ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—CP Communications provided its expertise and some tech solutions to Greenlight Television during its worldwide live stream of the Trans Am Series, a U.S.-based muscle car racing championship. CP Communications brought IP and bonded cellular gear to the production to help reduce costs, limit infrastructure and help keep the crew small and safe.
In 2019, Greenlight Television was asked to develop a quality live stream of the Trans Am Series without the costs of using an OB truck. With the added challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenlight partnered with CP to prepare this streamlined, remote production.
The small crew on-site for the Trans Am Series used 12 MVP Agile Airlink encoders for six in-car systems, four fixed camera positions, a roaming pit and podium camera and a drone. All of the content was delivered to Greenlight’s remote production studio on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, with CP providing real-time production support from its distributed network operations center. The live feed cut was sent to commentators at the track and then streamed to the Isle of Man. Voice and graphics were added to the final live stream, with a latency of 1.6 seconds.
“The traditional production approach for this kind of event would require a mobile production truck, an RF unit and a seemingly endless amount of fiber, technicians and production equipment onsite,” said Kurt Heitmann, CP Communications CEO. “Working with partners like Greenlight who embrace the REMI model substantially reduces costs. The new generation of live event television is here and it delivers cost-effective acquisition with remote management, and the ability to make the entire content chain far more efficient.”
Greenlight live-streamed the race, driver interviews and other content direct to consumers over multiple platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, using Vimeo’s Livestream Studio 6 platform.
A Unity intercom system was used by Greenlight to communicate with on-location crew and engineers at CP’s Canadian operations center, where the Airlink servers were controlled using MVP’s LinkMatrix management portal.
“From Nova Scotia we consistently optimized all Airlink encoding and multiplexing settings based on local conditions, assisted with stream routing and provided continuity checks as Airlinks came online for each race,” said Allen Harris, lead IP and Bonded Cellular Technologist for CP Communications. “The NOC reduced the workload in Greenlight’s control room, removing any concerns about backhauling signals so that they could concentrate on producing great content.”
Greenlight’s on-site production team for the Trans Am Series was able to be reduced to 10, according to Lauren Roberts, director, Greenlight Television.
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