Teradek – Promoting Safe Film and Television Production: A Guide for Content Creation During COVID-19

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As countries around the world launch their strategies for reopening their economies, production companies, networks, and unions are all working to define and implement processes that will shape film and television productions for months, and perhaps years. The intent of this document is to expand on the industry’s new production guidelines, specifically for on set filming or production, and remote video village setup and management to demonstrate how our products and technology can play a crucial role in creating and maintaining a safe production environment. Our goal is to provide useful information and recommendations to the teams and organizations working to establish these new protocols.

Teradek’s mission has always been to develop products and solutions that improve productivity and efficiency for on set production and streaming content. Simply put, we want to make the process of creating content easier. Founded 11 years ago, Teradek has sold over 100,000 real-time video transmission systems (Bolts) and codec products (Cube, Bond, VidiU, T-Rax). Oscar winners, OTT providers, film studios, rental companies, documentarians, corporations, government agencies, and thousands of crew members around the world use Teradek products. But most use only one or two of our products at a time.

To build and maintain a safe production environment, the combination and integration of Teradek products provide the foundation needed to maintain distance, offer collaboration tools, ensure the safety of both talent and crew, and deliver new content with minimal disruption or added cost. The products we will highlight will work just as they always have. But when implemented together, they will provide you with the capabilities for a safe and productive shoot across a new production paradigm: Off set, Near set, and even On set.

OFF-SET WORKFLOW

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VIRTUAL VIDEO VILLAGE

Productions have relied on video villages for many, many years but in the age of Coronavirus, having crew congregate around the video village is a nonstarter. As both US and British Film Commission guidelines suggest, a video village should support the viewing of video from a separate location while facilitating physical distancing. Hence the need to support remote users working off set in virtual video villages. In order to provide this capability, additional remote viewing technology and monitoring applications will be required. There are critical components that make up this workflow, that we will cover. Supporting these new tools is internet access.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

Internet connectivity is the basic building block for the establishment of your virtual video village, whether your video source is located in a studio, on location, or an editing bay. In the best case scenario, your location is equipped with a robust single ethernet connection that can carry the enterprise level of performance. However, this is likely not the case. Determine the availability of your internet at the location you will be transmitting from.

Production Internet General Internet No Internet

Dedicated IT personnel are
available on set and can
guarantee at least 10 Mbps of consistent uplink via WiFi or Ethernet.

Internet service is available at the location, but not sure who manages it or if it is shared amongst all personnel on set.

No WiFi or Ethernet connectivity at the location.

TRANSMITTING

Now that you have determined your internet connectivity, we can transmit the signal out from the location. To do this, you will need a dedicated hardware encoder to produce high quality video and audio signals over the internet. Based on your internet connectivity identified above, these are the suggested encoders.

Product Price Features Internet Connection

Starting at $7,990

  • All in one encoder and dedicated internet
  • Data Bonding
  • 4x cell modem connectivity
  • Available in HEVC compression

General or no internet

Starting at $1,990 & $699

  • Single cell modem connectivity
  • Data Bonding
  • Available in HEVC compression
Production or general internet

Starting at $1,790

  • Low Cost
  • No bonding capabilities
  • Must have an available internet connection

Production internet

BOND BACKPACK/CUBE

You can use a Teradek Bond Backpack or Cube to transmit the camera signal whether it’s directly from the camera output or from a Bolt zero-delay system at video village. The Bond Backpack will create a bonded network link with up to 4 cellular modems to ensure the most robust internet-based speed, while the Cube will use wired connectivity and up to 1 cellular modem if it is available. Both products have been used for years by broadcasters who need to send a camera signal from one point to another.

WHAT IS BONDING?

Data Bonding is the process of utilizing multiple internet connections simultaneously to create one robust connection. In order to do this, video packets are split amongst the different outbound data channels and later repackaged in the cloud by Teradek Core for distribution. Teradek Core is a cloud based application that is required to support your remote users in their virtual video villages.

The Bond Backpack and Cube both support data bonding. The Bond Backpack is a self-sufficient package, containing a Bond encoder and four cellular modems in a backpack, all powered by a Gold or V-Mount battery. The cube can accept one modem and is recommended for bonding, even for locations with internet connectivity. Both Bond and Cube can also accept an ethernet and/or WiFi connection (including routers and hotspots) to contribute to bonding. When bonding, we recommend using multiple carriers for cellular connectivity to maintain consistent uplink. Teradek has partnered with Telna, a third-party cellular provider, that allows you to manage all of your cellular data and carriers in one dashboard. Every Teradek modem includes a Telna SIM, so right out the box, you can activate and load up your account with data.
Note: Serv Pro does not have bonding capabilities and is only recommended if an internet connection is available. It is possible to pair Serv pro with Link, one of Teradek’s wireless router solutions, Link.

CORE

In order for the bonding to be processed, the video packets must be repackaged using Core, Teradek’s cloud-based management system. From your video village, a Cube or Bond will send a fully encrypted signal to Core. Within Core, you can route the signal to off set users who might be working from home or in remote offices. Core requires either dedicated hardware or unique passwords to ensure that your content stays protected, allowing authorized users to access the content on either a real-time or on-demand basis. Content can be viewed on iPads, computer browsers, Apple TV’s, or dedicated monitors. Cubes can even be used by your post-production team so content can be streamed to Core from your editing systems, allowing remote users to fully participate in the editorial process.

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In addition to processing your bonded video stream, Core provides a simple drag and drop user interface that allows you to distribute your video to its ultimate destination.

RECEIVING

Teradek offers a variety of options for receiving the video feed while maintaining a safe production environment. For example, the Core TV iOS app allows you to share your feed with clients and crew members by sending a link to their email. VUER allows up to ten different users to monitor and analyze up to four Teradek encoder feeds, each with its own independent set of tools like apply LUTs, waveform, and multi-cam. To deliver your feed to a production monitor or television, you can preconfigure a hardware decoder, so that all you need to do is plug in the internet. In addition, the VUER app is available for Mac OS for laptop or desktop viewing.

Product Price Features

Core TV - iOS

Free

  • iOS App
  • Simple viewing interface
  • Encrypted

Vuer

Free

  • iOS or Android supported
  • MacOS supported for desktop and laptop
  • Advanced video monitoring tools (waveform, etc.)
  • Multi-view capable
  • Encrypted

Web browser

Free

Convenient computer and laptop use

Hardware Decoder

Starting at $1695

  • Best option for production monitors
  • SDI or HDMI output
  • Encrypted

Core TV - Apple TV

Free

  • Apple TV App
  • Simple viewing interface
  • Encrypted

FLUJO DE TRABAJO CERCA DEL SET

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Todavía hay miembros de la tripulación en la video villa y debes mantener una distancia de 6 pies / 2 metros entre los miembros de la tripulación. Puede agregar un Serv Pro en la video villa y, al igual que en el set, transmitir la señal de la cámara a los iPad del equipo que están cerca del set en la video villa. Serv Pro le permite transmitir hasta 10 miembros de la tripulación en sus propios dispositivos iOS, que pueden mantener con ellos en todo momento, lo que reduce el riesgo de infección.

MULTI-CAM

Una ventaja importante de usar Serv Pro es la capacidad de administrar un flujo de trabajo de múltiples cámaras con la ayuda de VUER, la aplicación complementaria de Serv Pro. VUER permite ver hasta 4 transmisiones de video en su interfaz de monitoreo, junto con un conjunto de herramientas de monitoreo profesional que se encuentran en monitores tradicionales como forma de onda, vectorscopio, captura de cuadros. VUER también ofrece la portabilidad requerida para flujos de trabajo cercanos, de modo que los usuarios pueden moverse libremente y ver la toma desde cualquier lugar cercano, a diferencia de los sistemas de monitoreo tradicionales.

CONECTIVIDAD INALÁMBRICA

Serv Pro no requiere una línea de sitio entre la transmisión y la recepción. En cambio, Serv Pro transmite más de 2.4 / 5Ghz WiFi o ethernet a dispositivos iOS conectados a la misma red. Sin embargo, hay mejores prácticas para WiFi y siempre recomendamos usar un enrutador inalámbrico para mejorar la conectividad. Puedes hacer esto con Link. Link es un enrutador Wi-Fi de banda dual resistente diseñado específicamente para producciones de transmisión y cine que tienen lugar en una ubicación fija. Link se recomienda para un rendimiento inalámbrico óptimo, alcance y confiabilidad. Una vez que un codificador compatible y su dispositivo se conectan a la red Wi-Fi de Link, VUER detectará automáticamente las fuentes de video entrantes, permitiéndole ver hasta cuatro fuentes de video separadas al mismo tiempo.