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Best Practices for Streaming Deployment

Robert Reinhardt outlines his streaming gear and workflow from ingest to delivery in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2020.

Watch the complete panel from Streaming Media East Connect, How to Optimize Your Live Streaming Workflow on the Streaming Media YouTube channel.

Learn more about live streaming production at Streaming Media West 2020.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Robert Reinhardt: Here's a quick breakout of all the gear that comes into play. As you can see here, I've got the Roland V-60HD switcher. I've got the cameras coming into it as SDI or HDMI inputs. I've got an HDMI monitor and view. And then you've got all your other inputs. You've got the PowerPoint deck. I use Wirecast to generate lower-thirds onto the presentation. If I want to have a nameplate underneath my headshots for who's at the podium--say, for that school graduation I was just talking about--there's only going to be one speaker, probably the head of school. So I'm going to have a lower-third with the school graphics and branding with that head of school's name.

Then of course you need all your audio tied in, projectors, projection screens, and that's all going to vary based on the venue size. Even with COVID restrictions, people are putting together physical venues that they intend to broadcast out.

I'm a big fan of redundancy. I always bring multiple cameras--even if the client wants only one or two angles covered. The same with recording--I always record two ProRes masters, and I have two encoders pushing at the same time. Part of what I've done on the media server installations that I use is, I've programmed modules to do an auto failover. So if a primary goes down, the backup switches in right away, and it's usually only off by a frame or two. Most viewers wouldn't even know that there was a glitch that happened.

Ideally, you'll have those on independent networks as well, so that my primary stream, like the school, is going to have a very fast fiber backbone that I'm going to be plugging into their land. And hopefully I would have a secondary connection as well on an independent network. So if they had a cable provider that was on a secondary network, or something through a telco that I could use my second encoder. If they want it, then I would even put into into the proposal that I would bring 3G/4G bonded solutions as a backup, especially in an outdoor scenario. That's perfect. You're outside. You're not gonna have as many obstructions to an outdoor signal as you would if you were indoors. If you're indoors, you want to try and strategically place your antennas somewhere where they're getting a stronger reception.

These days, this is becoming more common, just like we're doing here, where we don't have a physical location. We're all attending this virtually. Last week, we were using a combination of Wirecast and Zoom had some technical issues with Wirecast, mainly because it was running on the same box that I was presenting on. Ideally, the presenter is another feed that you bring into your software switching, and you could use a hardware switcher as well.

One of the things that I think webcasters could be doing right now, if they haven't already jumped onto this bandwagon, is help people run their Zoom broadcasts. But what I mean by that is capturing Zoom and redeploying it over other traditional networks that they might be used to, because oftentimes you don't need the participation of a Zoom webinar like we have here.

If you were running a virtual event where you had paid levels of access--maybe there was a premium ticket paid to come into a Zoom webinar, but you had a cheaper offering just to watch the live stream without any interaction or VOD afterwards. This is a very common workflow now where you're capturing a more professional input. I'm actually using a lot of these components right now. I'm using a Sony Z150. I'm just using a webcam mic. I'm not using the Sony lav that you see pictured here and I'm pushing out over Zoom as those connected devices. So Zoom is directly accessing the Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder that's in this picture, and I'm pushing out to this Zoom webinar.

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