Live At Home: A Complete REMI Solution

Jul 8, 2020

In the business world, it’s common to hear companies described as ‘disruptors.

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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.

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:

  1. Correspondents and contributors
  2. Producers and directors
  3. Centralized control room
  4. Creative assets and services

Let’s dig in deeper to our Live At Home REMI solution.

At-home REMI camera kits

REMI Camera KitLive 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

REMI Virtual Set IntegrationIn 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:

Outbound transmissions options include:

Our REMI control room offers the functionality and redundancies of a traditional control room with the ability to keep specific positions remote.

Creative solutions

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.

If you’d like to learn more about our Live At Home REMI solutioncontact us anytime. We’re here to help.

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!