Industry Insights: Broadcast-centric tips for working remotely

By NewscastStudio

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We recently gathered a panel of broadcast industry veterans to look at the year ahead. In this next installment of our coronavirus-focused Industry Insights panel, the experts tell us all about working remotely.


Make sure to read the earlier part of our coronavirus-focused Industry Insights series:


Any tips for broadcasters working remotely now or in the future?

“Look at the solutions out there but think of implementing them strategically: How do they scale in the future? How will my users accept them? How can I efficiently plug it into my existing infrastructure? Building resilience into the broadcast operations will require a newly updated technical strategy,” said Kevin Savina, director of product strategy for Dalet.

“It’s a good time to understand how good or bad your home internet connection is, and how good or bad your home Wi-Fi and networking gear is. Companies should hire IT consultants to go to everyone’s home to build for this new normal. And pay more attention to upload speed! So many people failed to appreciate that number until now,” said Chris Myers, LTN Global EVP and chief revenue officer.

“We would suggest that broadcasters embrace this experience to adopt tools, technologies, and approaches that will serve them well in the long-term, well after the pandemic has passed. New levels of creativity and the ability to problem-solve proactively can lead to unexpected outcomes that may benefit an organization far beyond any crisis,” said Veritone’s David Candler.

“Some simple tips to consider, and not just from a communications standpoint: a good mobile hotspot is potentially a game-changer for home workers so your engineering team can manage a network to some extent in the face of home internet services being easily swamped by other users in your household. Don’t count on Bluetooth as your only option for headsets, especially if you are sending program audio to air; wires are your friend. Mobile capability for communications allows you a chance to get up and walk around – take it, your home office chair is no doubt ill-prepared for long broadcast hours, so a little movement will help,” said Clear-Com President Bob Boster.

“During these challenging times, it’s critical to have patience and persevere. As an industry, we are in this together, and this too shall pass with time. Once we emerge from this crisis, there will be high demand for live production for sports and events, in addition to new broadcast programming, and the industry will emerge stronger than before. In the meantime, we will all have learned new methods and processes for remote productions and shared creation and delivery of video content, which in the end benefits everyone – creators and viewers alike,” answered Bryce Button, director of product marketing for AJA Video Systems.

“As we go forward, it’s important for broadcasters to be prepared to support their on-camera talent in many environments, especially when they are working from home. This should include providing not only the required technology, but training and best practices for the talent who will have to be their own production support,” said Dave Van Hoy, president at Advanced Systems Group.

“Remote working utilizes completely different workflows and is not yet matured. Don’t assume you can completely replicate existing workflows – think differently; realize you may have to compromise on functionality that relies heavily on hardware and processing power and also resolutions due to networking bottlenecks. However, get used to it. The experience will become the new norm,” advised Broadcast Pix CEO Graham Sharp.

“I do think that the broadcast industry’s migration to using distributed apps is inevitable, and so I’d suggest that broadcasters take advantage of remote interfaces and workflows as they can while looking ahead to that new world. While not every system is completely web- or cloud-compliant today, many vendors offer solutions with the remote capabilities broadcasters need,” said Olivier Cohen, senior vice president of marketing for ChyronHego.

“Leveraging cloud and SaaS helps with agility and flexibility to respond to unforeseen situations. While I may be biased, I believe companies who have embraced the cloud and modern SaaS solutions were far better prepared for this situation,” said Jon Finegold, chief marketing officer for Signiant.

“Follow similar guidelines as you would in the studio or onsite. Ensure key elements like communications (audio), the camera shot, etc. have all been checked out prior, and have a plan B in case a system goes down. The old adage ‘measure twice, cut once’ is still very good advice,” responded Kathy Skinski, general manager of media and broadcast for Planar.

“It’s important to build a remote production infrastructure with products that meet your quality requirements while at the same time staying within budget. Outside of the gear in your workflow, be sure to pay attention to your camera focus, audio, lighting and background,” said Bob Caniglia, director of sales operations for Blackmagic Design.

“The biggest mistake people continue to make with regard to at-home video is sitting in front of a window. It’s the worst thing you can do; the camera adjusts for the brightest spot in the frame, so the iris closes and you’re stuck in the shadows. I also tell people to avoid bright and busy backgrounds, because they can be distractions,” said Sam Cercone, a managing partner at Brightline.

“Learn the options for establishing and managing remote connectivity so you present the highest quality of content delivery for your advertisers and your viewers. It isn’t expensive. It’s just learning and incorporating the mechanisms that will assure readiness for future situations,” suggested Rush Beesley, president of Rushworks.

“Redesign production workflows to concentrate the high-res manipulation in certain stages, and use a hybrid cloud approach to review, approve and deliver from the cloud as much as possible,” said Julián Fernández-Campón, Tedial’s chief technology officer.

Participants

Kevin Savina – Dalet
Chris Myers – LTN Global
David Candler – Veritone
Bob Boster – Clear-Com
Bryce Button – AJA Video Systems
Dave Van Hoy – Advanced Systems Group
Graham Sharp – Broadcast Pix
Ricardo Rodrigues – Telstra Broadcast Services
Olivier Cohen – ChyronHego
Jon Finegold – Signiant
Kathy Skinski – Planar
Bob Caniglia – Blackmagic Design
Sam Cercone – Brightline
Rush Beesley – Rushworks
Julián Fernández-Campón – Tedial