Remote workflows have become the norm across industries, even in media and entertainment. However, as some businesses begin reverting to in-person setups, remote workflows remain key for production teams and post facilities due to their inherent flexibility.
By removing in-person limitations, facilities can broaden access to talent, save on travel and accommodation costs, and accelerate project turnaround. These benefits are also felt on the client side. Instead of gathering in edit suites and viewing rooms to review and sign off on content, creative decision makers can collaborate virtually.
Further streamlining the review process, stakeholders can access a live feed of what’s happening on set to make more informed decisions earlier in the process. Having clear creative direction at every stage of production helps reduce challenges in post-production, ensuring smoother and faster final deliveries.
The importance of low latency tools
Executing successful live streams requires source audio and video to be compressed and then securely sent over public internet. In almost all cases, live, low-latency streaming tools will be required. For select environments, a standalone streaming tool that converts HDMI or SDI video inputs with embedded audio to the H.264 compression format for display on a range of displays may be the right fit. In this instance, a timeline output from the editing suite NLE (Non-Linear Editor) I/O could be connected via secure and reliable SDI or HDMI and sent to a CDN. Production and post-production teams could then use a landline, mobile phone, or video conferencing service for communication, with timeline video and audio available via web browser.
UltraHD/4K projects might demand a more sophisticated video transport solution with support for H.265. In this scenario, an NLE timeline output might be shared via SDI to the video transport device, which would then convert the output of the timeline to H.265 for streaming to a smart TV. In image-critical applications, JPEG 2000 support might also be warranted. Combined with Secure Reliable Transport (SRT), plus encryption, these kinds of workflows enable secure, higher quality transmission, and audio and video feeds can be distributed to multiple locations and services from a single source in real time.
Broadening benefits with IP
IP is essential for remote collaboration and provides a range of distance and flexibility advantages. IP and SDI solutions can be used together with conversion technology that enables the use of ethernet cabling to pass uncompressed video and audio. Using a 10 GigE network, server, and the appropriate conversion tools, facilities can carry baseband video from the SDI output of an editing system and transmit it without loss via the ethernet network. This approach ensures a virtual review environment for a producer at another network point in the same building with an IP-enabled receiver. That producer can then communicate with the editor while seeing the timeline and editorial changes in real time.
Regardless of how streaming is used in facilities today, the practice will undoubtedly continue to grow and mature with the introduction of new workflow technologies. For more insight on streaming and remote production tools, visit AJA’s remote solutions page.