InBroadcast - InShow Guide 2017 - 74

74

www.inbroadcast.com | IBC2017 InShow Guide | 15-19 September

A Return to Physical Master
Control Environments?
Tim Felstead, Head of Product Marketing; and Karl Mehring, Director
of Playout and Delivery, at SAM, consider the issues surrounding
conventional live production versus centralised Master Control...

L

ive production events include
significant on-site production
resources to provide not only sources
such as mics, cameras and their
control, but also the mixing, switching
and recording equipment, power and
other support systems required.
Because live production, even for
small events, can be complex, budgets
soon escalate to include travel and
subsistence for a production crew
that can quickly grow to a significant
operational cost.
Because of that, the allure of
'At Home' (or REMI - REMote
Integration) production, where a
crew of only two ensures on-site
set up and connectivity, can be very
high. However, moving production
resources from on-site to a centralised
location may not be the ultimate endgoal for remote production where
total cost of delivery to customers
and network operational efficiency
are most pertinent. In 'Olympic'
style events, where audiences and
subscriptions may be challenging,
it may well be more efficient to pull
those home located production
resources into the network Master
Control environment.
This article considers the merits of
using the Master Control suite in very
tight cost controlled REMI productions
and the efficiencies this structure
can bring a sports or regional sports
network operation.
Keeping the Costs Down
Scheduled playout typically requires
a customer to invest in a playout
automation system like SAM's
Morpheus. Built as a flexible real-time
solution for single or multi-channel
systems, Morpheus is enhanced when
coupled with SAM's Channel in a Box
solution ICE, or its software-based
brother ICE SDC (Software Defined
Channel). With either integrated
processing solution, physical
or
software
based,
this
combination is engineered to
withstand the difficulties that
can occur in live and sports

television broadcasting.
Often,
automation
systems are presented
with
the
relatively
straightforward task of
following schedules made
some days or weeks in
advance. These of course,
do not require the human
and real-time complexity
of live broadcasting. When
live sports programmes are SAM Morpheus
included in a schedule then variations Supporting Elements
can be introduced that require
In commercial based broadcasting
master control systems to be ready environments it's critical to be able
for anything. Over-runs or other late to sell inventory. Making last minute
schedule changes can make a mess of changes to a commercial break offers
the very best planning processes.
the sales team additional flexibility
To avoid this, automation systems should they need it. It gets more
need to be able to manage the difficult when last minute changes
transitions from scheduled to live are made in multi-channel playout
and back again in a number of ways environments with live channels. In
that suit the network's requirements a sports network context, this may
(delay the schedule, return to the be different markets (or networks)
schedule etc.) Furthermore, it is receiving the same live programme
the enabling of efficient human but with 'hot' changing commercials.
interaction with the system that In Morpheus Automation, this late
illustrates the suitability of this change of commercials can be
solution for many live events. extended in live events to cover
Returning to automation control different commercials for different
in an elegant and intelligent way languages, target audiences or
is a challenge for most playout delivery platforms like social media.
automation systems.
Changing commercial break running
SAM
builds
master
control orders in a sports event which has
environments
around
Morpheus already overrun requires a realand ICE that are highly capable in time automation system built for
live
broadcasting
environments. the purpose. Morpheus can achieve
This offers the opportunity to move this level of flexibility by using
a number of key functions into the its Commercial Hotlist function
master control environment during simultaneously
across
multiple
a live broadcast. Important to this playout channels, without sacrificing
integration is the capability to manage its customary 99.999% reliability
real-time SDI and AES audio signals, record.
and processes such as video or audio
Another aspect of live events that
mixing/switching, graphics creation can be handled in Master Control is
and insertion along with media sophisticated live graphics. ICE has a
management tasks related to a live highly capable graphics engine able to
schedule.
support real-time and effects graphics
up to and including 3D
SAM sQ server
effects. It's also possible
to take external live data
feeds to include graphics
such as score data,
player statistics etc.

From a regulatory point
of view, where subtitling
is mandated, Morpheus
also offers the breadth of
control required to support
most
live
captioning
devices. 'Join In Progress'
functionality
provides
elegant handling of last
minute changes during live
programming with graphics
to
make
automated
announcements so viewers know
when a channel returns to its planned
programing.
Audio can no longer be second
cousin to video in broadcasting to
any delivery system. Be it over the
air or OTT there are essential audio
requirements such as language
commentary for sub-regions or
multi-channel audio for effects. In
developing ICE SDC SAM has enabled
both SMPTE 2022-6 inputs and outputs
for SDI over IP, and also AES-67 inputs
and outputs to support up to 64 audio
channels. Both of these standards
form part of the forthcoming SMPTE
2110
interoperability
standard
so ensuring future IP standards
compatibility. Irrespective of building
a software or hardware based suite,
the real-time video and audio human
interaction and processing blocks
remain in both, ensuring either model
supports live sports broadcasting.
Handling Live Environments
Moving production into Master
Control for sports still requires
interactions
between
file-based
workflows and the live broadcast.
This can be in circumstances when
a new highlights reel is available
during a break or after full-time, or
perhaps a new commercial has been
sold and is yet to be processed ready
for broadcast. In this case the need is
for a sophisticated workflow system
that is aware of playlist order and the
time that piece of content is required
to be ready. By enabling on-air timebased prioritisation in file processing
functions (QC for example)


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InBroadcast - InShow Guide 2017 - Intro
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