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Hybrid Event Success Part 2 – Technology

Hybrid Event Success Part 2 – Technology

For-A-Cause Events

Hybrid Event Success Part 2 – Technology

In part two of Hybrid Event Success, we are going to look at the technology you need to add elevated production value to your Hybrid Event. Giving your people the right tools to produce a professional hybrid event broadcast allows you to control the quality and look of the event for a remote attendee. The right technology also allows you and your team to be flexible and agile when things need to change.

Platform

Your digital platform is your digital venue. Currently, there are More than 375 different platforms that are available in the market, so you have plenty of choice. A platform can be anything from an embedded video player on a website to a fully interactive 3D virtual environment. When looking at your potential platform, your attendee experience must be your top priority. What do you want them to experience when they sign on?

Take in mind that there are some basic functionalities you will need no matter the platform. Some key questions to ask are, what type of video resolution does the platform cap out at? If the platform only handles resolutions of 720p or lower, this will dictate how you film your event. There is no use using full HD 1080 or 4K footage if your platform can’t host it.

Cameras

There is a saying in the broadcast world, called Glass to Glass. This refers to the lens of the camera to the “glass” of the TV. Choosing the right camera, and how many you will need, will be the first choice you will need to make when planning your hybrid elements. A single camera will not be enough to create visual interest for the remote audience. You will want to have at the very least two high quality cameras on your event to make sure you can frame the view of your attendees.

Professional camera systems, or camera chains, are designed to use robust video capture technology, exchangeable lenses and high quality tripods to record high level footage. Although a little more expensive, the investment in a high quality camera chain will give you the very best result.

Shading

Shading is the practice of white balancing and colour balancing the footage your cameras are capturing. A Professional shading rack or console connects to your cameras to use lumiscopes and processing to exactly match the colour and exposure of your cameras in real time. Although this can technically be done on the camera itself, by adding a dedicated shading rack to your camera chain you can ensure the highest quality image for your hybrid broadcast.

Broadcast switcher and Routing

A broadcast switcher is the main control of the look and feel of your video production. In the hands of a professional operator and under the direction of your camera director, it will allow you to dynamically switch between camera shots, mix in graphics and additional sources into a seamless professional looking production.

When selecting the switcher you need for your event, you factor in how many M/E or Media Effects you will need. A media effect is a canvas that allows you to mix camera sources into a “look”. If you think of the last sports broadcast or news broadcast you watched, you will notice there are 3-4 looks that they cycle through during the broadcast. A two up, a single camera shot or panel discussion are all built on separate M/E’s. For most event based broadcasts, a 2 M/E switcher will handle the majority of your needs.

Dedicated Audio Console

Having a dedicated broadcast audio console will allow you to remix all of the audio sources for your broadcast. Although you will have a professional console and engineer in the room, balancing the audio for your in person attendees, the audio balance for your broadcast will be very different.

Professional audio uses a dedicated network protocol called DANTE. This lets you share audio sources via a local network to multiple consoles and devices on the network. Using a Dante enabled digital console will allow your broadcast audio operator to grab the inputs (Mic’s etc) and remix them for broadcast without interrupting or further complicating the audio mix for the room itself..

Recording

To record your footage for future use, like on demand sessions and future broadcast, using external recording devices along your video systems is the best way to make your recordings. External recorders like the AJA Ki-Pro or BlackMagic Hyper Deck allows you to centrally capture all of your footage on hard drives in a digital format.

These decks also allow you to add timecode embedded on your footage. This is a critical element that is required for your post production team of editors and motion graphics professionals to assemble your footage into a seamless video. Without timecode on your footage, it would be very difficult to line up your separate camera footage.

Encoding

The last element on the video chain, before your video production is broadcast to the world is encoding. To have your video feed effectively hit the internet and be hosted live on your platform it need to be digitized to specific standards to make sure you maintain the highest video quality.

Most platforms require specific codecs and video standards to be able to receive your video signal. You can either use a digital encoder embedded in some switching platforms like vMix, however there is much more reliability and additional options in hardware encoders, These are small video processing devices that are dedicated to processing the video signal to the codec in real-time.

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