Live from Sussex and Stockport (via. London)
Live Production has always had its own set of challenges, including managing a network of cameras and equipment for a show where there’s no option of a second take. Keeping up with the technology is hard enough, but what if all of this has to be done with presenters that are geographically separated, with an MCR operator that can’t get to the control room.
Comprehensive hardware options have existed for years. Portable production units (PPU) combine decoders, switchers, and encoders from manufacturers such as Blackmagic Design, Datavideo, Teradek, and many more into a transport ready solution.
Software production is a real solution. It’s designed to give you most of the capabilities of a broadcast unit, in a package that’s installable on a laptop, or as a compact turnkey solution.
Telestream’s Wirecast is one such solution. Developed as a flexible and scalable software platform, Wirecast allows you to use a host of sources for building a live production. These can include local devices via capture cards, IP based encoders, and local media files. All of these can be combined with a powerful graphics platform and stock library.
Output options are equally numerous; all the major social networks are available, as well as enterprise-level platforms such as Wowza, Akamai, Azure Media Services, and more. Simultaneously you can record to disk, and/or output a program, preview, or multiviewer feed to a hardware encoder, recorder, or monitor.
Sounds great right? But does it actually work? Not content with theory, we put it into practice. Our setup consisted of a Wirecast Gear 320 setup in our ‘control room’ in a garden office in South London, Product Specialist Darth Vader in Sussex, and Product Specialist Yoda in Stockport.
Darth Vader used the Panasonic AW-UE4 PTZ, outputting an RTMP feed to Teradek’s Helios server, and Yoda used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera outputting to a Teradek Cube. Both the sources were managed using Teradek’s Core cloud platform, which allows Wirecast to ingest the stream using the Streamreader plugin.