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What is REMI Production?

Jul 22, 2020

There’s a buzzword making rounds inside and outside the broadcast community.

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There’s a buzzword making rounds inside and outside the broadcast community. REMI production (also referred to as “remote production,” “virtual production,” or “at-home production.”) It’s a sign of the times. With social distancing requirements still in place, content producers continue to seek methods to create live content from remote locations.

So, what exactly is a REMI production?

REMI – or Remote Integration Model – is a production workflow that allows live content to be captured from a remote location and managed from a central control room. A REMI production maintains all of the key production elements that you’d find in a standard broadcast. The key difference is that your on-camera talent is in a remote location.

In today’s climate, with people unwilling or unable to leave their homes, a REMI production workflow makes sense. And it’s one that’s being heavily utilized by production companies and content creators throughout the country.

Let’s take a closer look at REMI productions, how they work, and when they can be used.

Capturing video and audio for a REMI production

REMI Production WorkflowAny REMI production starts with capturing video and audio in the field. Regardless of the content you’re producing, you need a mechanism for capturing high-quality video and audio of your talent. Each of these video and audio signals then needs to be transmitted to a central control room.

REMI production workflows have been utilized in the sports world for years (more on that later). With a live sports production, you’re dealing with multiple cameras that all need to be transmitted to a central control room. This requires a more comprehensive camera setup at the local stadium and a reliable mechanism for transmitting those video and audio feeds.

If you’re producing a live news or entertainment program where you have individual correspondents in remote locations, your field camera kits can be more streamlined and efficient.

Your camera and audio needs in the field can vary, but they are a necessary part of any REMI production.

At Broadcast Management Group, we have developed three drop kits as part of our Live At Home REMI solution. Cameras consist of either an iPad Air (for our basic kit) or a 4K PTZ robotic camera (for our Pro and Pro+ packages).

Key components of your REMI control room

REMI Production WorkflowAll REMI production workflows rely on a central control room. This is where all of your camera and audio signals are fed and where your primary switching, mixing, and transmission takes place.

Your REMI control room can range from a flight pack to a dedicated control room to a production truck. Your REMI control room can – and will – vary depending on your needs. And those needs will be dictated by the content that you’re producing.

Generally speaking, a REMI control room will need the following:

Again, these are baseline requirements. Your content will dictate the technical needs.

An added aspect that we have integrated into our Live At Home REMI solution is virtual set technology. By shipping a green screen to our talent, we can create a completely customizable, branded virtual backdrop that fits the program’s aesthetic.

Transmission capabilities

REMI Production WorkflowTransmission and connectivity are HUGE components of a successful REMI production.

Your transmission needs can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Connectivity at your primary talent location
  2. Incoming transmission capabilities at your REMI control room
  3. Outbound transmission capabilities at your REMI control room

From your primary talent location, you’ll need to send video and audio signals with little to low latency. For a live sports production utilizing REMI, these signals might be sent back via fiber or satellite. With a single-camera feed, an IP-based solution – like LiveU – may be sufficient. For anything IP-based, it’s important to assess your local bandwidth availability in advance. The best remote transmission method will depend on what’s available to you at your primary location and your budget tolerance.

At your REMI control room, you’ll need the ability to RECEIVE all of your incoming feeds. For example, if you’re remotely switching a sporting event with eight cameras, your REMI facility will need to have the infrastructure available to receive those eight signals. The receive infrastructure is not always a one-to-one ratio. Meaning you don’t always need one receiver for every one incoming feed. For example, LiveU’s LU-2000 server can bring in up to four remote feeds.

Finally, you’ll need the ability to SEND your signal somewhere. This may mean streaming live to the web, or sending your signal out via fiber or satellite. This piece of the transmission puzzle is dependent on your content goals. For any of the options above – IP, fiber, or satellite – your REMI facility will need to have the appropriate equipment and outbound connectivity.

Applications for REMI production

Now that we’ve covered REMI production from a high level, it’s time to dig into some possible applications. What type of programming can utilize a REMI workflow?

Live Sports

We’ve already mentioned live sports. REMI workflows have been utilized for live sporting events for quite some time. From a cost perspective, REMI is an ideal solution. Even with a streamlined remote production, there are still a set number of hard costs: technical crew, OB trucks, transmissions, travel, etc. If you’re a large organization, like ESPN, with plenty of physical infrastructure and available capacity, REMI makes a lot of sense financially. You’re able to streamline your remote team while utilizing in-house staff and existing infrastructure.

Live News

Outside of live sports, REMI production workflows can be utilized for live news programming and events. REMI is a perfect fit for live or live-to-tape interviews with multiple guests spread across numerous destinations. Each on-camera talent can be sent a drop kit before the production. Video and audio feeds from each of those kits can be transmitted to a central control room where the program can be switched, audio can be mixed, graphics and playback assets can be added, and the program can be transmitted.

Live Entertainment

REMI production also has a place in the entertainment space. We’ve had many clients inquire about converting previously planned in-person events into virtual experiences. This has ranged from town hall productions to award shows, to fundraisers and galas. While each event is unique and has a distinct creative approach, the technical infrastructure is consistent. Anyone on-camera receives video and audio equipment, which is transmitted to a central location.

While REMI workflows have been deployed for years, they have historically been utilized in the sports world. But with remote working here for the foreseeable future, a REMI production can be an ideal solution for news and entertainment programming.

If you have a question about REMI production or are looking for production support for an upcoming live remote, contact us any time.

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!