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In Age of Coronavirus, Sinclair, Altitude, and AT&T RSNs Test MTVG Cloud Control' To Customize Feeds Remotely

22/05/2020

In Age of Coronavirus, Sinclair, Altitude, and AT&T RSNs Test MTVG Cloud Control' To Customize Feeds Remotely New remote-production platform is seen as next evolution in the dual-feed model' By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor

Friday, May 22, 2020 - 12:39 pm

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Although no one in the industry can be totally sure what live sports productions will look like when major U.S. leagues return to play, one thing is certain: the footprint and workflow of the production compound will have changed. Instead of the typical setup for an MLB, NBA, or NHL compound often handling three concurrent productions (two RSNs and a national broadcaster), many leagues are pushing for a world-feed model that would reduce the number of people onsite in an effort to maintain social distancing. However, this model would limit RSNs' ability to customize broadcasts for their team partners and passionate fanbases.

With that in mind, Mobile TV Group, which led the innovation of the dual-feed model that has allowed RSNs to create customized telecasts for years, has launched Cloud Control.

Altitude's producer/director at its NOC was able to call the game as if he was in the truck during MTVG's Cloud Control test last week.

The new live workflow enables production personnel normally located in the mobile unit to work at their network offices and remotely control equipment and resources housed in the truck. Cloud Control can be used to produce multiple feeds of a game (world feed, home show, visitor show) with just three or four people per feed in the mobile units. MTVG's dual-feed mobile units (A and B unit) can produce up to two feeds with Cloud Control with the potential of a third feed.

We believe this is the next evolution in the dual-feed model and will allow us to produce a game broadcast focused on the hometown team that will satisfy the needs of our [team partners], says Mike Connelly, EVP, Sinclair/Fox Sports Regional Sports Networks. It keeps our staff close with our teams in our home markets instead of a centralized control room and also allows us to maintain the high quality of a dual feed, which has been one of the biggest game-changers in our business.

https://www.sportsvideo.org/new/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Video-1.mp4

Last week, MTVG successfully conducted tests of Cloud Control in Denver with Sinclair Broadcast Group/Fox Sports North, Altitude Sports, and AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain. The production had immediate control and use of all facilities in the mobile unit, including cameras, EVS replay, super-slo-mo, graphics, scorebox, intercom, and audio with less than 100-ms latency.

The producer and director were able to call the show as if they were at the venue even though they were at their offices, explains Phil Garvin, founder/CEO, MTVG. They said it felt just like being in the mobile unit. Essentially, we're taking all the [crew] that is usually located in the [visitor mobile unit] in a dual-feed model and moving all of that back [to the network's offices]. If you want it to be exactly the same personnel, same level of cameras, replay, and super-slo-mo that you have today, you can do that; the crew is just in a different location.

RSNs See Cloud Control as Viable Alternative to World Feed

As MLB, NBA, and NHL explore options for resuming play in the coming months, RSNs are looking to maintain some version of the dual-feed model in which home and visiting production teams are able to customize telecasts for their respective markets.

MTVG sends back 1080p multiviewer feeds to enhance the resolution for the producer/director back home.

One of the biggest issues in the [RSN] business is the intimate relationships between us and our team partners, says Connelly. We're embedded with these teams to tell their side of the story. Simply put, the world-feed model doesn't allow us to do that. If we get into a REMI model, centralized control room, or world-feed situation, that significantly limits our ability to tell that team's story. This [Cloud Control model] solves that problem.

Ken Miller, GM/executive producer, Altitude Sports, adds, If the choices are world feed or this model, then it's not even close: we choose [Cloud Control]. We have spent a long time perfecting the dual-feed model, and it would be difficult to give that up. A world-feed broadcast typically plays it down the middle, and that isn't going to cut it for what we need.

Notes Erica Ferrero, senior director, AT&T Sportsnet Rocky Mountain, Accessing truck assets from our home studio with minimal latency allows us multiple ways to approach a broadcast.

How It Works: Inside Cloud Control

Cloud Control uses multiviewers, intercom, and control data, rather than sending camera feeds to a central control room as previous at-home systems have done. MTVG sends a 1080p multiviewer feed to enhance the resolution for the producer/director back home.

The production had immediate control and use of all facilities in the mobile unit with less than 100-ms latency.

The only crew members onsite are an engineer, TD, A1, and V1. The producer, director, graphics/scorebug and replay operators, (possibly) talent, and all other personnel are located at the broadcaster's offices.

The system allows almost unlimited camera and replay resources without the need for a high-end control room at the broadcast center. Cloud Control can use a standard office space with a 250- to 500-Mbps circuit to the mobile unit at the venue. MTVG provides networks a list of required equipment (a one-time cost of approximately $20,000 plus $10,000 for each EVS operator position) or will install it on a lease/rental basis (mobile units must be Cloud Control-compatible).

The Test: Cloud Control Goes Live

After more than two years of development, MTVG con
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2020/05/22/in-age-of-coronavirus-sinclair-...
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