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On TechTime with Nathan Mumm, Micro-transactions for your car? Recent images from NASA reveal previously unseen regions of space. Amazon Prime Day review. Interview with the CTO of VidOvation, Jim Jachetta, on bonded cellular | Air Date 7/10 – 7/16/2022

 

 

Nathan Mumm:

Well, now that we got our whiskey out of the way, we’re going to move to our main story of the day. Our main story is talking about how a company has come up with a way to use streaming technology at the consumer level to provide world-class streaming live video with bonded cellular technology while on a trip, through tunnels, in the mountains, or anywhere that you’d have seclusion that you wouldn’t be able to necessarily get your Internet traffic. The company, VidOvation, excels in helping clients like you integrate custom video transmission streaming and contribution to distributed systems in existing infrastructure with the ability to satisfy almost all appliances, applications or budget.  VidOvation provides television production, broadcasting, wireless, distribution, and streaming systems that simplify your workflow and save costs. Expect at-home remote production (REMI) without the headaches. Create more Live Content while saving costs. Demand frame-accurate genlock & lip-sync across multiple untethered cameras

Nathan Mumm:

Mike is joining us. He is the Executive… Oh Mike, this is exciting-

Mike:

Jim is joining us. I’m Mike.

Nathan Mumm:

… as Jim is joining us. He’s the Executive Vice President and CTO of VidOvation. So Jim Jachetta, thank you very much for joining the show today.

Speaker 1:

This is a segment we call Ask the Experts.

Nathan Mumm:

All right. As Jim comes on up, Jim, last time we talked, we geeked out on a few items, but today I want to talk about your technology solutions, streamlining in hard-to-reach places. People are always streaming for work, for pleasure, especially across the globe now with our remote work environment that we have. You need to have streaming services everywhere. If you’re out in the middle of a mountain hike, you’d never know when you may have that Zoom call-

Mike:

Yeah, you need to pull on over and to pull off the trail and do a Zoom call.

Nathan Mumm:

That’s right, okay, but what’s really interesting is that Jim has some solutions that are out-of-the-box broadcast, professional-grade, and even to the high-end of major motion industrial. So Jim, welcome to the show.

Jim Jachetta:

Hey guys, how’re you doing? Glad to be here.

Nathan Mumm:

Good, good, good.

Mike:

Hi Jim.

Nathan Mumm:

Jim, all right. Please explain to me first, some of the clients that you interact with your business. Let’s give a rundown.

Jim Jachetta:

Yeah.

Nathan Mumm:

Who are your clients?

Jim Jachetta:

Yeah, our clients tend to be television stations, sports leagues. We’re working with the PGA. We need to transmit live from golf courses in rural areas. We might do a bicycle race that goes out into the middle of a desert. We are doing quite a few, believe it or not, fishing tournaments.

Nathan Mumm:

Okay.

Jim Jachetta:

Some of these fishing tournaments end up on ESPN live, so it’s hard to broadcast live from the middle of a lake where there’s no… satellite is just not an option.

Nathan Mumm:

Yeah, I can vouch for that.

Mike:

Yeah.

Nathan Mumm:

Can you vouch for that?

Mike:

Yeah.

Nathan Mumm:

I can tell you the one thing about fishing is that when I go fishing I catch nothing, so forget Internet. I can’t even catch the fish in the boat, so-

Mike:

Well, you’re going for the wrong reason.

Nathan Mumm:

That’s right, okay. All right. So Jim-

Jim Jachetta:

It’s all about the drinking, right?

Nathan Mumm:

That’s right. Well-

Mike:

That’s right.

Nathan Mumm:

… if you have a nice whiskey out on the boat, then everything goes easier.

Mike:

You’re catching something, it’s just not a fish.

Nathan Mumm:

That’s right. Okay Jim, explain what is your core business, okay. Your core business, what do you do? You’re an AV company, but for the standard everyday listener that’s listening to our show, what’s your core business that you specialize in?

Jim Jachetta:

Well, our technology may touch the consumer, but we are really working more with a corporation or the enterprise, or from a consumer level maybe an executive wants to do a webinar from home or have a town hall meeting but wants a broadcast quality camera instead of a web camera. Then our technology would come into place, and fundamentally what we do is, the magic sauce or the magic bullet is we use cellular technology, and we don’t just use one cellular connection, we’ll use as many as eight cellular connections, and those eight connections, some of them might be on Verizon, some might be on AT&T, some on T-Mobile, or a mixture of all three, depending upon where you are.

Jim Jachetta:

We use the term bonded cellular. It’s actually an IT term, bonding several connections together, and probably in the past you would bond several T1 connections together to make a DS3 connection, a bigger pipe, so we bond or take smaller cellular pipes and bond them into one big pipe so we can stream video reliably from these remote locations.

Nathan Mumm:

Okay. Explain that. Let’s talk about that. Bonded cellular. So are you saying that you take a carrier with a 5G SIM card and you put it on top of another SIM card? Explain to me what your bonded cellular, or the AVIWEST IP is what you call it I think, is a area… Explain-

Jim Jachetta:

That’s one of our partners, AVIWEST.

Nathan Mumm:

Okay. Okay, explain that to us.

Jim Jachetta:

Your audience is pretty technical. We take an encoder and we encode the video, relatively traditional methodology of encoding video. There’s a lot of encoders, inexpensive high-end encoders, but the real magic is taking that stream of packets. We encode it into a bunch of IP packets, then you send those packets across the Internet, or in this case across the cellular network. The packets get all out of order. Some arrive early, some arrive late. Then we take those packets and we spread them across the eight connections, the eight cellular connection, so some packets go on modem number one, some go on two, some three, four, five, six, seven, and the real magic happens on the receiving side to take those eight streams, put them back together, and for video, the packets need to be in order.

Jim Jachetta:

Even this web session today, if the packets were out of sequence, you wouldn’t be able to see or hear me right now. That’s the real magic, breaking everything apart, sending it over these eight connections, and then putting it all back together on the receiving side, that’s really magic.

Jim Jachetta:

We use forward error correction, automatic re-requests. There’s a lot of… everything is dynamic and automatic. The bit rate will go up and down based on the quality of your connection. If we have a 10 megabit connection, we’ll use it. If that suddenly drops, we adapt to it. The technology is very adaptable to Internet and cellular and network conditions.

Nathan Mumm:

Okay, so if I’m out in the middle of a boat, you talked about the fishing tournament, right, and so as I move further and further away from a cellular tower, probably the signal strength is going to be less and less and less, so does that mean the video quality is a little less high definition? Does it put those little filters in where you start seeing the bitmaps of everything that’s going on? What happens when you’re further away with that technology that’s there?

Jim Jachetta:

Well, in television… I think we all learn this from satellite. Remember when CNN got a very low bit rate video feed from the rooftop in Baghdad, the first Gulf War? That proved that even a low resolution video is better than no video.

Jim Jachetta:

Some of our competitors take the approach where they do constant bit rate. They’ll run at a high bit rate, but then it drops out. Then it freezes. We will scale the image. We will shrink the image and then scale it back up. Yes, you might lose some fidelity, but a little bit loss of fidelity or a little bit of the resolution, as we call, the picture gets a little bit soft. A little bit softness in the picture is better than no picture.

Jim Jachetta:

And of course we give priority to the audio. The human eye is more forgiving to a loss in visual fidelity or video fidelity than audio. Any kind of clicks or pops, the human ear doesn’t forgive that. It’s a delicate dance and it’s all automatic, but you’re right, Nathan, that if the bass fishing boat goes to a corner of the lake where there’s not as much cellular connectivity, the unit may actually switch cellular carrier automatically. It was in the middle of the lake, maybe the modems were grabbing Verizon, then it moves to a corner of the lake, now it’s out of the range of Verizon, our system will automatically grab T-Mobile or AT&T, and it will do everything it can to grab a signal.

Jim Jachetta:

There are areas where there is no signal, so we’re not magicians. We can’t fabricate a cellular signal where there isn’t one, but there’s techniques for that too, where we’ll record the video while we’re in that dead spot of the lake and then play it back when the boat comes back into range, so there are workflow ways around… Maybe the video will be a little bit delayed, but we’ll still get the video out. We’ll call that near-live, where the video’s delayed a few minutes and then we still get it out. There’s always a way to get-

Nathan Mumm:

Is that TiVo, is that what you said?

Mike:

Yeah, TiVo.

Nathan Mumm:

TiVo.

Jim Jachetta:

Yes.

Nathan Mumm:

TiVo, they buffer that a little bit, yep.

Mike:

It’s my understanding that the system is trying to keep the continuity of the video rather than the overall quality of the video. Is that what I’m hearing?

Jim Jachetta:

Yes, yes. Continuity, reliability, continuity, that’s the most important thing. The technology started in news, and many of our competitors… News is a lot easier. News, it’s usually a single camera operator on the courthouse steps. They’re not moving around. We invented a new category called live reality TV. We’ve done Live PD, First Responders Live, police cars, emergency vehicles are going at 120 miles an hour and maintaining that cellular connection.

Jim Jachetta:

But the real special thing that we do is we’re able to do multiple cameras. Keeping one camera on the action and synced with the facility is easier, now I have… the PGA will use 15, 20 cameras, all having different angles of the same shot and if they’re out of sync, or what we call genlock, if they’re out of sync with each other, you can’t produce a live show, so we’re really good at having untethered units, units mounted on the camera. The cameras are not wired together. There’s no cheating, there’s no strings, there’s no cables. We’re fully untethered and we’re the only vendor that can really do that and really do it well.

Nathan Mumm:

All right, so talk about what the genlock and lip sync is. That’s something that’s really important with your three cameras. Is that something proprietary that you guys do, because I have seen other broadcasts where they’ll have to re-sync the video, right? Sometimes we do video here where we have two or three cameras, when we did TechTime radio when we first started, remember that?

Mike:

Oh yeah.

Nathan Mumm:

And what happened is there’s one camera, the syncing wouldn’t be quite the same with the audio, and so if you went from one camera to another, now my conversation I’d either have to slow it down or I’d have to go into post-production, Adobe Premiere, and I’d have to do the synchronize deal to make it… Very difficult to do. Explain what your guy’s system and how you do that genlock part.

Jim Jachetta:

You got the gist of it there, Nathan. You guys are doing a live show, but then you re-broadcast it, so you can fix certain anomalies in post-production. The PGA, 30 microphones are open simultaneously on a given green or on a given tee box. Dozens of cameras. There’s a wide shot. There’s a tight shot. Tight shot on Tiger. Tight shot on Phil Mickelson. Well, not Phil anymore.

Nathan Mumm:

No, he’s in the live group now, but that’s all right, yeah. I get you, I get you.

Jim Jachetta:

If the microphones were out of sync with the video or out of sync with each other, you’d hear four, four, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. The mics would all bleed into each other. You certainly can’t fix it live. Maybe you could try to fix it in post-production, but this is live action so everything needs to be in sync.

Jim Jachetta:

The traditional way of keeping cameras on a tripod or a camera on sticks doing the Super Bowl, the cameras are tethered with a cable back to the truck, sending a reference signal to keep them in sync. Our technology is able to… All of our cellular units have a GPS receiver. They either have a GPS reference clock or a cellular reference clock, and the cellular reference clock, time of day down to tenths of seconds, time of day either from the GPS or the cellular network, and the cellular network’s probably getting its time reference from a time server or even GPS as well.

Jim Jachetta:

Most master controls have a GPS timing reference, so the camera in the studio are within one-hundredth of a second. It’s close but we’re still dozens of frames off. We got to get down to the frame rate, down to 15 or 30 milliseconds, and timing signals, it all comes down to time stamping every packet so we know… and the packets are numbered. They’re in order, so time stamping, and then we send reference signals from the studio to the field.

Jim Jachetta:

It’s similar to… When you’re on a wired network, we call it precision timing protocol. Your network switches manage the clock. One switch or one device in the studio will be the grand master clock, then there’ll be slave clocks, but that’s on a managed network. Cellular and the public Internet is unmanaged so we can’t… we don’t have control of the switches on the Internet, but we use a similar technique, and my vendor would have to kill me if they told me the exact details. It’s patented, but that’s the magic, and we can get within a frame of accuracy or better, that if there is any differences, it’s not noticeable-

Nathan Mumm:

Perfect.

Jim Jachetta:

… and you can’t hear it. That’s the amazing thing, keeping everything in sync. The technical term for the video synchronization, we call that genlock, and then the technical term for the audio sync, we call that lip sync.

Nathan Mumm:

Gotcha. Gotcha. All right, Jim, so you are quite the expert. You have training and video solutions directly on your website. How do I go out and find out more information, or if I’m interested in having this type of system for a remote event that I’m going to be doing, maybe a remote wedding, I guess you could do this for high net worth individuals. Maybe they’d want to have this stream to many different people.

Mike:

A remote site at a kindergarten.

Nathan Mumm:

There you go. Maybe not quite there.

Jim Jachetta:

Churches is a common application.

Nathan Mumm:

Church is a common… that makes sense in religious places.

Jim Jachetta:

Corporate events. Yeah, our website is VidOvation, V-I-D-O-V-A-T-I-O-N, dot com. My name is unique, and Mike, thank you for pronouncing it correctly.

Mike:

Oh, you’re welcome.

Jim Jachetta:

Jim Jachetta.

Nathan Mumm:

Jachetta, I gotcha. Jim Jachetta, I get you. Okay, there we go. There you go.

Jim Jachetta:

Oh, I’m used… I’ve been called Geppetto.

Nathan Mumm:

Oh, Geppetto. Okay. Okay. Well…

Jim Jachetta:

So Jim J-A-C-H-E-T-T-A. You can find my name on social media. You can email me, [email protected], or you can give us a call at (949) 777-5435.

Nathan Mumm:

Perfect. All right, Jim, thank you so much. It was a pleasure having you on the show. Hopefully we can maybe look forward to talking to you in the future about one of your events that you have and how you’ve gotten some new technology working out there. Maybe I could even see you out on that bass fishing trip. That sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it?

Jim Jachetta:

Yes. Yes. We’ll get the whiskey guys as a sponsor.

Nathan Mumm:

There you go.

Mike:

There we go.

Nathan Mumm:

Perfect. Perfect.

Mike:

Thanks Jim.

Nathan Mumm:

Perfect. Thank you, Jim.

Jim Jachetta:

Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.

Nathan Mumm:

All right. Thank you.

Mike:

You too, bye-bye.

Nathan Mumm:

All right, that is our segment.