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Which Transmission Option is Best for Your Live Production?

Oct 3, 2019

Live transmission is the most important component of any Read More Add A Comment

Live transmission is the most important component of any live production. Without a working transmission path, your live production is a live-to-tape production. There are a number of different transmission options to choose from, all depending on where your production is located and what you have to spend. Here’s a look at some of the most common live transmission options and which one might be right for you.

Fiber

Fiber transmission can be a very reliable option if you have access to an existing circuit. Having to construct a circuit can be costly and requires a significant lead time – depending on your budget and timing, ordering new service may not be feasible, so plan accordingly. In addition to the fiber circuit itself, you will also have to coordinate going through a NOC, which is an additional cost to factor into your budget and planning.

IP

We rely on IP transmissions for the bulk of our live production jobs. When transmitting via IP, it’s crucial that you have a dedicated internet circuit and that you have plenty of headroom on your connection. If you need 25mbps for your stream, ask your internet provider for 40mbps. This gives you headroom in the event there are any last-minute changes, but also gives you a little wiggle room in the event your ISP isn’t providing you speeds that were promised. Make sure that you’re not sharing your connection! Your dedicated line should ONLY be used for streaming and not for general production support or WiFi. Lastly, make sure you have a primary and backup technical contact for your ISP so you know who to contact in the event you need to troubleshoot.

Satellite

Transmitting via satellite is a viable option if some of the other delivery methods aren’t available, or aren’t feasible. The two most important things to consider with satellite transmissions are parking and line-of-sight. If you’re doing a remote production outside of a controlled environment (like a studio), you’ll need a place to park your satellite truck. This can be a challenge depending on the location of your event, but an important detail that shouldn’t be overlooked. The second consideration is line-of-sight – your satellite must have a clear view of the sky. Parking under a tree or next to a tall building can prohibit your satellite feed, so make sure your sat truck does a site survey PRIOR to the event. This isn’t something you want to figure out on the day of your production.

Redundancy

With any of the transmission options outlined above, it’s important to plan for some layer of redundancy if permitted in the budget. For any of our live streaming projects, we like to bring in a backup encoder with bonded cellular in the event there are any issues with internet connectivity. Double-dipping on your transmission costs can be pricey, but for a live production, it’s worth the extra expense to have peace of mind.

If you’re looking for assistance with an upcoming live production, contact us any time. We’d welcome the chance to work together.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!