of high-data-rate bandwidth
is available, but it's not common requiring you to secure a satellite or

For the broadcast of the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, uncompressed,
ultra-low latency video signals were sent over a distance of 20,000 km

The SMPTE 2110 IP standard has enabled a variety of remote production
possibilities using a centralized control facility and distributed infrastructure

dark fiber connection. However, this
uncompressed method has been used
extensively in Europe, where there's
a lot more public support for higher
bandwidth. In the U.S., users tend to
hire that bandwidth for the specific
time period required. Therefore, due to
bandwidth availability, uncompressed
remote production is often easier and
less expensive to produce in Europe
and Asia than it is in the U.S. or South
America.
Compressed Production
Compressing the signals before
they are distributed to the hub facility
means lower data rate (and less
cost) requirements. Signals are sent
into an encoder at the remote site
and then decompressed at the hub
facility. This method introduces a bit
more delay, due to the compression/
decompression process, but it's usually
not more than a few frames.
To compensate for the delay,
Precision
Time
Protocol
(PTP)
technology is used to synchronize the
signals. Most viewers won't care about
the delay. The challenge is for the
production people, who are looking at
monitors that are not synchronized.
The monitors at the venue are often
ahead of the hub, but if there's a round
trip from the hub facility, then the
monitors are behind.
This REMI method was used at this
year's FIS Ski World Championships
in Sweden in February. The action
was captured with 80 Grass Valley HD
cameras and a production switcher
on the mountain in Åre while the
signals were sent back (and forth)

to Stockholm, about 600 km (372
miles) away - with redundant 100Gbps
connections - for final processing.
Distributed Production
In the Distributed Production model,
producers are taking some of the
physical equipment to the venue
and performing the processing at
the remote site, but you are leaving
the control elements at home. For
example, a production switcher frames
lives on site, but the panel is remotely
located at home. Replay systems could
be set up this way as well.
The advantage is that you are still
leaving people home, but you are
able to process more quickly on site.
The control signals require much less
bandwidth than full video signals. That
makes it easier to send signals back
and forth. This also reduces lag time in
the stream and cost.
The industry is in a major change to
IP now, prompted to move faster, no
doubt, by the pandemic, so production
companies will continue to refine
remote production infrastructures to
get the job done. It saves on equipment
and crew costs and supports a safe,
controlled environment to protect
against the virus. There's this huge
demand for content and there's no way
companies can send everybody out to
every site.
IP has catapulted the viability of live
sports and entertainment production
and social distancing and safety is an
inherent benefit. Without the hard
work and real-world experience gained
from IP deployments around the world,
none of this would be possible.


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In Broadcast - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - September 2020

Contents
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Intro
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover1
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover2
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Contents
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 4
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 5
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 6
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 7
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 8
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 9
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 10
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 11
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 12
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 13
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 14
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 15
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 16
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 17
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 18
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 19
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 20
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 21
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 22
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 23
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 24
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 25
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 26
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 27
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 28
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 29
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 30
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 31
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 32
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 33
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 34
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 35
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 36
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 37
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 38
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 39
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 40
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 41
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 42
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 43
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 44
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 45
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 46
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 47
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 48
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 49
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 50
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 51
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In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover3
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover4
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