The quality of video-on-demand (VoD) content continues to rise across streaming platforms. Audiences today expect the same viewing experience in live streams, which, in turn, presents new challenges for live streaming production companies like PRLX Creative Production.
The production company has established a workflow that enables live video delivery for its clients in live events, sports and business located across Darwin and Melbourne, Australia. Alongside the increase of hybrid events space in the past months, PRLX has evolved its workflow with the addition of tools like the AJA Helo H.264 encoding, streaming and recording device; and the AJA Kumo 1616-12G router.
Ashley Blenkinsop, Director at PRLX Creative Production, explained that the move towards more hybrid events with a live stream component throughout the pandemic has helped the production house broaden many of its clients’ audiences, attracting attendees from all around the world who otherwise would not have attended.
One such client is live dirt motorsports venue Northline Speedway, who worked with Blenkinshop as a freelancer before PRLX was formed. Blenkinsop is reported to have helped produce the Virtual iRacing Competition iCOT, a live stream motorsports series that followed remote drivers across Australia and the US during the 2020 lockdown. It drew in 47,000 viewers across five nights on platforms like Facebook and Vimeo.
A 14RU fly-pack travels with the crew to every event, and includes a range of cameras, a switcher, an AJA Helo, and an AJA Kumo 1616-12G that forms the routing backbone for every PRLX production.
On-site, camera signals are first sent via patch panel before moving through PRLX’s switcher. The switched output is then sent back through Kumo to feed on-site control room multi-viewers and split-off multi-viewers for on-site event commentators. Using Halo’s loop out function, the PRLX team hard patches the main switcher output to Helo and into Vimeo, where it is split off to Facebook live, YouTube or the final delivery platform.
Content is also recorded in AJA Helo for archiving.
The Kumo 1616-12G has helped PRLX streamline setup for productions like these, with an intuitive web interface for adjustments whether working on-site or remotely. Blenkinsop elaborated: “Prep with the Kumo router is so easy, which allows me to focus more on making the production as awesome as possible.
“If I’m not on-site, I can also easily remote in and adjust parameters, and the salvos provide convenient ‘set and forget’ style operation. With Kumo’s 12G-SDI connectivity, we’re also 4K-ready.
“When it comes to making equipment decisions, gear is a long-term investment for PRLX. AJA is almost always at the top of our list because it’s affordable and intuitive, delivers high-quality video, and continuously proves a steady workhorse in the field.”
Blenkinsop’s vision for the company moving forward includes expanding its client base, for which he believes remote production tools like AJA Bridge Live “could prove invaluable”.
He added: “I’m closely following all remote production developments and IP technologies that support SMPTE 2110 and NDI, including tools like AJA Bridge Live. It could streamline our work and make it easier to service more clients outside the region remotely from our office, which would be a gamechanger.”