Understanding Decentralized and Remote Production
The current global pandemic is spurring great changes across the broadcast industry. With viewers thirstier than ever for sports and other types of live television content, broadcasters are looking to do more with less. The ubiquity of broadband internet and the proven reliability of low latency video streaming technology, especially with the SRT protocol, is enabling broadcasters to cover and deliver more live content without the need for large outside broadcast operations and satellite links. Once revolutionary new concepts, REMI and remote production workflows are increasingly becoming the normal way of covering live events.
Recent concerns about staff safety have further driven broadcasters to adopt remote production workflows. By deploying fewer people to events, risks can be better managed and mitigated while continuing to deliver high quality live broadcasts that viewers expect.
At-home, At Home
The original REMI and at-home models were designed in order to send less personnel and equipment to the field and instead concentrate talent and production resources at a central location. Although the field contribution component is ever more relevant, centralized production is now posing its own challenges as production staff and on-screen talent remain at home.
IP video streaming combined with software-defined and cloud-based video production tools has enabled broadcast professionals to continue to do their job no matter where they are. IP video streams can be used for all types of live production workflows including broadcast contribution, return feeds, bi-directional interviews, and broadcast monitoring. As a result, production facilities around the world are being decentralized.
Apart from health and safety concerns, decentralized production also enables broadcasters to recruit the very best talent for their productions no matter where they are located. In addition, decentralization is allowing broadcasters and content owners to partner with other companies who may be specialized in different workflow aspects including graphics, playout, replay, localization, social media, and OTT delivery. Decentralized remote production is having an impact not just on broadcasters, but on the entire live television eco-system.
Decentralization, enabled by the flexibility of IP video streaming, is further increasing the power and flexibility of remote production workflows. Though the initial driver for this change was the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of decentralized production go far beyond, and, as recent success stories indicate, it’s here to stay.
Tried, Tested, and Proven
Though the trend is recent, decentralized production has already been proven to work. The NFL recently relied on SRT and Haivision streaming technology to pull off a virtual draft, watched by 55 million viewers, with players and talent contributing from home. LEARN MORE.
Fox Sports also succeeded in bringing NASCAR and MLB back to TV while keeping many of their production team at-home. Haivision Makito encoders, decoders, and an SRT Gateway were used for real-time collaboration between multiple production facilities, home-based producers, and executives. LEARN MORE.
With a large proportion of broadcast engineers and producers working from home and perhaps continuing to do so for years to come, as well as the drive towards distributed production workflows across multiple facilities, remote production will continue to innovate ways that content is produced and delivered.