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What Holds Your Remote Productions Together?

LiveX Co-Founder Corey Behnke reveals the glue that holds his team's live streaming productions together, discussing tools and protocols, latency, and reliability in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

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Learn more about remote production at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Anthony Burokas: When you are building your studios and remote kits. What type of glue do you use the piece these things together?

Corey Behnke: When we're on the ground, we will typically use Dante for audio. And then we'll use SDI workflows, NDI workflows on the ground and then get them in via SRT. So a lot of times we'll embed audio with Dante onto the SDI and then transport that as channels via SRT. We love SRT. I've been a huge backer of SRT since it first came out. There was that OG NAB where the NFL was telling everybody how great SRT is with Haivision. We have a Zoom farm, we have a Zoom garden. What are all the names? I have so many different Zoom server farms. Those are fun. Getting Zoom in and out.

To your point about the glue that holds stuff together, how do you get your clearcom into the cloud? How do you get your clearcom into virtualized vMix? How do you get your Unity, or whatever you're using? Everybody's using different stuff. The thing about us is, we're really about best of breed, meaning I've always been the kind of person that believes there's not one solution. I'm not going to just one booth for graphics or just one booth for audio. I think that's really served us well, as far as where we are right now in this acceleration.

But SRT is that one thing that I think if we didn't have that ... When I was at LiveStream 2010, my biggest complaint was that--besides RTMP, which is still like a weird way to do that--there wasn't really something you could just rely on over internet to travel at any kind of latency. A lot of things said they could do it. I remember Teradek coming out with the Cube with MPEG-TS, and it never was stable. I'm not crapping on Teradek. They're amazing. They make amazing products, but it was more the internet protocols. Until Zixi came out in 2011 or 2012, there really wasn't anything broadcast quality that you could transport reliably over the internet.

Anthony Burokas: And just to clarify on that one point, relying on SRT, where do you fall in terms of latency versus reliability? Where do you put that?

Corey Behnke: Here's the thing about latency. All of us that have been in the industry for over a decade, understand that latency is a rabbit hole with multiple rabbit holes that has exponential rabbit holes inside of it. What are you trying to do? Start with that. What we love about on-prem versus virtualization is that I can have two engineers on-prem, and they can be what I call a latency hub. We can all agree that time exists in that on-prem solution, that REMI. So now if time exists there, I can go, "Okay, you're a TD, you're a director. You need to get a WebRTC back. You need to get this program back. You need to get this." So it just allows for this idea that you can make shows with human beings--and initially, when the pandemic started, everybody was like, "Oh my God, I need to do more shows." So they had a TriCaster operator in their basement. And they lost all the people that they had that made these beautiful shows,. Because they relied on the one guy that we all know which used to be me, but now isn't anymore, the TD, and it's all on their shoulders. And I don't think that's the right approach.

I think SRT gives you this ability to say, "All right, you stay at your house, but you can still..." When we did the Democratic National Convention, there's this classic shot of Glenn Weiss, who's the world-famous live director that does the Tony Awards. He directed DNC and he's literally sitting in his lounge, and that's largely because of SRT as a technology.

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