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Broadcast Video Encoder

What to Look for in a Broadcast Encoder for Live Remote Interviews

Whether interviewing an athlete at the Olympics, a political figure, or a celebrity, many are unaware of the efforts and expenses that go into a live remote broadcast interview. With such a high volume of news content and demand for live coverage that emerges daily, it is crucial that broadcasters are able get expert opinions on the air as quickly and conveniently as possible – a good video encoder can help that happen.

So, what should you look for when deciding on a broadcast encoder for remote interviews?

Low Latency Video Encoding

One of the most fundamental features required for remote interviews is low latency. Video latency refers to the amount of time it takes for a video signal to be transmitted from one place to another, sometimes also referred to as delay. Delay can completely ruin exchanges between even the most expert broadcast professionals and can be unworkable for untrained participants. Want to know how badly delay can affect an interview? Watch this funny clip from a BBC One interview over satellite.

Satellite is a major contributor to video delay. As broadcasters move from satellite to low-cost internet connections, they need to minimize any delays introduced by the encoder or the network. By combining low latency encoding with stream delivery optimized to minimize delay, you can ensure that your remote interviews are as fluid and compelling as the interviews you shoot in the studio.

Low latency video encoding is a great way to do this. There are a number of broadcast encoders that address this challenge, like Haivision’s Makito X H.264 / HEVC video encoder –  with less than 60 milliseconds of latency, it is one of the lowest latency video encoders available. And, when the Makito encoder is paired with the SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) protocol, originally developed and open-sourced by Haivision, broadcasters are able to get pristine video streams over any network, with minimal delays. This low latency allows remote interviews to have more emotion and genuine interaction.

Security and Reliability

Optimized streaming performance and high-quality video are essential in broadcasting – especially when faced with unreliable internet connections. This is why we recommend utilizing the SRT protocol to ensure that your high quality video content will continuously perform over any network. As broadcasters increasingly turn to the public internet for low-cost, convenient, and readily available connections, they risk severe packet loss typical of public internet connections. To combat this, the SRT protocol employs automatic repeat request (ARQ) to ensure that all packets are received, without overwhelming the available bandwidth. SRT also applies both military-grade encryption to prevent unauthorized viewing or copying of the content and techniques to easily overcome the firewalls of remote interview locations.

Adaptability

Unpredicted changes in network conditions can completely ruin a broadcast. It is important that the encoder is able to adapt to network conditions to ensure that video streaming will not fail under any circumstances. This is why we provide Network Adaptive Encoding on our Makito X encoders, adjusting the video bitrate in real-time in response to changes in available network bandwidth. If your bandwidth is choked, the encoder will automatically lower the video bitrate to provide the best quality of video streaming.

Finding the Right Encoder

As a broadcaster, you want to ensure that your remote interviews are compelling and fluid, to keep your viewers engaged. Having the right technology to support your remote interviews is critical to this. It is important to use a video encoder that you can trust to maintain the highest quality video streaming possible for your content.

Want to see how the right video encoders, using the SRT protocol, can help broadcasters stream high quality, low latency video from multiple remote sources? Take a look at this case study of how the German news organization, BILD, covered the German elections.

You can learn more about Haivision’s H.264 / HEVC low latency live video encoders and how they can help your organization by exploring our available video encoders, or by contacting our team directly.

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