Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

NAB 2022 Perspectives: The Video Call Center's Larry Thaler on AirFirst, Solutions To Meet Increase in Live Remote Productions

04/05/2022

NAB 2022 Perspectives: The Video Call Center's Larry Thaler on AirFirst, Solutions To Meet Increase in Live Remote Productions New platform provides cloud-controlled management for IP-based models By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 2:44 pm

Print This Story

Long before COVID transformed live sports production, The Video Call Center was pioneering solutions that allow content creators to get camera feeds from virtually any device into a live-production environment. From their Caller Cloud and Caller Queue solutions to HAT (host automation technology), The VCC has been at the forefront in harnessing the power of smartphone cameras as a live source while also opening the door for operations folks to rethink the conventional control room.

At NAB 2022, The Video Call Center showcased its newest service: AirFirst. The company calls the first cloud-controlled management system for live IP-based remotes. SVG caught up with The Video Call Center CEO Larry Thaler to learn more about how AirFirst enhances operational efficiencies and to get his take on the first in-person NAB Show since 2019.

The Video Call Center team at its NAB 2022 booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center's new West Hall: (from left) Tom Wolzien, Valerie Wolzien, Bonnie Optekman, Larry Thaler, Josh Koller, Scott Leibowitz (Photo: Larry Thaler)

What was your company's strategy heading into this NAB Show, the first one in-person in three years?

It was the first time that we've publicly shown AirFirst, the new platform that we've put out. We've been doing remotes through smartphones for seven years now, and all of our knowledge is in this platform. All of the efficiencies gained in our operation are built into AirFirst.

Inevitably, for example, [prospective clients we met with] were saying, We install all these Skype TX boxes, and we're struggling to keep up with the volume. It's too much work. People don't know their Skype names; we don't know whether they're downloading Skype TX or have downloaded Skype for business, which doesn't work at all. We're getting lousy results. We can help you, and we could take hours and hours out of your day by making the connections really efficient. There were lots of people who came to us and said, We've been jury-rigging with Zoom or [Microsoft] Teams. Those people were really drawn to the platform, and having the opportunity to show that to them was just great.

Can you tell us more about AirFirst? What does it deliver to the live-production industry?

AirFirst was really the only thing we were showing at [NAB 2022]. Of course, we still have our services business, Caller Cloud, but, quite frankly, what we wanted to do is to show that this capability can be in anybody's hands and that we not only are willing to share that technology with people but are willing to train people in what we do. Attendees were very excited.

We had a very major broadcaster from the Middle East who came by who was struggling to do the volume of remotes that they have. One of the things that we were sharing with people was that we have a very large news customer now who's doing approximately 25,000 remotes a year and we took 20 minutes or more off each of those remotes. When you multiply that out, that's a big number of hours saved. We're very excited to be doing that - not only for them but for other people as well.

Were there any additional trends or common pain points that emerged as you talked to NAB 2022 visitors throughout the week?

I think the thing that we heard the most was that, at the beginning of the pandemic, people installed whatever they could find as quickly as they could in order to get on the air. An any port in the storm kind of strategy. Nobody expected it to last this long. Not only are they having to use those same workflows that were hurried together, [but] they are seeing the volume of work that they're doing in that way growing, and they can't handle it. That's when you need something that can handle the volume and can handle it across the whole team. That seemed very valuable to them.

What was your general assessment of NAB 2022? How did it feel being back at an in-person trade show after so long?

We had a great show. First of all, it was great to get in touch with people in person again. It felt really nice. It felt like the world was a bit more normal. We found that people were drawn to what we had, and it was great to see some old faces and meet so many new people as well.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2022/05/04/nab-2022-perspectives-the-video...
See more stories from svg

More from Sports Video Group

30/06/2022

Ratings Roundup: 2022 NBA Draft Goes Up 33% From Last Year; Yankees Stay Hot on YES Network Over the Past Week

Ratings Roundup: 2022 NBA Draft Goes Up 33% From Last Year; Yankees Stay Hot on ...

30/06/2022

Top Hat and Tails: NEP Uncovers the Drama and Excitement Behind the Production of ITV Racing's Royal Ascot

Top hat and tails: NEP uncovers the drama and excitement behind the production o...

30/06/2022

SVG On Demand: SVG Australia Summit Panel Asks Which Flavor of IP is Right For Your Organization?

SVG On Demand: SVG Australia Summit Panel Asks Which Flavor of IP is Right For ...

30/06/2022

USFL Championship 2022: FOX, NBC Wrap Season 1 of Sports' Live Production Laboratory

USFL Championship 2022: FOX, NBC Wrap Season 1 of Sports' Live Production La...

29/06/2022

A Legend and a Gentleman: The Sports Broadcasting Industry Pays Tribute to Barry Johnstone

A legend and a gentleman: The sports broadcasting industry pays tribute to Barry...

29/06/2022

Inside LIV Golf's Broadcast Plans With Chief Media Officer Will Staeger

Inside LIV Golf's broadcast plans with chief media officer Will Staeger By George Bevir Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 10:17 Print This Story LIV Golf chief...

29/06/2022

Stats Perform Transforms Sports Media Content Creation With PressBox Platform

Stats Perform Transforms Sports Media Content Creation With PressBox Platform By SVG Staff Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 12:00 pm Print This Story | Subscrib...

28/06/2022

Hill Climb Fever: Behind the Scenes at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022 With Host Broadcaster Gravity Media

Hill Climb Fever: Behind the Scenes at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022 With Host...

28/06/2022

Death Diving Meets the Challenge With First U.S. Event Live Stream via Viz Now

Death diving meets the Challenge with first US event live stream via Viz Now By Jo Ruddock Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 16:30 Print This Story Death diving,...

28/06/2022

NEP Australia Rides IP Tech to Make Andrews Hub, In-Field Facilties Fully 4K Capable

NEP Australia Rides IP Tech to Make Andrews Hub, In-Field Facilties Fully 4K Cap...

28/06/2022

SVG On Demand: SVG Australia Summit Panel Addresses the Current State of Cloud and Virtualized Sports Production Tech

SVG On Demand: SVG Australia Summit Panel Addresses the Current State of Cloud a...

28/06/2022

Mobile TV Group Announces New MTVG Edge Live Production Solution

Mobile TV Group Announces New MTVG Edge Live Production Solution By SVG Staff Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 11:09 am Print This Story | Subscribe Story Highl...

28/06/2022

Gravity Media Awarded Contract For The 2022 Fina World Aquatics Championships

Gravity Media Awarded Contract For The 2022 Fina World Aquatics Championships By SVG Staff Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 4:53 pm Print This Story | Subscribe ...

28/06/2022

Telos Alliance Extends Container University Series That Educates And Empowers Broadcast Engineers

Telos Alliance Extends Container University Series That Educates And Empowers Br...

27/06/2022

SVG On Demand: Aussie Sports Production Tech Innovators Look to the Future in SVG Australia Summit Panel

SVG On Demand: Aussie Sports Production Tech Innovators Look to the Future in SV...

24/06/2022

Behind the Mic: CBS Sports' Nick Faldo To Retire at End of 2022 Golf Season

Behind the Mic: CBS Sports' Nick Faldo To Retire at End of 2022 Golf Season By SVG Staff Friday, June 24, 2022 - 6:50 am Print This Story | Subscribe ...

24/06/2022

SVG On Demand: Charleston Southern University's Nick Case on Coming Back Strong for the 2022 Collegiate Athletics Schedule

SVG On Demand: Charleston Southern University's Nick Case on Coming Back Str...

24/06/2022

Stanley Cup Final: Big Sound for the Big Games

Stanley Cup Final: Big Sound for the Big Games ESPN is combining technique and technology to put fans on the ice By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Friday, June 24, ...

24/06/2022

SVG On Demand: SVG Australia Summit Panel Advocates for Gender Equality in the Workplace

SVG On Demand: SVG Australia Summit Panel Advocates for Gender Equality in the W...

24/06/2022

Men's College World Series 2022: ESPN To Deploy Top-Tier Technology for Championship Series in Omaha

Men's College World Series 2022: ESPN To Deploy Top-Tier Technology for Cham...

24/06/2022

Robert J. Ross, Former CBS Head of East Coast Operations and Engineering, Dead at 70

Robert J. Ross, Former CBS Head of East Coast Operations and Engineering, Dead a...

24/06/2022

EMG UK Chairman Barry Johnstone Dead at 76

EMG UK Chairman Barry Johnstone Dead at 76 In 2013, Johnstone became the first European inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame By Ken Kerschbaumer,...

24/06/2022

SVG On Demand: NHL's Matt Celli Goes Inside the Creation, Success of League's Third Period Live YouTube Show

SVG On Demand: NHL's Matt Celli Goes Inside the Creation, Success of League&...

24/06/2022

SVG Sit-Down: NHL on ESPN Producer Jeff Dufine Talks Stanley Cup Final, Skate Cam, and the Crazy Journey Reuniting With the NHL

SVG Sit-Down: NHL on ESPN Producer Jeff Dufine Talks Stanley Cup Final, Skate Ca...

23/06/2022

LIV Golf Aims To Take Golf Audio on a Really Long Drive

LIV Golf Aims To Take Golf Audio on a Really Long Drive Upstart association puts sound near the core of its broadcast identity By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Thu...

23/06/2022

SVG On Demand: Key Industry Leaders Tackle Next-Gen Technologies in SVG Australia Summit Roundtable

SVG On Demand: Key Industry Leaders Tackle Next-Gen Technologies in SVG Australi...

23/06/2022

NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood Says NBC, USA Network Ready for NASCAR Run

NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood Says NBC, USA Network Ready for NASCAR R...

23/06/2022

SVG On Demand: University of Notre Dame's Alessandra Dickos on Developing a New Direct-to-Consumer Platform for Fighting Irish Fans

SVG On Demand: University of Notre Dame's Alessandra Dickos on Developing a ...

23/06/2022

SVG On Demand: Mississippi State University's Bennie Ashford on Producing a Wild Baseball Postseason, Adapting to Remote Workflows

SVG On Demand: Mississippi State University's Bennie Ashford on Producing a ...

22/06/2022

SVG On Demand: University of South Carolina's Valerie Gerfin on New In-Venue Enhancements at Williams-Brice Stadium

SVG On Demand: University of South Carolina's Valerie Gerfin on New In-Venue...

22/06/2022

New York Islanders Augment HomeIce Digital Experience With Virtual Watch Parties

New York Islanders Augment HomeIce Digital Experience With Virtual Watch Parties Powered by BlueJeans by Verizon, the platform is connecting fans around the glo...

21/06/2022

SVG On Demand: University of Michigan's Kurt Svoboda on Slowly Returning to Pre-Pandemic Productions

SVG On Demand: University of Michigan's Kurt Svoboda on Slowly Returning to ...

21/06/2022

SVG On Demand: Harvard University's Imry Halevi on Winning the 2022 SVG College Pioneer Award, Impactful Trends in the Industry

SVG On Demand: Harvard University's Imry Halevi on Winning the 2022 SVG Coll...

21/06/2022

Live From the U.S. Open: NBC's Allison McAllister, Marc Caputo Reflect on Championship Efforts

Live From the U.S. Open: NBC's Allison McAllister, Marc Caputo Reflect on Ch...

20/06/2022

Stanley Cup Final: ESPN Offers Visually Appealing Return With Two On-Ice Skate Cams, Cabled Aerials, 10 Super-Slo-Mos, and More

Stanley Cup Final: ESPN Offers Visually Appealing Return With Two On-Ice Skate C...

20/06/2022

SVG On Demand: Ross Video's Kevin Cottam on the Company's Continued Support of Collegiate-Video Production

SVG On Demand: Ross Video's Kevin Cottam on the Company's Continued Supp...

20/06/2022

SVG On Demand: University of North Carolina's Ken Cleary on the Importance of Being In-Person at the 2022 SVG College Summit

SVG On Demand: University of North Carolina's Ken Cleary on the Importance o...

20/06/2022

Stanley Cup Final: ESPN Offers Visually Appealing Return with Two On-Ice Skate Cams, Cabled Aerials, 10 Super Slow Mos, and More

Stanley Cup Final: ESPN Offers Visually Appealing Return with Two On-Ice Skate C...

18/06/2022

Live from the U.S. Open: USGA's Kevin Landy on the 2022 World Feed Efforts and the Future of Production

Live From the U.S. Open: USGA's Kevin Landy on the 2022 World Feed Efforts a...

17/06/2022

Live from the U.S. Open: Sky Sports' Katie Harrison, Jason Wessely Discuss Evolution of Remote Production

Live From the U.S. Open: Sky Sports' Katie Harrison, Jason Wessely Discuss E...

17/06/2022

SVG College Summit: Industry Celebrates SVG College Pioneer Award Recipient Imry Halevi

SVG College Summit: Industry Celebrates SVG College Pioneer Award Recipient Imry...

17/06/2022

CBS Sports, Exceptional Minds Create New Career Paths in Media Management for Autism Community

CBS Sports, Exceptional Minds Create New Career Paths in Media Management for Au...

17/06/2022

Live from the U.S. Open: Sky Sports' Katie Harrington, Jason Wessely Discuss Evolution of Remote Production

Live from the U.S. Open: Sky Sports' Katie Harrington, Jason Wessely Discuss...

16/06/2022

U.S. Open Tech Gives NBC Sports Lead Golf Producer Tommy Roy Storytelling Tools

U.S. Open Tech Gives NBC Sports Lead Golf Producer Tommy Roy Storytelling Tools Bunker Cams, FlyCam, Augmented-Reality Graphics Provide All the Angles for Fans ...

16/06/2022

MediaPower and ClassX Create Light' Virtual Graphics Studio for Mediaset

MediaPower and ClassX create light' virtual graphics studio for Mediaset By Roberto Landini, Italian Correspondent Monday, June 13, 2022 - 17:36 Print...

16/06/2022

RaceTech Gallops Back to the Start Line to Support ITV Racing at Royal Ascot 2022

RaceTech gallops back to the start line to support ITV Racing at Royal Ascot 202...

16/06/2022

SVG College Summit: 400 Attendees Reunite in Atlanta for First In-Person Summit Since 2019

SVG College Summit: 400 Attendees Reunite in Atlanta for First In-Person Summit ...