How BRIC TV Used Low Latency Video Streaming to Bring a Community Together and Celebrate Brooklyn Around the World
BRIC is a leading arts and media institution based in Downtown Brooklyn, serving the community for over 40 years. Their work includes contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. Some of their most popular programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, an arts and music exhibition series, and BRIC TV, a non-profit community TV channel and digital network.
Like many other organizations around the world, BRIC has had to make serious adjustments to their programming throughout 2020, in particular, for their in-person concert series that was an integral part of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Some groups have had to cancel their events altogether, or find creative alternatives to their in-person events.
BRIC chose the latter. In this post, we will explore how this cultural icon used remote production and video streaming to transform their concert series into a virtual event, bringing the Brooklyn community together, despite social distancing.
A Unique Challenge
New York City, as a densely populated urban area, was especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020. To keep citizens safe, strict social distancing measures were enforced. But for the city’s many cultural organizations and festivals, these measures created a new challenge.
The team at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival! wanted to continue their mission of bringing their community together, while keeping people at a safe social distance. As in-person concerts were no longer possible, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival opted to transform their concert series into a two-day live broadcast event.
However, even that posed its own set of challenges, as physical distancing meant that the BRIC team couldn’t host everyone in-studio for their event. This is where video streaming came in to make things easier.
A look behind the scenes at the BRIC TV studio during the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
The Solution: Remote Production
The BRIC team chose to employ a remote production over IP workflow to share live and pre-recorded segments to share the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.
“To do that in a low latency way, and a high quality way. I knew the team at Haivision could accomplish that, and I knew that SRT was the way to go.”
– David Feldman, Director of Technology, BRIC
The team at BRIC knew that they needed a solution that could allow them to remotely produce broadcast-quality content. This is why they reached out to the team at Haivision, who helped to design a remote production solution that would help BRIC TV bring the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to life over the internet.
With a host in-studio, feeds were sent through Haivision’s Makito X video encoders using the open-source SRT streaming protocol to their production partner, Media Monks, a global creative production company who deployed their team, based in Brazil, for this project. The final video content was produced using SRT streams and cloud-based vMIX software.
The production team then sent the final video production for broadcast in two ways: to OTT transcoding services and social media channels including YouTube and over SRT using a Makito X video decoder to distribute to six separate linear TV channels.
Thanks to SRT and the low latency Makito X video encoders and decoders the round-trip time to Brazil and back to Brooklyn was kept to under 1.5 seconds.
This remote production over IP model allowed the team at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to keep as few people in studio as possible, ensuring social distancing, while providing a high-quality cultural event online for the Brooklyn community.
To ensure a reliable broadcast, the tech team at BRIC also used two ISPs ending both a primary stream and a backup in case of internet issues. Fortunately, using the open-source SRT protocol ensured that video quality remained high, even as the latency was kept low during the round-trip between Brooklyn and Brazil.
Video streaming and remote production allowed artists to perform at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival either from home, or even their backyards.
Celebrating Brooklyn, Safely
As a PEG (public, education, and government) channel, BRIC was able to broadcast the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival over six linear channels, social media, and live on their website. This meant that viewers from both New York, and around the world, were able to watch the virtual festival, from the safety of their homes.
The attendance numbers were excellent, but from a technical perspective, things also ran very smoothly, as David noted that working with Haivision’s tools and the open-source SRT protocol was “seamless; it really was very easy.”
While attendees may not have been able to enjoy the in-person concert experience, it did present a unique view of the artists, who were performing from home, in Brooklyn and around the world. And these little insights into artist’s lives helped to nourish that connection that the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival works to develop in the community – a connection that has been more important than ever throughout the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
Want to learn more about BRIC and their work promoting the best in art, music, and media in Brooklyn? Click here.
Learn more about how remote production and at-home broadcast can help media organizations create easy connections, from a distance – download our remote production white paper, The Complete Guide to Remote Production Over IP.