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Equip, Ship, and Control Remote Production Kits

Anthony Burokas explains how Stream4us builds and sends out production kits to remote guests that enable full control of their desktops and cameras during live shows.

See more videos like this on StreamingMedia.com.

Learn more about remote production at Streaming Media West 2021.

 

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

 

Anthony Burokas: You can rely on what the end user may have available, or you an build out, build and ship out your own kits. It could be as simple as sending out aa good iPad or sending a whole setup with lights, stands, microphones, and everything. Of course, the more complex the kit, the more effort it takes on the remote end to set it all up, configure it, and get it working.

 

This is why at DHD Films, we use a briefcase-type kit that's as integrated as we can make it. The computer, the camera, the directional microphone, the earbuds, the built-in lighting, and a cellular connection are all in the case, so we can remotely connect to the kit and take full control. As soon as they plug it in and turn the computer on, this greatly simplifies things for the remote guests, and it ensures that we can stop the webcam from doing auto anything.

 

For controlling remote guests' computers--because not everybody is super savvy, sometimes we need to reach into their computer and fix things--AnyDesk is the app that we have chosen to use, but there are many of these apps out there. Many others, I know, rely on TeamViewer. Parsec reportedly has the lowest latency, but when I tried to establish that for our mobile kits, we had trouble getting it to work reliably. Even the Google Chrome browser offers a Remote Desktop feature. And lastly, the remote desktop is built into certain levels of the Windows OS itself. So you don't even need to add software if you have the right version of windows, OS.

 

As I mentioned, we've been using AnyDesk to control remote kits we send out from DHD Films. We have set them up to automatically accept my incoming request with the right password, of course, and this enables me to remotely control the audio and video settings on the computer in front of the remote guests, wherever they might be. Teradici--I don't use Teradici, but that's a great recommendation. There's even a very handy free tool in Windows to allow you to control the webcam connected to that Windows device. It's on GitHub. You just search for "webcam settings dialog." And with that, you can set the white balance, exposure, focus, gain, color. You can even do zoom. I'm actually using it with this webcam right now to control various aspects, so if I move around, it does not get brighter or darker, automatically adjusting the image. It's fixed.

 

There's even hardware like the KiloView and others designed to connect remote sources with your production using robust error-correction protocols like SRT. This can deliver a higher-quality signal than WebRTC, but the better durability of the SRT signal to overcome internet issues and dropped frames comes at the expense of latency, or how many milliseconds it takes to get from the source to the destination. The more latency you give SRT, the less dropouts or glitches you'll see, but then the longer it takes. So if you have multiple guests interacting with each other, SRT may not be the right tool to use.

 

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