As studios look for ever more compelling locations to film their movies and bingeworthy series, the capabilities to be able to film anywhere, yet collaborate with an entire, geographically dispersed team, has become a necessity. These requirements have led the industry to look at emerging technology that will make its job easier and the pace of innovation in satellite connectivity offers a powerful proposition to the market.
Remote production – or Remote Integration Model (REMI) – allows live content to be captured from a remote location and managed from a master control room. Today, when remote production takes place, cloud computing is an incredibly powerful tool in any producer’s arsenal. For example, it can allow sound or video editors that are working from home to pick the files from the cloud and process these at their location, wherever that is. A production crew can be anywhere and work and collaborate effectively with the rest of their team, as long as they have access to the cloud. From film productions to news crews, cloud access is such a powerful enabler of productivity that the demand for satellite connectivity as part of a blended all-IP solution is well justified, especially in remote areas.
Let’s also not forget that the global pandemic has had a significant hand in accelerating this production capability with studios innovating to remain productive. However, the influx of activity can also lead to congested networks on the ground, but this is where space is transforming the landscape.
Playing to its strengths
Satellite has an important role in solving the remote production problem due to its inherent advantages. It can deliver content anywhere, far beyond the reaches of any terrestrial network and High Throughput Satellites (HTS) offer greater throughput at low latency while being more financially efficient. For crews in hard-to-reach locations, equipment must also be highly portable and easy to operate – something that the satellite industry is well acquainted with. Ultimately, to meet all of the above requirements, the ability to blend different technologies, including cellular, terrestrial and satellite – frequently presents the most attractive and versatile solution.
An evolution to All-IP
Over time, satellite capabilities have evolved from large remote production trucks to cellular bonding techniques. Today, production crews can look to blended All-IP networks to enable their work in the field and unrivalled access to the cloud.
By blending all available IP networks, we can mitigate the risk of damaging the quality of the transmission associated with cellular bonding by allowing satellites to be used when IP terrestrial networks are not up to scratch. The ability to easily blend with satellite for a reliable connection is facilitated by recent developments in satellite technology that support high quality video such as the prevalence of higher throughput satellites with a lower power draw than the Ku-band satellites often found on traditional SNG vehicles.
The advancement and eventual launch of LEO and MEO smallsat constellations will also play to the advantage of remote users, introducing lower latency and cost.
ST Engineering iDirect’s partner, Dejero recently used Newtec Dialog® technology to great effect to support a commercial production company in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The end result meant that they were able to flawlessly stream to offsite clients without worrying about latency or shaky connection. This means that the real time feedback facilitated the same kind of conversation that would occur if all parties were in fact on set.
The flexibility and reliability of the blended all-IP approach also reduces the costs previously associated with satellite solutions and High Throughput Satellites have made a significant impact, improving the price and user experience.
Performance and agility, anywhere
ST Engineering iDirect has a portfolio of products and technologies that can meet the needs of any remote production scenario or application, offering both performance and agility in any environment.
Want to know more?
The ST Engineering iDirect team will be at NAB 2022 in Las Vegas from April 23-27, booth #W5505. Join us at the show to find out how we can meet your Cloud Media Production and Remote Production requirements. Book a meeting here!