The Disconnected DIT: safe production on or off-set
Whether you’re in front of the camera or behind the camera, the show must go on, as they say. It’s up to all of us to collaborate in a way that makes sense and keep creating content that matters.
With limited crew allowed on set and new health and safety processes, there will be many DIT technicians that are surprisingly unfazed by the necessity of social distancing.
The Grade must go on
For years, cinematographers have employed wireless and secure technology, such as Bolt transmitters and SmallHD monitor/receivers for live ultra-high quality video for ingest, initial colouring and proxy generation at the DIT station.
It’s important to note that as sets inevitably fill with more and more 5.8Ghz technology, Bolt XT and Bolt 4K have built-in frequency analysers to monitor the available spectrum. For extremely challenging RF situations, certain Bolt models can be set to operate (legally) over 20MHz to improve wireless performance.
Teradek’s Colr format converter device is also familiar to many film sets and is already a safe part of the live workflow. Based on WiFi connectivity, Colr offers real-time colour correction via Livegrade Pro, for LUT and CDL management, with the output instantly shared with the DP.
Super-charging on-set networks
On location, it’s often the DIT team that provides crew connectivity. Local wireless networks are often either absent on shoots, or unable to cope with the demands of crews who are sharing files, monitoring live video on iPads and uploading data to remote storage. At a time when personnel are likely to be dispersed over much wider areas, getting the wireless infrastructure right is more important than ever to avoid glitchy pictures or data loss.
Teradek Link allows users to create a local area network and fulfils multiple functions during a shoot. It increases the range of Serv Pro (for iPad monitoring) from 100m to 300m, giving crews maximum mobility.
Wireless networks are frequently used for camera control and file transfer between DIT stations, so a business-class device like Link is likely to play a key part. Link’s quad core processor and internal memory ensure high data throughput, handling numerous concurrent clients on the network. Compared to consumer access points, Link offers optimized buffering and packet re-transmission, allowing you to maintain a consistent connection even in tough RF environments.
When Remote means Remote
While there are now extremely powerful tools for wireless monitoring, colour grading, camera control and file transfer, the set can find itself cut off with limited Internet connection to the outside world. With executives, clients and script writers potentially miles away, the communication channel between the production crew, talent and off-site personnel is far more important than ever.
In certain locations, it’s impossible to get an Internet signal that can sustain the bandwidth a creative crew needs to maintain communications with offices overseas and creative advisers.
There are two solutions:
- Teams can make better use of available bandwidth by encoding live video streams to HEVC, rather than H.264, making a 50% saving on data rates. They can also employ the Teradek Core cloud solution which takes a single video stream from the set (preferably HEVC from a Cube encoder) and restreams that one channel to multiple remote receivers, platforms and devices.
- Build a better Internet connection! This may sound ambitious, but Teradek Link Pro can aggregate the upload/download capabilities of four 4G modems, combined with any local broadband connection (a subscription to Core is required) to get the best possible network performance available. Locate the Link Pro high on a building or in a clearing to guarantee the best signal strength, and it’s capable of feeding users with data over a 200m range. It’s also got the vital capability of streaming high quality video feeds, voice comms and data with far less risk of drop out.