ASG Unveils Virtual Production Control Room
The service uses Google Cloud and a variety of other vendors for a customizable remote production system
EMERYVILLE, Calif.—Advanced Systems Group (ASG) has launched its Virtual Production Control Room (VPCR), a remote production service hosted in Google Cloud that allows real-time, broadcast-quality coverage of live events and other programming.
ASG’s VPCR uses cloud-based production tools from various established industry vendors to deliver a more powerful and versatile virtual control room solution, the company said.
“Today, there are a lot of applications to produce real-time video in the cloud, but you can’t expect a single application to do it all,” said Dave Van Hoy, president of ASG. “We’ve been building control rooms for decades, so we know there are a lot of elements that have to work together. Why wouldn’t you follow the time-tested concept of using best-in-breed products to create a virtual control room?”
As part of that philosophy, VPCR is a complete cloud solution that requires no on-prem services to deliver content, complete with dynamic switching effects, graphics, animations, captions, and more. Video and audio streams are encrypted for security, and access to each production is fully controlled, the company said.
Each user receives a secure multi-view monitor of the production, and all users are linked via cloud-based communication channels. Remote operators and contributors can keep a live production running smoothly from desktop-based software or physical control panels.
Driven by the need for remote production solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the VPCR system was developed around a multi-vendor environment that communicated on a standard, unified signal. It has been refined over the past year by addressing real-world challenges, including redundancy and reliability, while producing multiple shows with ASG clients.
“VPCR has one of the largest possible ecosystems of products that can be effectively ‘wired up’ in the cloud to create these familiar workflows for audio and video professionals,” explained Van Hoy. “And because we based our methodology on standards that already exist in the industry, more products are becoming available for us all the time.”
As a result, VPCR’s cloud-based workflow more closely resembles on-prem production than other solutions, the company said. Users are not limited to, for example, a specific virtual switcher or audio board.
The VPCR ecosystem includes more than two dozen companies, with multiple vendor options in virtually every signal position in the control room. In addition to Google Cloud, key partners for VPCR include Grass Valley, Harrison Consoles, LiveU, Ross, Sienna, Telos, and Vizrt.
“The vendors we chose used existing technology as the basis for developing their cloud products,” Van Hoy added. “Google Cloud has been a great partner in developing VPCR, and we appreciate all our technology partners for their efforts to help pioneer this venture for us.”
VPCR is available in three different subscription models, with optional engineering services or fully managed production services.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.