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Will Remote Production and Cloud Distribution Become the New Norm?

Learn more about the pandemic's impact on streaming production at Streaming Media East.

See complete videos and other highlights from Streaming Media West Connect on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Between remote production and cloud distribution, those were things that were we were already seeing more of before COVID hit, and we've only seen it accelerate in the last six months. How has that accelerated technology pace impacted the industry from your perspective? And do you think it'll slow down again once, we get back to normal, whatever that looks like?

Peter Wharton: One of the biggest shifts is this move to the cloud. And the most difficult part of that, the Holy Grail, was actually doing live production, because a lot of production imposes a lot of challenges to make the cloud hard to do, from high bandwidth and very low latency and lots of signals, it makes that one of the most difficult things, but we're seeing this actually happen. The companies are already going down that path. We're able to accelerate that and move very quickly. I've seen other companies, for example, that you would have thought would have done that too, but haven't because of the uncertainty of the cloud, there was already enough uncertainty with COVID that when they implemented technologies to help them get through this current pandemic, they didn't use the cloud because it was just one more uncertainty they didn't want to throw on top of that, but now that we're seeing others doing it successfully, they're more likely to make that shift as well.

So we're seeing this happen. Again, the biggest challenge was live production. We've now seen several companies start releasing live production systems in the cloud, which means you can stand up things immediately, and it's definitely going to change how you produce content going forward. It's also going to change the economics of it too, because we're no longer having to build big control rooms and infrastructures, or even remote trucks that get consumed for days at a time doing a show that only lasts for an hour. Now we can actually only run it for an hour and then use it for something else. So it's actually going to enable even more live production and people work from home. And there was a great photo of Glenn Weiss, the director of the DNC, convention, sitting in his home with multiple screens around him in his bare feet in shorts producing a major television event, and I think that just shows that we were making this transition in a way. And you could even see if he watched the convention and how every day it got better and better, and they understood more what worked and what didn't work, to the point by the last day, it almost looked as good as it would have in normal times. So I think that that's part of the interesting thing too, is, is, is that we're getting so good at this, um, that is changing how we will do things in the longterm.

Euan McLeod: The cloud was ready for full remote production and editing and such. I think there was maybe some resistance to go all in, and when COVID came along, it enforced that almost, and it has proven to be a very useful tool, obviously. And not just the cloud, but also things like ubiquity of high-speed networks like 5G, for NBA all-star Shaquille O'Neal, doing live production with a 5G cellular network on a 4K recording device. And that was amazing. So, you obviously need the network to support that underneath the cloud, and obviously you need people to be willing to use those tools because it comes with some challenges. But I think with COVID really, people have to use those tools and it's turned out to be very advantageous. So, I think it will be the new norm, so people can work remotely on huge events, like RNC, DNC, major sporting events.

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