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Multi-Camera Production & Cloud Virtualization

When it comes to live streaming events, there are some pretty base-level viewer expectations for any broadcast.
 

Multi-Camera Production In Today’s Industry

Multi-camera production of sports is a given in television, and viewers’ expectations for what they will see when watching their favorite team are pretty well-established.

Multiple cameras around the field or the court; sideline or near court cameras to get the reaction of coaches and players.

  • Multiple cameras capturing all the action
  • Announcers calling the action
  • Picture-in-picture switcher effects to bring in remote talent with announcers in the booth
  • Seamless video switching between cameras.
  • Video including slow-motion and instant replay. 
  • Graphics overlay showing the score, time left, and time outs

The list goes on. Taken together, these production elements have set the bar at a spot where only the biggest broadcasters can reach it. It is why you see so many 18-wheelers of production equipment outside stadiums and venues. 

All live programming, whether it’s a sports game, an awards show, concert, or newscast, has similar base-level expectations that require massive infrastructure investments. Or at least they did. 

The question that must be addressed – How to do live video streaming with multiple cameras in a way that’s affordable and meets the expectations of viewers? Today there is a solution to this question. That solution extends to any and more of the creators who fall into any of the categories below:

  • Video producers who do not have the budget to roll a 53-foot-long mobile production trailer to an event.
  • The university that wants to expand coverage of its lower-tier collegiate sports program (not in terms of athleticism or skill, but rather revenue generation).
  • High schools that want to stream live video of their games and commencement ceremonies.

Houses of worship wishing to live stream church services spread the word beyond their walls and countless other organizations and businesses.

 

Virtualized In the Cloud

How to do live video streaming with multiple cameras in a way that’s affordable and meets the expectations of viewers? Today there is a solution to this question. For those without the budget to roll out massive mobile production trucks to events (and even those who do), the cloud holds the key. 

That solution extends to any and more of the creators fall into any of the categories below:

  • Video Producers – who do not have the budget to roll a 53-foot-long mobile production trailer to an event.

  • Universities – that want to expand coverage of its lower-tier collegiate sports program (not in terms of athleticism or skill, but rather revenue generation). Production in the cloud can serve any level school wanting to live-stream sports, classes, commencements, plays, and more.

  • High schools – that want to stream live video of their games and commencement ceremonies.

  • Houses of Worship – wishing to live stream church services spread the word beyond their walls and countless other organizations and businesses.

Cloud production can work for any organization or business that wants to create live productions and it is partially thanks to something smaller than a quarter. 

 

Cloud-based Video Platforms & Virtualized Production

The amazing tiny video cameras (HD and 4K) standard on almost every smartphone and tablet allow for an amazing domino effect that completely changes the way remote production has to be done.

The cameras capture the action and use the internet as a video distribution or multistreaming transport in the public cloud.

Cloud-based video production tools commonly found in mobile production studios can be employed to generate a finished live production that meets the quality expectations

A multi-camera streaming setup in the cloud would be pennies-on-the-dollar compared to a traditional multi-camera live production.

The potential is endless. A college looking to bring a gymnastics tournament live to devoted fans can have high-end multi-camera live coverage powered by virtualized cloud-based production for a few hundred dollars.

When live streaming is powered by cloud production, it can now make economic sense. Traditional production costs of 20k plus are out the window. 

A church, with a virtualized approach to multi-camera production, has the ability to proselytize without potentially exposing anyone to COVID-19. Live services can be a blessing for families who are homebound or for people whose kids have moved but want to stay connected to their childhood church.

Best of all, virtualization in the cloud is all without the expense or expertise needed for most high-end video production. You don’t have to have decades of experience. In less than an hour, almost anyone can be fully functional. 

 

What Is Virtualization?

The simplest way to think of virtualization is the creation of many virtual resources from one physical resource.

David Beaumont, a staff software engineer at IBM Commerce describes virtualization as: “The process of separating the software layer of a computer or server from the hardware layer of a computer or server. A new layer is placed between the two to act as a go-between. This could also be explained as the creation of many virtual or artificial resources from one physical resource….”

In the context of video production, this means the virtual or resources of thousands of traditional video switchers powered by the CPUs and GPUs are available on any number of servers in the cloud.

They are not limited to single-use in a single space tethered to an equipment rack and into master control.

Ditto for video playout servers and slow motion, a graphics generator, audio console and just about any other production resource. If it could have been made possible by production technology found in a brick and mortar or mobile studio it is now in the cloud. 

Cloud-based multi-camera live streaming workflow from live production to distribution

As opposed to investing hundreds of thousands of dollars or perhaps millions in a mobile production trailer, virtualization of live production functions in the public cloud dramatically lowers costs.

Rather than a capital-intensive proposition, virtualization in the cloud transforms production into an operational expense on a contracted or pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, producers and others don’t have million-dollar resources sitting idle while waiting for the next job.

 

TVU Producer. Live Video Production In The Cloud

The cloud-based live streaming platform, TVU Producer, from TVU Networks virtualizes production in the cloud, making it possible to enjoy all of the benefits of professional live streaming using multiple cameras without the expense of a mobile production trailer.

Cloud-based live streaming software - TVU Producer

IP video streams from multiple smartphone cameras, media tablets or traditional video cameras are transported via the public internet to the cloud, where TVU Producer is running for a given event.

Control over production functions, such as switching between camera sources or mixing audio, is done by a technical director or other production person working from home or an office and logged into that instance of TVU Producer via a laptop computer.

We’ve covered how to do multi-camera live streaming using TVU Producer. But, for a mobile live stream with a multi-camera production, the broadcast app, TVU Anywhere, is the solution for live streaming with a smartphone and incorporating multiple smart devices during the live stream.

Live graphics, playback, slow-motion and other functions like IFB, intercom and even announcer audio from the sports venue—or done remotely—are integrated into the show with TVU Producer and powered in some instances by complementary cloud-based solutions like TVU Partyline and TVU Remote Commentator.

 

Multi-Camera Production Setup

Creating a multi-camera streaming setup to achieve this type of workflow is simple. In the video below we outline a few easy steps to set up a live stream with multiple cameras using TVU Producer and our mobile live streaming app, TVU Anywhere. 

In minutes you will be ready to launch a professional multi-camera live stream using the cloud-based live production solution.

From a cloud production workflow perspective, one person alone can control a cloud-based video mixer like TVU Producer for small, less complicated live shows. 

For large productions with more complex production requirements, TVU Producer allows for multiple operators to log into the same show simultaneously and without latency to perform single specific or multiple general tasks. TVU Producer keeps their work and the final production in perfect sync so there’s never drift.

When multiple cameras are set up for events, control over production functions, such as switching between camera sources, mixing audio, and adding graphics can be done by one person working on-site, from home, or in an office. They just have to be logged into TVU Producer via a laptop or desktop computer.

Replay & playback, slow-motion, and other functions like IFB, intercom, and even announcers or commentators are all integrated into the show with TVU Producer and its complementary cloud-based solutions.

For both cases, working in combination with TVU Producer & TVU Anywhere provides an efficient and affordable opportunity while maintaining broadcast quality results.

 

Cloud-Based Benefits for Multi-Camera Productions

Moving multi-camera production to the cloud brings other benefits that typically aren’t available in a “terrestrial” production environment.

This includes A.I. and machine learning algorithms that can power everything from real-time speech-to-text transcription for closed captioning, to automatic metadata generation based on capabilities like object, logo, and facial recognition. 

That makes versioning shows after the live program is finished faster, easier, and less expensive. It also allows for instant monetization. Why only use material once that you could easily monetize again and again? The cloud TVU Networks’ TVU MediaMind drives these A.I. and machine learning functions.

Multi-camera production is the foundation of modern live television production. Thanks to the internet, the public cloud and the virtualized production resources that have been innovated and made available in TVU Producer, everyone with all types of budgets has access to the same production punch that was once only available to the biggest broadcasters. 

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