Maintain frame-accurate video genlock and lip-sync across multiple cameras for wireless at-home / REMI live production
By Jim Jachetta, Co-founder and CTO of VidOvation Corporation
Broadcast engineers and operators are always looking for better, more efficient ways to contribute and distribute video. This is especially true for sports broadcasters and live-TV producers, who regularly deal with backhauling live, high-action, multicamera, multisource video, and audio. The challenge is maintaining frame-accurate video genlock and lip sync across multiple cameras for wireless at-home live production or REMI.
“The challenge is maintaining frame-accurate video genlock and lip sync across multiple cameras for wireless at-home live production or REMI.”
Haivision’s HE4000 4K UHD and HD HEVC live encoder, and the PRO Series and AIR Series of bonded cellular and IP transmitters with SafeStreams® technology do just that. A far less costly alternative to traditional telecom, satellite, fiber and microwave connections, the HE4000 encoder sends video through the public internet or unmanaged networks, which are practically free. Bonded cellular capability can be added to the HE4000 using the optional QUAD CellLink active antenna. For greater mobility, the PRO and AIR Series of bonded cellular and IP transmitters provide a camera-mount, backpack or belt-pack alternative to satellite that is ideal for multicamera, remote integration (REMI) and at-home productions.
“Labor costs are reduced since the television production specialists work at a centralized master control near where they live, eliminating the need for travel and overtime expenses.”
The key benefits of this model include eliminating the need for expensive satellite, fiber, and telecom links. The elimination or the reduction in the size of the local production truck will save on both the
rental fees and personnel, travel, lodging, and meal expenditures. The VidOvation solution permits the backhaul of multiple live camera feeds while maintaining frame-accurate genlock and lip-sync. The robust transport stream virtually eliminates dropped packets while maintaining low latency.
This technology has been successfully deployed and implemented by Turner Sports, CNN, PGA, Viacom, A&E, Fox, The Discovery Network, Major League Fishing, and others. Turner Sports was able to transport 20 iso-camera feeds from Europe to Atlanta over 10,000 miles via a low-cost public internet connection. Thanks to this approach, it is now possible to produce events such as the Ryder Cup, UEFA Championship League, and other demanding live events over unmanaged networks without dropping a single packet.
SafeStreams Transport (SST)
An integral part of the PRO Series, AIR Series, and HE4000 encoder is Haivision’s patented SafeStreams transport (SST) protocol, which provides reliable, broadcast-quality video transmission over 3G/4G cellular, LAN, Wi-Fi, satellite and the public internet with advanced forward error correction (FEC), dynamic automatic re-requests (ARQ) and up to 100% redundancy.
Greater Speed and Agility
SafeStreams lets users record, store, and forward 4K UHD and HD content at low bit rates. It gives the HE4000 encoder the ability to transport 4K UHD and HD content over the public internet at data rates as high as 100 Mbps.
Furthermore, SafeStreams bonds up to 11 IP connections (up to eight cellular, two LAN, and one Wi-Fi) to create the biggest possible transport pipe. Available LAN connections can include a telecom circuit, the public internet and satellite. When the HE4000 encoder is used over cellular networks, one or two QUAD CellLink active antennas are required to provide up to eight modems with high-gain antennas.
This solution for live video transport is unique because of the PRO series patented high-gain, long-range antenna, which eliminates cross-coupling and interference compared to consumer USB modems. The PRO Series high-gain antenna ensures signals are more likely to get picked up by a cellular tower.
New SMPTE Codec Ideal for At-Home Production Over Managed Networks
SMPTE VC-6 ST 2117 P.Pro – a More Efficient Alternative to Uncompressed, JPEG XS and JPEG 2000 from V-Nova
PPro (previously PERSEUS Pro) is a high-performance AI-powered software library for encoding and decoding SMPTE VC-6 (ST 2117), which is used in professional contribution, remote production, and visual recognition indexing workflows in addition to mass-market next-generation video experiences such as VR/AR and ad-tech applications. SMPTE VC-6 also includes intellectual property contributed by V-Nova.
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PPro uses a unique hierarchical approach to layer detail and higher resolutions onto the underlying Intra-only frames. Combined with the very latest techniques in machine learning and optimized rate control, this approach delivers an industry-redefining level of video quality per bandwidth.
Key benefits working with VC-6 (ST 2117) or PPro include huge efficiency gains in the required bandwidth over uncompressed, JPEG XS, and JPEG 2000. Bandwidth savings of up to 80% can be achieved for UHD or 4K transport. Another benefit is an increase in the video quality or channel count possible on a given IP pipe, as shown in the table above. VC-6 is a future-proof codec supporting UHD and HDR. The PPro codec is implemented in the V-Nova P.Link dual UHD and 8HD contribution video encoder and decoder.
Remote Production Configurations
There are many possible configurations for remote production. In some cases, the field encoder and bonded cellular link are attached to the camera. The camera feeds are then sent directly to a centralized
master control thousands of miles away. In this configuration, the camera operator will most likely shade the camera because a one- to three-second delay is too long to have a video engineer shade remotely. If a low-latency, managed network is used, it is possible to home run the camera feeds and have the video engineer shade remotely at master control.
Another configuration option is to use a smaller truck and have a video engineer shade on site. The cameras can then be hardwired or wirelessly connected to the truck. If wireless microwave camera links are being used, low latency is critical. VidOvation uses the AB512 7 msec broadcast-quality wireless camera links with integrated camera control and intercom from ABonAir.
The television industry continues to experience drastic changes in advertising revenue, viewership, and distribution. Viewers have more choices than ever before and are no longer limited to over-the-air, satellite, and cable for television content. Streaming and over-the-top (OTT) services give viewers more options than ever before. Studios and broadcasters are looking for alternative revenue streams and new technology that can help reduce production costs. There is a higher demand for low-cost television content to satisfy the numerous streaming and OTT distribution providers. Live, unscripted content such as sports and reality TV are in higher demand due to lower production costs. Advancements in at-home and REMI production have already proven to save in production costs by eliminating or reducing the size of the on-site production truck(s), and eliminating travel expenses. Labor costs are reduced since the television production specialists work at a centralized master control near where they live, eliminating the need for travel and overtime expenses. At-home and Remi production technology permits the same highly specialized person to work on the production of more than one event per day while sleeping at home every night. This maximizes the return on investment of all your specialized employees while slashing production, travel and labor costs.