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What's Your Easy Remote Production Tool of Choice?

The gloves come off as ace remote producers Corey Behnke and Jef Kethley debate the best way to get multi-caller remote productions rolling--the power and flexibility of Sienna Unite, or the easy familiarity and it-just-works of Zoom? One thing undisputed: Remote production is here to stay.

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Learn more about remote production at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Anthony Burokas: In terms of making things easy for the callers--we're not talking like high level production. Let's talk like mid-level corporate, you're doing a simple show, and you need someone to call. What is the tool of choice? Corey first.

Corey Behnke: Zoom. I mean, let's be real, you guys, anybody saying differently is full of shit. I'm sorry. that's just what it is. It's the easiest thing. We're all on this right now. We use it. Literally, Streaming Media went from using a product I'm not even gonna talk about on a show I did with them last year to now using Zoom Webinar, for a reason. So yeah, I think that's the first contribution. We try. We send these pixel kits out. We're like, "Oh man, you're gonna use this SRT app and it's you're going to look amazing." And then you get this asshole doctor who's like, "You know what, I'm not using this crap." Or you get this politician and you end up falling back to Zoom.

Anthony Burokas: What about you, Jef?

Jef Kethley: I lean a different way. I use a lot of Zoom also, but I do lean more towards where we've helped them develop it. And I really enjoy using Sienna Unite because we could get an individual audio and video feed from each caller. So I can mix video like I'm supposed to. I can increase audio levels from each person I can. I can put EQ on 'em. I could do all these things that I would want to normally do in a traditional workflow. So, Unite by Sienna in the processing engine is just a tremendously powerful tool. Another thing that they allow you to do within the process, again, is we actually have intercom back into their ears. And you could do that with Zooms. We had 120 Zoom Meetings running last weekend, all in the cloud. So I understand Zoom very well. But whenever we are doing one-on-one talks, we would dedicate a virtual machine just to that one person on Zoom, if we had to use Zoom. And then we would get that individual NDI feed and do more with it. As time moves forward, I would say we're going to see better tools than Zoom developed just for us.

Corey Behnke: For sure. But I'm gonna do to you, Jef, what Joe did to me, OK? I have a Sienna NDI license. It is $26,000 a year for one--just this processing engine and the regular, right? Here's the crazy thing. And I don't want to shit on Sienna NDI--I think it's a great product. I bought it last year. Never used it in production because all of my clients do not like using the viewer, and they don't think it's a consistent experience across the things. And that's why we kind of moved to best of breed. I like it as a product. I think it has a useful place, but it is very expensive. Let's be real, right? It's not for companies that don't have the wherewithal to spend a lot of money on remote as an upfront cost.

Jef Kethley: I agree with you that it is expensive to some people. But if you need something that just works and I would say, Corey, spend an hour with me.

Corey Behnke: No, I agree with you. I've used it. I love it, dude. I love it. I love it. I think it's great. I think it's great. I just never used it. And we ended up building our own product on Nimble to basically say, "Look, we don't need all this. We don't need to do nodal crap. I just need to send a bunch of fricking streams. And I need a bunch of people to be able to see them at the lowest latency possible. And I need to be able to replicate them across the things and do things with them." So, I think Sienna is great, but literally on every production you have to be like, "All right, I'm going to do all these things." And then when it changes, you've got to change. So I think it's a great tool. I'm not hating on it. I'm just like, if there's a thing that everybody knows how to use today in 2021, hands down, that product is Zoom.

Jef Kethley: I agree completely there.

Corey Behnke: So like as far as the user having the easiest thing to do in their life, that's it, right?

 

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