Best video encoder for at-home broadcast

The Best Video Encoder for At-Home Broadcast

With social distancing measures and travel restrictions still in place, along with concerns about staff, talent, and audience health and safety, the coronavirus outbreak has forced broadcasters to rethink many of their live production workflows. Now, after many weeks of lockdown, viewers are becoming accustomed to on-camera personalities and interviewees broadcasting “at-home”.

Firstly, let’s be clear about what we mean by “at-home” broadcasting in this instance. At-home is often used in the broadcast industry to describe a remote or REMI production model where content is captured live at a remote location, for example at a sports venue, while production is performed at a main broadcast center or studio. However, in this context, “at-home” broadcasting is referring to reporters, interviewees, and talent who are broadcasting live, at-home from their offices, basements, or in some cases, even the bathtub!

To achieve the high-quality video that viewers have come to expect, at-home broadcast contribution requires a few key components, the most important of which is a video encoder.

So, what is the best video encoder for at-home broadcast? We’ve put together a useful checklist of six essential factors to consider when choosing a video encoder that will enable live, interactive at-home broadcasting.

Low Latency

When it comes to latency, just how low is low enough? This is an important question especially when you’re engaging with people remotely in interactive ways, such as interviews for example. For live video streaming applications, users generally want latency to be as low as possible – nothing kills the viewing experience like long awkward silences or people talking over each other.
The Makito X video encoder series offers sub-200ms end-to-end latency required for live and interactive broadcasts.

Quality

Many people are using video conferencing platforms to enable simple at-home workflows. However, these don’t provide the desired level of quality for an optimal viewing experience. Using a camera and an encoder will help deliver pristine, broadcast quality video.
The Makito X video encoder series delivers high quality HEVC/H.264 picture quality (including 4K with the Makito X4 video encoder).

Resilience

Network congestion and performance are genuine concerns right now, with some of the largest drivers of web traffic in the world temporarily reducing video streaming quality to save precious bandwidth. You want your video to be robust and 100% reliable with minimal degradation, especially in the case of live broadcasting where a steadfast and stable solution is imperative. This requires a video encoder that can ensure dependable performance even with unpredictable network conditions.
The Makito X video encoder series includes native support for the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol and Network Adaptive Encoding to deliver reliable, non-stop performance.

Ease of Setup

Not to be overlooked, ease of setup and use is critical for those who are not necessarily used to dealing with video streaming technology as part of their day to day jobs. Being able to access encoder settings via a web browser is key for working with engineers in one location and producers in another.
The Makito X  video encoder series has an intuitive GUI and is a plug and play solution.

Security

Broadcasters want to protect their content from unauthorized access, which means that your video feeds need to be secure from the start, including contribution feeds en-route to production. Any video encoder used for broadcast content should be able to protect your content while leveraging the internet.
The Makito X video encoder series includes SRT support to securely transport video over any network using AES-128/256 encryption.

Interoperability

A video encoder is not the only component in the workflow – there are also other live video production components such as cameras and mics to consider. A video encoder that can be easily integrated with other devices is a must.
Underpinned by the most widely adopted open source transport protocol in the industry (SRT), the Makito X video encoder series seamlessly integrates with your existing workflows.

Relied Upon by Broadcasters Worldwide

The Haivision Makito X video encoder series is trusted by broadcasters around the world for its reliability, quality, and versatility. The mainstay of many broadcast workflows, the Makito X series is used extensively for field contribution, live interviews, and remote production to provide exceptional quality, low latency video in low bandwidth, or unpredictable environments.

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our customers have to say:

“Azzurro has had tremendous success using Haivision’s Makito X encoders and decoders to provide low latency, broadcast quality video from insert studios all over the country. The SRT protocol has allowed our portable AzzurroTX, UTX, and PopUp Studios to broadcast over a simple public internet connection. This played a valuable role at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when networks turned to us to quickly get talent on the air from their private homes. There was concern working with little or sometimes challenging bandwidth found at these locations, however, this is where the Makito X encoders really excel. It’s this reliability that has played a vital role supporting the NFL Draft and continues to support national broadcast shows across three major sports networks on a daily basis.”

John Bonaccorso, Vice-President Operations, Azzurro Group

“As production people, we use whatever solutions are best of breed, that’s what our clients expect. Haivision Makito X video encoders are just that; the UI is simple and easy to use, they offer extremely low latency, and most importantly they are rock solid and reliable. These products are mainstays in our studio.”

Corey Behnke, Co-founder and Producer, LiveX

Video Solutions for Your Remote and At-Home Workforce

Our webinar with LiveX examines how broadcasters are leveraging the benefits of SRT and Haivision in their remote workflows for at-home staff.

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