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Producing From Home - Virtual Control Room Edition: Technologies Being Deployed for At-Home Production Today


Producing From Home - Virtual Control Room Edition: Technologies Being Deployed for At-Home Production Today New and existing tools allow sports content to be broadcast and streamed By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor

Friday, May 1, 2020 - 3:49 pm

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As the coronavirus lockdown has forced nearly every major sports broadcaster to work from home in recent weeks, content creators are discovering new tools that allow crews to produce, edit, manage, and deliver content reliably from the comfort of their own homes. Whether bleeding-edge technologies new to the broadcast community or well-established tools from traditional broadcast vendors, these tools are serving as a lifeline for sports-content creators to continue to serve fans during these unprecedented and challenging times.

With that in mind, SVG is publishing a series of articles detailing popular at-home-production solutions being used for sports broadcasts, esports events, and live studio productions today. This list is by no means comprehensive, so, if you are a content creator using an at-home-production solution that you would like to share with the SVG community, please email details to for potential inclusion in a future edition of SVG's Producing From Home series. Check out the Audio Edition and Comms Edition and stay tuned for future editions focused on editing/postproduction, graphics, and more.

Today, we take a look at how tools currently being used by sports-content creators lacking physical production-control rooms. Although a TD can't operate a physical switcher from home and a director doesn't have a full multiviewer wall at hand in a living room or kitchen, several organizations have discovered valuable remote-production tools that allow sports production to continue. These cloud-, SaaS-, software-, and browser-based tools are allowing live production of sports talk shows, esports tournaments, and original commentary of archival content during a period devoid of live sports events.

Grass Valley's GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform)

The Technology: Last week, Grass Valley launched its cloud-based SaaS GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform), the core technology powering the company's GV Media Universe ecosystem of cloud-based SaaS tools and services. AMPP allows a series of virtualized applications - multiviewers, router panels, test-signal generators, switchers, graphics renderers, clip players, recorders - to be quickly deployed within a single cloud-based browser interface to support a wide range of workflows.

The GV AMPP feature set can be fully customized on a show-to-show basis.

AMPP is built on a microservices architecture based on five core technologies: fabric, timing, connectivity, identity, and streaming. In terms of cost structure, AMPP essentially functions as a series of metered microservices, and each tool (switcher, audio mixer, multiviewer, clip player) has a different metered rate associated with it. Therefore, the user is charged only for the features activated and the amount of time each feature is active. More on GV AMPP here.

The Use Case: The first application available for the platform, AMPP Master Control, has been on-air with Blizzard since the opening of the Overwatch League 2020 season in early February. Last month, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Blizzard began using AMPP as the core of a new distributed-remote-production model to produce live Overwatch League (OWL) and Call of Duty League (CDL) matches with all operators and talent working from their respective homes.

Grabyo Browser-Based Live-Video-Production Suite in the Cloud

The Technology: Grabyo is a SaaS-, cloud-, and browser-based video-production, -editing, and -distribution platform. In addition to being well-known as a clipping tool for quick-turnaround highlights on social media, Grabyo's collaborative browser-based live-production suite is increasingly being adopted in the age of coronavirus, when sports outlets are looking to leverage cloud-based tools deployed by crewmembers at home.

With new remote-production workflow, EA Esports broadcast team live-streamed Apex Legends Global Series online tournaments from their own homes.

The Use Case: Grabyo's cloud-based live-video-production platform has allowed EA to produce multi-feed live esports productions with its entire crew located at their respective homes. EA nested three layers of Grabyo: one for the observers (in-game camera operators) to cut the game, a quad-split virtual multiviewer for a producer to monitor the observer feeds, and another instance for the main program feed streamed online. The Grabyo Editor tool also allows EA to iso-record all observer feeds, so that tape-room editors can pull content, clip highlights, and edit packages and then push that content to the producer in the virtual control room for playback.

Other sports outlets leveraging Grabyo for live broadcasts during the lockdown include several NFL teams' Draft coverage, The Rich Eisen Show, and The English Football Association (FA).

vMix Software for Live Video Streaming

The Technology: The vMix Software video mixer and switcher is live-video-production software that allows content creators to produce, record, and live-stream in SD, HD, and 4K. vMix allows users to input cameras, graphics, replay/video clips, music, external streams, and other elements in order to produce a live show remotely.

Riot Games was able to connect all its casters and production crew remotely for the new LoL cloud-based workflow.

The Use Case: Riot Games has launched a cloud-based virtualized live-production model for its esports broadcasts built around a pair of central vMix virtual video switchers running in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). AWS vMix 1 serves as the primary video switcher (for record
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