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Old November 6th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #16
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Streaming good quality video is no biggie, a decent GPU will allow reasonable compression for streaming in real time (espeically if you're happy with SD). Issue will be latency, everything you see will be out of date by a few hundred milliseconds to a few seconds, depending on network conditions, latency in real time streaming, decoding at the client, etc. And this is assuming a very high quality link between the two sites. Be prepared to spend good money on buying dedicated bandwidth with a service level agreement (and what do you do if the link craps out anyway?). It'll be cheaper to pay the taxi fair to send someone to switch locally, be far more reliably, etc.
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Old November 6th, 2013, 05:32 PM   #17
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

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Originally Posted by Natan Pakman View Post
William, thanks for the info. When you say that this would require a very expensive data line, how much are we talking and what equipment would be required?

As for the second option, encoding the cameras/audio and decoding and switching them at home base, how would this work?
First, you would have to contact NewTek and see if remote operation is even possible with the switcher you have. If not then the switcher option is out.

For both you would have to ask you phone company or cable internet provider what types of dedicated (not shared) internet lines they have available and if they are available between your home base and the remote place. Here in NYC prices start at $250 per month for 5 mbps up / 30 mbps down that is not good for controlling desktop video (I know, I have this connection and tried for a goof) and go up into the thousands of dollars per month for high quality data thru put. Some providers charge by milage! To send the cameras and audio to your home base will cost thousands of dollars to initially acquire quality encoders and decoders. The internet line you get must be capable of handling multiple streams simultaneously, also not cheap per month.

Live quality video is all over the networks but they spend huge amounts of money to build and maintain the systems.
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Old November 6th, 2013, 05:40 PM   #18
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Here in NYC prices start at $250 per month for 5 mbps up / 30 mbps down
OUCH!

I pay $25 a month for 10mbps up and 25mbps down...

Fibre into the building and then copper to the units...
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Old November 7th, 2013, 03:58 AM   #19
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
OUCH!

I pay $25 a month for 10mbps up and 25mbps down...

Fibre into the building and then copper to the units...
But this will not be with a service level agreement needed for this type of connenction. You not paying for bandwidth as such, you're paying for the guarantee of bandwidth.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 10:32 AM   #20
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Yes and the taxi fare is much cheaper!
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Old November 12th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #21
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

What I have found through my research into this is that many people have connected their Tricaster/software switching machine to a KVM over ip switch and then hooked up the master audio to a phone interface using a regular phone line. The operator then listens to the master audio while watching the video over their internet connection. The video may be slightly lagged but the audio isn't, and making decisions based on the audio works well according to these people.

I see the point about taxi fare but I am still interested in all possibilities for operating the switcher remotely.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 11:06 PM   #22
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

2 questions, and both assume that latency is not an issue for this project given a fast internet speed.

1. What would it cost to have a leased internet line (dedicated bandwidth) from LA to NYC? I realize this must be extremely high but I am interested in pricing it out. Also, what would it cost to go from say Upper West Side to Lower Manhattan for comparison?

2. If the video switcher were operated remotely via a fast but undedicated (shared) internet connection, but there was a second internet provider at the remote location to be used on the fly as a backup in case the first connection went bad, is this not a pretty reliable solution?

I am just thinking out loud.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 07:58 AM   #23
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Don't know what a dedicated cross country line might cost, you could probably get a quote from Verizon or another business class internet company.

One of the problems with a non-dedicated line is that the latency changes. It might be near instant at the start of a day and a two second lag later that day. If the event being switched is a low action one, a city council meeting for example, you could get away with it and no one would notice.

Having two internet accounts is an interesting backup plan but how would you be able to switch accounts over the KVM if the line it's attached to goes bad? I'm sure somebody has figured it out.

Here in NYC, it's common to not have two high-speed providers in the same area. The two offices I work at have very high speed cable from TimeWarner available but only low speed DSL from Verizon due to old phone infrastructure. Other parts of the city have FIOS and cable internet so there a potential of a high speed choice. But the important aspect of the choice is that they are on entirely different physical networks so if one goes out, the other is potentially available if someone were to install what you are suggesting. You would have to research to make sure the two services are not sharing leased lines which frequently happens around the country to save on wiring costs. So if the shared line goes out both services would disappear making a backup provider useless.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 10:20 AM   #24
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

In terms of switching over to the backup internet, assuming they are not sharing the same line, we could just log into the VNC player to control the computer on location, and if the internet on one machine goes down we can instantly switch over. This is all in theory of course.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 10:20 AM   #25
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Interesting thread but I do not think it can be accomplished on a consumer level budget.

Controlling the switcher remotely sounds easy enough but think of all the support input you see and have on a live switch. If you are in a remote location, all of this will need to be piped to wherever you are at. Just hearing audio alone is not going to help you make a camera choice. You will basically be switching blind without seeing all of the camera feeds in realtime.

Aslo, if you do not have a business internet line as suggested above, you will probably be open to running into data caps or other issues if you just "plug-in" to the location's internet. Then if you have an issue on the day of the show you are up a creek...

If you have somebody there setting up the cameras, why can't they run the switch? Just FedEx the switcher around to the different locations. Or rent one in different cities.

Respectfully, this sounds like a situation where the internet is being treated like a broadcast television medium for cost reasons in which it is clearly not. It is less of a question of "if we can" and more of a question of "if we should".
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Old November 20th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #26
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

I think this might be possible to do without too much cost.

If I were tasked with trying to do this I would use a Blackmagic ATEM swticher. BM switchers are controlled via a network connection, and can be controlled via software or a hardware control panel. It should be possible to set up a VPN to remotely control the switcher. This way the switcher itself could be in the studio with the cameras and the control panel could be at another remote location.

You might also be able to get away with not having to stream the individual sources individually to the control room. You could simply capture and stream the multi-view output from the blackmagic switcher which would give you source previews and your preview/program monitors. To stream the multi-view without too much delay, you would likely need to use a real time hardware H.264 encoder and something like VLC to stream directly to the control computer over the VPN without doing any additional encoding. This should give you pretty much a real time stream and remote control over VPN for switching from a remote location.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 02:35 PM   #27
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Adam, is a VPN (even a layer 2 VPN) more reliable than just public internet in terms of connectivity (I know it's more secure)?
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 11:13 PM   #28
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

From the description, it sounds like a political talk show, which are usually nothing but talking heads.

Can you make the switching decisions via a lower resolution view? Rather than taking the HD or SD output of the Tricaster, run SD cables out of the cameras as well and into a quad-split and send that to the remote location. One SD feed shouldn't have much lag, and might actually match the lag inherent in the Tricaster.

You could use the program stream over the internet for a quality check.

I do a multi-cam concert video shoot by myself, and have gotten used to using a quad-split SD for framing decisions and a my computer running Adobe's OnLocation (which has a lot of lag) for focus and exposure on the main camera. It's not as much of an issue as you'd imagine.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #29
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Chris, yes the decisions could easily be based on low-resolution video or each camera source. The issue I'm most concerned with isn't the latency so much as the reliability of the internet connection. It's very expensive to have a dedicated line traversing long distances, and otherwise you're at the mercy of the public internet.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #30
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Re: How do I do live video switching without being on-site?

Sounds like you have a lot of $$$ to burn - a dedicated line will cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Per month!
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