In the business world, it’s common to hear companies described as ‘disruptors.’
This is a company that’s so innovative, they impact an entire industry.
Apple’s iTunes allowed consumers to buy digital versions of songs starting at $.99. While many were skeptical, iTunes forever changed the music industry – effectively killing the CD – and arguably kick-starting the digital media revolution.
Netflix disrupted the movie rental business and is now a significant player in content creation.
Uber flipped the taxicab industry on its head with the launch of its ride-sharing service.
You get the picture.
These companies and products are now household names to the point where they’re often used as verbs.
In 2020, many industries are dealing with a new disruptor. This one is much less welcome than iTunes, Netflix, or Uber. COVID-19 has impacted millions of people, countless industries, and will leave a lasting impact on our society. It’s the disruptor that no one wanted, but one that’s caused many industries to shift focus and realign their business practices.
The production industry is just one of many sectors being forced to change course.
REMI is the new normal
With many in-person events canceled, large sports events still a question mark, and some people still reluctant to leave their homes, producing live content has been a challenge. But if there’s one thing that the production community embraces, it’s a challenge.
Amid a global pandemic, production companies and content creators have had to ask themselves new questions.
- How do I produce live content without access to people?
- Is there a way to keep crew members safe and socially distant?
- How can I give hosts, guests, and contributors the ability to participate in my program?
The answer to all of these questions is REMI.
What is REMI?
REMI – or Remote Integration Model – is a production workflow that allows live content to be captured from a remote location and controlled from a central control room.
In our current climate, REMI is a viable solution to many of our production challenges.
At Broadcast Management Group, we’ve been producing live, multi-camera content for over 15-years. Like many production companies, we’ve had to shift our focus over the past several months to accommodate new methods for producing live and live-to-tape content.
To keep up with demand, and embrace the current state of the broadcast industry, we’ve launched Live At Home – a flexible and scalable REMI solution designed to capture live content anywhere.
Our REMI solution addresses four key components of live content:
- Correspondents and contributors
- Producers and directors
- Centralized control room
- Creative assets and services
Let’s dig in deeper to our Live At Home REMI solution.
At-home REMI camera kits
Live content begins with characters. Your host, co-host, guests, or anyone who needs to appear on-camera. Without them, there’s not much of a program.
COVID-19 poses a unique challenge. How do you get your characters on-camera while keeping them a safe distance from other people?
As part of our Live At Home REMI solution, we’ve developed three variations of an at-home camera package: the Live At Home Basic, Live At Home Pro and Live At Home Pro Plus.
Each kit includes a camera, 3-point lighting, program return monitor, wired lav mic, and wired IFB. The Live At Home Pro and Live At Home Pro Plus include upgraded camera and transmission equipment, and the Pro Plus includes a teleprompter.
Our REMI camera kits come pre-configured and neatly packed into two road cases. Kits are designed to be set up by individual talent (with phone support from our engineering team), though we have provided local production technicians to assist with the setup process as needed.
The Live At Home camera kits relies on LiveU as the primary transmission method, so each talent must have access to a reliable internet connection. For any of our live productions, this is something that’s tested well in advance.
Remote access for producers and directors
To ensure that our live content flows seamlessly from segment to segment, it’s necessary to give producers the ability to monitor programs remotely and in real-time.
As part of our Live At Home REMI services, we can give producers and directors a multiview return and remote access to our comms system.
The multiview return is pulled directly from our production switcher at our REMI control room and sent to each producer via Skype. This allows for a cost-effective remote monitoring solution with very low latency.
For remote communication, producers and directors are given access to a Unity Intercom system that is married to our RTS system at our control room. Through Unity, we can establish distinct comms channels, which gives us the ability to keep producers and production on separate lines. Remote producers and directors can also communicate directly with remote hosts or guests via IFB.
Remote graphics, encoding, and virtual sets
In our current climate, the leanest crew is the safest crew. Even the most efficient REMI solution will still require local personnel at a central control room. However, that doesn’t mean that certain key positions cannot be remote.
The beauty of REMI production is that there are no geographic barriers. With a reliable internet connection, technicians can contribute to a show from anywhere in the world. With our Live At Home REMI solution, we can keep our director, TD, A1, graphics operator, encoding engineer, and virtual set operators completely remote. This limits the amount of personnel we have locally at our REM control room and opens us up technical resources nationwide.
At our REMI control room, we are utilizing a Ross Vision switcher, 3-channel Ross Xpression system for graphics, a primary and backup AWS Elemental encoder for live streaming, and Brainstorm virtual set technology. Each of these systems can be accessed remotely via TeamViewer. Remote technicians are given program returns and access to our Unity Intercom, so they’re still apart of our production ecosystem, albeit remotely.
REMI control room
Any successful REMI solution requires a robust control room that can accommodate all key functions of live production.
The technical core for our Live At Home REMI solution is based in Las Vegas, NV. From our control room, we’re able to cut cameras, mix audio, add graphics, manage playback and records, and stream live to multiple destinations.
Our REMI facility in Las Vegas includes redundant fiber connectivity and a variety of incoming and outbound transmission options.
Incoming transmissions include:
- 12-channels via LiveU
- 4-channels via Skype (utilizing Newtek’s Talk Show)
- 6-channels via vMix, Zoom, TeamViewer, BlueJeans, etc.
Outbound transmissions options include:
- Primary and backup AWS Elemental web encoders
- Wowza web encoder
- EEG captioning encoder
- 3-channels out via LiveU
- Connectivity to Encompass for fiber or satellite distribution
Our REMI control room offers the functionality and redundancies of a traditional control room with the ability to keep specific positions remote.
To complement our Live At Home REMI solution, we offer a range of creative services designed to enhance your live content. As the current pandemic stretches, consumers are looking for and expecting higher production values. The days of live streaming a Zoom meeting are coming to a close.
Our in-house creative team can help to design a graphics treatment or virtual set for your live production. Both of which can be seamlessly integrated into our REMI control room via Xpression and our Brainstorm virtual set system. Depending on your program’s format, we can also produce pre-produced video content or custom animations to support your program.
Navigating content creation during these current conditions can be a challenge. How do you make your program stand-out? As part of our creative services, we can also help with your program’s overall format development. We’ll help you craft a unique, on-brand program targeted to your core demographic.
Our Live At Home REMI solution, paired with our in-house creative services, allows us to offer clients a technical and creative solution for live remote productions.