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Local Public Broadcast TV Updates Remote Capabilities, Part 2

Apr 9, 2012 5:05 PM, With Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

From Sound & Video Contractor Magazine, this is the SVC Podcast show 54 Part 2 with Scott Brosious of Riverside Government TV. Show notes for the podcast are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at The new remote van at Riverside Government TV covers everything from football to city council meetings and it was not easy deciding on how to equip it to do all of those things. Scott Brosious is back to give us more details on how the new van’s video switching and live transmission works, coming right up on the SVC Podcast. SVC: Scott, thanks for being back with us for Part 2 from Riverside Government TV, the PEG channel out there in southern California and you’ve got your new remote van to cover all kinds of community events. One thing that we didn’t talk about before is how the events are recorded. So how do you do all of your recording in the new GTV van?
Scott Brosious:
In the van, we currently have two AJ or AJA Ki Pro recorders which record in AppleProRes on solid state drives so we can either record those, take them back to the computers in the office and output them in our format for electronics or the YouTube or whatever format we are putting them out in. It saves us a lot of time and we don’t have to ingest tapes or anything like that so we can go from the game, so we have a two hour football game we can get it on there pretty quickly right after that. In just the time it takes to compress the game down and copy over to the server and so it’s pretty quick and I love them. I wish I’d had these things for years, having council meetings and long format meetings is always a pain to deal with but with the Ki Pro recorder it’s a cinch. You can get everything up running very fast. [Timestamp: 1:49]

Yeah, I’ll bet there’s a quick turnaround on the ball games. That must call for a real shift in gears between doing football games and doing council meetings. That would really be stepping on the gas and the brakes going from one to the other. So one of the things I was looking at on this is the video-over-cellular transmitter that you were using before. How does that work?

What we use is called a LiveU. It’s a product that we have. It’s literally it’s a backpack. It’s a computer in a backpack. It can be used for a lot of applications. You can use it as a kind of one-man studio truck. You don’t have to send out the truck you can send the backpack. Take your SDI from your camera, plug it into that backpack and it sends it via the cell phone connections. It bonds the cell phone connections together and gives you a big internet pipe so we get on the average around Riverside we get about 2,500-3,000 Kbps. It can send HD video, different frame, different latencies for different applications. So for football we wanted to get the best picture possible. We weren’t really concerned about the delay just because it’s not an interview you’re just watching so we put on the best quality to give you a better picture. It’s a little bit of a delay. I think it’s a 15-second delay from live but on television you’re not going to know because you’re just in the game. You can cut it down—the quality down if you’re doing a lot of more interviews if you’re doing an interview show out on the news you can cut it down to get that latency like a second and since there’s not a lot of action on, not a lot of moving on an interview it’ll keep that latency down and you don’t need such quality of improvement on it. Once that signal comes back to City Hall we actually down convert to it to SD because most PEG channels are unfortunately SD only and then we actually record it into the electronic units themselves so we can actually—we can broadcast it live and record it here at the head ends so that in the event that we wanted to play the game before we can digitize that footage off of the Leightronix decks we can play that already recorded, already pop format right out of the playback system as well. So we actually recorded it in the trucks and at the head ends just to keep things, redundant recording and for certain situations like CIF football they don’t allow anybody other than the loose end providers like FOX Sports West to play the football game live so we can play the game at 11:00 pm being the game ends around 10:00 so we use that recording that we sent back in real time to then playback at 11:00 and then we take the higher end version of the video, the HD recordings, and we compress those down to give you the better quality picture but for right after the production you get a still good recording but faster than we can ever get the feed…the signal downgraded for you. The cellular system works great we use it for football games. We used it for the State of the City which is kind of like the State of the Union Address by our mayor. That was live via that and we also used it for what we call the festival of lights. It’s like a half a million lights on the Mission Inn here in town. We do a big lighting ceremony 50 to 60 thousand people show up in person to see it so we broadcast it live so that the rest of the city doesn’t have to come down town and try to see it from there they can just watch it from home. [Timestamp: 5:04]

And now you’ve got the MotoSAT satellite transmitter. What was involved in getting that installed? That is actually a big process and we’re still in that process for another couple of weeks. We have a, like we said a MotoSAT a motorized satellite dish. It’s not on mast that likes a microwave so ours is—lays flat on the top of the van. We went with MotoSAT because it’s very easy to use. I’m not a satellite technician not of us are here, we’re production people. So MotoSAT has a solution that is very simple to use. We brought it through Clear Channel who is the provider of the service. We had a local supplier install the dish on the van and the associated equipment inside and I was very surprised it’s only three rack units. I was thinking this was going to be a big job but three rack units worth of gear. You just turn it on and once they configured it will geo-synchronize with the satellite. It sets all the settings up itself and you’re kind of ready to go. You just have to turn it on really and it handles everything itself. We are installing a receive dish as well as we speak. We had to pour an eight foot concrete slab two feet thick and run conduit and all that from our receive sight which is right outside of our emergency operation center and then the—I think it’s a 14 and a half foot receive dish will be there and is motorized so we can in the event of an emergency and there’s no time on whatever satellite we’re using it is motorized so they can go to a different dish or a different satellite in the sky so that we always have some way to send video. The thinking behind that was just because in the event of an emergency cell phone systems are—our cellular system will probably not be available in the large scale emergency just because cell phone systems are probably the first thing to go down or overloaded by users so the satellite system, as long as our dish is still re—standing next to our emergency operation center we are good to go. We can book time on those satellites and we can jump around to different satellites if we need to send imaging. We can update our residents of whatever the disaster has happened—stay away from here or get away from here this isn’t—what the situation is and we can even do—we don’t even have to do it publicly if there is a major disaster in our downtown our emergency operation center is far away we can use it for a remote eye for the public safety person out managing their operation center. So they key in real time what is going on in the field anywhere where we deploy the van. [Timestamp: 7:35]

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