ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— CP Communications, a provider of solutions and services for live event productions, has launched two new products for live production, the Virtual Media Center and the FastReturn secure video management platform.
Both solutions are built around WebRTC – the cloud-based technology used by Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other popular videoconferencing platforms – and have been successfully used in the field during high-profile events over the past few years, including the Fall 2021 editions of the TCS New York City Marathon and Bank of America Chicago Marathon, CP Communications reported.
“People have been struggling with the latency of live video in remote production workflows,” explained Kurt Heitmann, CEO of CP Communications. “Announcers can’t be way behind the action with play-by-play or analysis. With FastReturn, we use the power of the cloud to deliver streaming return video with ultra-low latency, so you can view your live production from anywhere on any device in real time.”
FastReturn’s base package includes five streams and supports up to 100 users, but can be scaled to accommodate additional sources and larger crews, the company said.
Users access FastReturn content via a web browser on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, as well as through Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick digital media players. Content is accessed through a secure client portal (optional custom user pages and templates are also available).
The platform can ingest any H.264 baseline profile RTMP stream, supporting HD resolution and 128kbit stereo audio with bit rates up to 10 MBps with less than 400ms of latency. FastReturn can also spin up edge servers around the world that are geographically closer to the production to provide even lower latency and better reliability, the company said.
Available as an ad hoc service, the Virtual Media Center is a browser-based multi-viewer for monitoring, not retransmission, of live video signals.
Designed for use by remote journalists, it features a variety of multi-viewer templates, from simple 2-box and 4-box displays to more extensive layouts based on the number of signals being shared. Through a browser-based interface, media personnel can select which video feeds to monitor. All templates deliver video feeds with secure, two-step authentication and less than 400ms of latency, the company said.
Beyond event coverage, the Virtual Media Center can also help with multi-camera remote production.
“For members of the media who are not able to travel to an event, or for video production crew members who can’t be on site, the Virtual Media Center provides an effective and efficient way to monitor the live action from multiple cameras,” Heitmann explained.
FastReturn is available as a monthly service or can be licensed for specific events. CP can also provide RHS CamSTREAM units and RTMP encoders for rental.
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.
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