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How Viable Is Cloud-Based Pro Production Today?

Vimond VP Sales Megan Wagoner and Teradek VP Sales Jon Landman discuss the current and emerging state of remote, cloud-based pro production, streaming, and editing in this clip from their Live Streaming Summit panel at Streaming Media East 2019.

Learn more about remote live production at the next Live Streaming Summit.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jon Landman: We have to be realists, right? I still think that we're at a time where, if I wanted to do something that was very important, I would want to make sure that I had a crew. But within a year to two years remote production will be as reliable as on-site production. There are a couple of technologies that are coming along that we hope will allow us to guarantee that the feeds that we're going to get from a particular location will get to where we need them to get.

One of the challenges that we have today, is connectivity. We turn up at a facility like this, and we say to ourselves, "Okay, I want to deploy a couple of cameras, put a switcher in. How am I gonna get out of here?" That is our biggest Achilles heel. I think we're all hoping that 5G, which is going to be rolled out in the US--I don't know how it is in Europe--will get us more bandwidth into the cloud.

I think that the switches that we have, and the graphic engines that we have in the cloud at the moment are still rudimentary. Their reliability and development really still need to be proven to be something that, if someone is paying you to provide a product, you have to guarantee that product.

Megan Wagoner: As far as the editing, live-over-internet is pretty reliable, in the sense that we're editing on pretty low-bandwidth proxy files, and then we start transcoding as soon as it comes in, so you're able to immediately manipulate the feed and start editing and play it out. It is important though to have redundancy, and we can do that in different clouds. We can have several different instances in the same region, in different regions globally, and then all of that doesn't make a lot of sense unless you have an automatic failover. So, once that happens, as a service you've got to be able to quickly switch and not interrupt that live feed.

Jon Landman: We've seen great reliability in the cloud with using services from AWS. I mean, their security is very good. They have a lot of inherent redundancy built into their servers. So we utilize their worldwide deployment of POP sites to be able to automatically route video. If I see a lot of dropped packets, in any particular area and route them through someone else, somewhere else. And the internet is an interesting animal. Everyone assumes that everything is good and safe in the internet. I'll give you an example. I was doing a stream from New York to L.A. Going through a POP site in Chicago, a couple of weeks ago, and I'm seeing that the bit rate is going up to the cloud. I can see that we're not dropping any packets and yet, what we're looking at the decoder on the other, in the, in the west coast, and it looked terrible, we were dropping a lot of packets. You know, at that point you start to think, "Oh there's a problem with the equipment." Until someone says, "Oh let's route it via a server in Brazil," so we're going down south from Brazil up to the west coast and it looked perfect!

These are the kinds of things that you you are dealing with on a daily basis with IP and you have to be able to be resilient enough and to understand enough to able to work around those kinds of problems. And they're, it's a very different kind of problem from running a cable on a floor. It's a very different skill set. People need to understand that kind of technology. It's not really a videographer. It's a different skill set completely.

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