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OPINION: Solving remote live broadcast

Remote live production can be used by broadcasters to fight back against OTT, says Tracey J W Ford, chief sales and marketing officer, Norwia

The emergence of higher quality standards such as 4K means that live production systems are required to do more than ever before. Production, TV and broadcast companies are looking for the best ways to efficiently supply heavy content loads to viewers without degradation in quality and with solutions that are futureproofed and provide operational efficiency while reducing operational costs.

Live production is increasingly important as it plays a key role in a broadcasters fight against the OTT competition. With the right production tools, broadcast companies can increase their brand value and customer base and monetise their service better, and greater efficiency and flexibility is especially helpful in a time when many broadcasters are facing pressure on production budgets.

One solution for broadcasters is to move to remote live production, which saves costs through utilising existing in-house production equipment and staff. This enables the broadcaster to remove the necessity for location equipment for live event production and meet the complex challenges of signal distribution through the requirement of new standards such as 4K. To be able to move efficiently to remote production, broadcasters need solutions that can contribute video, audio and control signals from the OB site to studio, cutting down production costs and ensuring a greater return on investment in studio equipment.

Norwia miniHUB addresses these needs, enabling broadcasters to take advantage of their optical distribution platform to ensure that video and audio quality remains pristine while there is no adverse affect to the control of cameras and lighting, regardless of the distance between the studio and production location. It also allows clear communication channels to be maintained so that the programme can be made just as well as when the production staff is kilometres rather than metres from the camera-ops and the live action. miniHUB provides a seamless workflow for remote productions that is indistinguishable from an onsite production suite.

Our unique AutoSFP technology enables the miniHUB platform to solve all the issues surrounding live broadcast and the emergence of higher standards and achieves all the functionality of a multi-card system in a single card, helping reduce both cost and the complexity of optical signal distribution. It is configurable as a multiple fibre solution or a multiplexed backbone structure that provides redundancy in both main and back-up fibre paths ensuring content can be contributed in either direction while maintaining signal integrity.

Visitors to our stand at IBC can see the miniHUB live production platform in action. The Norwia stand will have two identical miniHUBs demonstrating the power of its AutoSFP functionality and a three-node ring structure set up utilising the miniHUB. Visitors will be able to see the redundancy of the system, as Norwia breaks the fibre ring to simulate the redundancy and remove power from a site to see how the signal passes uninterrupted through the location.