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Old June 8th, 2016, 12:39 AM   #16
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Mike,

I could not agree with you more. Jon is in a tuff place here. I am saying it could be done one way, but that is not a clean option for him. The other option is not a clean way to go either. I don't know what cable he ordered. But Jon, optical HDMI (as someone suggested) will not survive being taped down the stairs! If your going cat 5 remember that it is not a robust option ether. No matter what you choose, test, test, and test. Make sure that cat 5 can not be run over by wheels on a chair or kicked by a foot that would strain a connector ....it is fragile! Your on a brink of a cliff!

Please let us know which way you go.....

Steve
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Old June 9th, 2016, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Yesterday, I received the equipment and tested it. Works great! No glitches. From camera to output, it looks like there is about a half second delay. I think I have an old Fostex DE-1 effects unit. I believe that I can put it in Delay Mode, select full Wet and dial in the needed delay to sync it up. Yeah, the A/D only runs at 32 kHz, but as I recall, it's not too noisy. Should be fine for voice. Here are the specs:

Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 15kHz (TYPICAL)
Dynamic Range: 92dB (TYPICAL)
AD/DA converter: 20bit
Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.01% (TYPICAL)
Sampling Frequency: 32kHz

Seems adequate for live dialog. I can always adjust the HF EQ on the mixer to find the balance between HF loss and noise.

I'm still not sure if I want to rent the Odyssey switcher. On one hand, I much prefer the look of two cameras for this sort of thing. On the other hand, simplicity rules the day.
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Old June 9th, 2016, 09:04 PM   #18
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

A half second delay! That is crazy, and it is probably not coming from a 300 foot XLR run so where is it coming from? That would be my question. With XLR we deal in mil/seconds. Where is the bottle neck? Are you sure the audio is "behind the video signal" or is it the other way around?

You are trying to send audio and video 300 feet downstairs, literally. What cable types did you decide on? HDMI, optical HDMI, or BNC/XLR? Hence the need to sync? I am not sure which way you ended up going? With good five wire cables 300 feet would not be a problem, but I know that was never one of your options for this job. Or did you go with the cat 5? Sorry for so many questions, we discussed a lot of options earlier in this thread.

And the three hundred feet of XLR has a lot of time to pick up interference. I am sure you know to keep it away from power cables and such. You also said part of the run is down a staircase. With foot traffic that is a problem waiting to happen. I really want this to work out for you Jon. A half second is a monster delay! Tell us more about your signal flow please.

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Old June 9th, 2016, 09:28 PM   #19
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Edit: When we do cable runs in high foot traffic areas we go up when we can instead of down. Look for possible ways to run the cables at ceiling height instead of assuming you have to tape it to the floor.
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Old June 10th, 2016, 04:25 AM   #20
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

On the other hand, his audience is never going to notice that there is a half second delay in the feed making it through to their viewing room.

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Old June 10th, 2016, 10:11 AM   #21
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

I don't think that is the delay he is talking about. I think his video signal is going cat5 and the audio XLR. They are a half second out of sync,

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Old June 10th, 2016, 11:07 AM   #22
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Great questions and comments, Steven.

I ended up using HDMI over CAT6 with a 300m cable, video only. Audio will be analog over XLR from one mixer to another.

Regarding the delay, I'm just clapping my hands in front of the lens and watching the delay to the screen. The half second is a gut feel, rather than a measurement. If anything, it's on the short side of 0.5, maybe 0.25 or 0.33. Frankly, this surprises me. The format is 24p in 1080i60. If there is a frame of delay in the camera, transmitter, receiver, and projector at 30 fps, it would mean 0.13s of delay. It's 0.167s at 24p. My guess is that the projector has more delay, maybe for the inverse 3:2 pulldown.

Regarding the cable runs, I believe that I can go out of one window and in another. It looks like there will be rain. I'm thinking of buying some PVC pipe to keep the cable dry. The cables are brand new and unlikely to have a problem with light rain, but I've had a wet XLR fail once and I'd rather not risk it.

FWIW, this is the equipment we bought:
https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters.../dp/B00OZV04BK
https://www.amazon.com/UbiGear-Ether.../dp/B00BNL001Y
https://www.amazon.com/GLS-Audio-100.../dp/B000RO6C1K (4 100 ft cables total)
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Old June 13th, 2016, 01:44 PM   #23
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Turn off Steady Shot (or whatever it may be called) in the camera as that will also introduce a slight delay.
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Old June 13th, 2016, 06:12 PM   #24
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

The tock is clicking...

The current plan is two cameras, one wide and locked down, the other with a zoom that I will operate. We will rent the Odyssey with Apollo option. I'll feed the two cameras and a static title slide. Fade from the slide to the wide when it starts. Cut to the tele when the speaker is settled in. Cut back to the wide any time it suits the story or I need to re-frame. At the end, I cut to the wide. After it's clearly over, fade back to the title slide, It cuts to black when we turn off the system and tear it down.

The wide is AC powered. I have a 2nd battery for the tele, if I need it. I can cut to the wide, change the battery in about five seconds, and I'm back in business. The Odyssey and all other gear are AC powered.

I can run an audio feed to the Odyssey, which will allow me to time-align the sources. It will also record the overall event. The audio will stream over CAT6 with the video, be recovered by the projector, and sent to the 2nd mixing board. I will also provide a direct feed from the 1st to 2nd mixer. That's my failsafe. If all this whiz-bang digital video stuff goes belly up, I'll still have good old analog audio ensure that the downstairs audience isn't sitting in silence. As long as none of the local power poles are hit by a passing beer truck, we should be okay.

It's a crew of three: Me on the tele cam and switcher. One audio person upstairs. One person managing the audio out level and baby sitting the projector downstairs. Cellphones for communications with text messages (probably using GroupMe) if absolutely needed during the service.

I'll pick up the Odyssey at 5pm the evening before the 2pm service, so I'll have enough time to really learn and test it. It will be my monitor as well as switcher control panel, so I don't have to look back and forth at anything, except when I glance up at the surroundings. I've got a good tripod/cheeseplate/rails/followfocus/arm, so I should be able to get a comfortable setup.

Cables will string out/in windows and be gaffer taped along no-traffic areas. Looks like no rain, so I won't bother with a PVC plenum. Hopefully, woodpeckers don't like CAT6 and XLR cable.

So, that's the story. Hopefully, I will have tales of success on Thursday...
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Old June 14th, 2016, 12:05 AM   #25
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Well John, You have certainly put a lot of thought into your signal flow. You are going to be just fine. I have done hundreds of these things. Give yourself plenty of set up time and you will be in great shape.

Why is one of the cameras on battery power? That seems a little strange to me but you must have a reason for it.

The only thing I did not see mentioned was on camera monitors instead of viewfinders or small camera LCD screens. Counting on just the Odyssey for all of your monitoring when you have this much going on will be tough. You have made your self a tight shot operator and a switch operator. I run Small HD 7" on camera monitors when I am in studio configuration. It helps a lot. Or you could put any large LCD monitor (from a PC or other source you already own?) next to the Odyssey to give you a large program or camera monitor. Splitting the 7" Odyssey screen into four screen mode is not good monitoring. Just food for thought....

I hope you have some fun with this, other than the fact that it is a memorial service.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old June 14th, 2016, 06:11 PM   #26
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Turns out the Odyssey is off the list. The rental company has a big project going on that day and they have no HDMI/SDI converters available.

All my gear is HDMI-based. The Odyssey has one HDMI input. I would need two HDMI to SDI converters to get my 2nd cam and tablet output into the device. Also, while the Odyssey has an HDMI output, it only puts out the 2x2 on HDMI. Preview is on SDI-A and Program is on SDI-B. Without a converter, I can't get the Program feed to the projector.

So I'm back to a single camera shoot with a 70-200 zoom. My plan is to leave the camera open at the wide end before the ceremony without a title card. This will ensure that people downstairs know that they will be able to see what's going on.

Don't mess your pants, but I will be using a Canon 5D2 in live view for this event - with Magic Lantern no less. The only function of ML is to remove the overlay. The result is a clean 3:2 (13.5 x 9) image. The camera will just be idle in live view. The projector is 16x9, but our screen is 4:3. The top of the screen while up on the stage is blocked, revealing a 3:2 area. The camera image fills it perfectly. I've drawn the curtains to frame the screen and it looks quite good.

So, yes, the 5D2 aliases at full-view, but here's a nice thing with Magic Lantern. I push the zoom button and I get 3x crop mode - showing the native pixels, centered. Not only do I get no aliasing, but I get a 210-600mm equivalent lens, which allows me to get tight shots from the back of the sanctuary. And that one button press lets me fake a switch from wide to tight without a glitch. None of my other "free" camera options would give me this much sensitivity and reach. I've got the AC adapter, so I won't have battery anxiety.

For recording, I will use my son's Atomos Shogun, so I'll allow the 5D2 to simply idle (aside from the crop button.) That gives me a 7-inch screen, XLR input, headphone feed, focus tools, and exposure tools - plus clean recording. The unit will embed the audio in the output feed, and I'll have analog XLR direct as a backup. My son used to work as a service tech for Atomos, so I'm well-supported. :)

At the end, when it's time to say, "show's over, folks", I'll use an HDMI switch to go to a title slide so people will know it's okay to stand up. There will be a couple second glitch, but that will have to do.

So my job will be framing, focusing (with a follow focus), and pressing the 3x crop button. The lens is not parfocal, so if I zoom, I need to adjust focus as well. I'll zoom with the lens only when absolutely necessary. I simply can't frame, zoom, and focus at the same time. The crop button has no such difficulty. I just need to ensure that the subject is centered before I crop in.

So that's the current plan. I really would have preferred cutting to the second, wide, locked-down camera. That would let me relax for a moment and make any ugly transitions off-air. It's not to be.

Oh, regarding wiring, there is a cable plenum near the main mixing board. We routed the cables last night. If anybody wants to step on the cables, they have to be able to walk on the ceiling.

So, the overall cost for the family? They bought the HDMI extender and XLR cables for the church for $250. The church bought itself a new projector for $550 (which they've been meaning to do anyway.) All else is gratis. The production won't be broadcast quality by any means, but I expect that it will exceed their expectations. As long as nothing goes haywire, the audience downstairs will get good quality video, even if the camera positions and transitions are dull. But the main goal is to help everybody experience the ceremony. Hopefully, they won't be thinking about the technology.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 08:51 AM   #27
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Wow, this thing really went south. It is to bad you are out of time. There are some good HDMI switchers out there. This has become a case where you are using the wrong piece of gear for every key function. Not a criticism at all, this is what happens on low budget, gratis gigs. You are working with the tools you have been given. I have saying I tell guys on my crews all time "Just because you can does not mean you should." I think this is harder than it sounds. There is to much room for things to go wrong now.

First, I don't know what magnification you are going to end up at but I hope you have a solid tripod to handle the vibrations.

Second. Make sure the person in the projector room knows how to go to black there if need be in worst case scenario and you bail to audio only. Do NOT put a lens cover on the projector or place something in front of the lens for black. Many newer projectors have now gone to plastic lenses and when blocked they MELT. A lot of projectors have a "shutter" button on them. It is not a shutter as we know it, it is behind the lens and shutters to black so you don't melt the lens. Look to see if yours has one.

Third, is this going to be one speaker or are friends and family going to speak too? You really need your presenter to stay at the podium to make this work. I would talk to the pastor (your wife?) and ask them to stay there. If friends and relative are coming up don't give them a wireless lav. A podium mic is a great tool to force them to stay at the podium ;-)

Jon, good luck with this project, I hope it goes well for you!

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old June 15th, 2016, 11:18 AM   #28
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Thanks Steven,

There will be multiple speakers. We will put an X in blue tape on the floor. My wife will have a headset. The others will use a wireless handheld mic with a wired backup. I'll use my "zoom out" button for each transition and "zoom in" when the speaker starts to get personal.

I've got a good Vinten tripod and the 70-200 is stabilized, so it reduces the microvibrations. The funny thing is that the projector seems to dance around, probably as part of an anti-burn in function. I can show a static, wide shot or JPEG and the image vibrates! I don't know if this will hide camera shake or amplify it. The key is that I'll be able to be at the back of the room, so I won't be a distraction and I'll be able to zoom in close enough to show the presenters' micro expressions. That's the real story. And with the zoom lens, I should be able to get tighter for the "standers" and a bit wider for the "walkers."

I've shot numerous company meetings with the 5D2 and 70-200, albeit not with the crop function. However, those were just recorded in-camera and edited in post, along with a fixed wide cam and power point slides. This will be more challenging, but at least I have a feel for the equipment.

The key will be for me to show restraint. The story is the speakers and their emotions, not the camera moves and transitions. If I stay out of the way and people experience the presentations, I'll have done my job.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 11:27 AM   #29
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

For future reference, can you recommend any good HDMI switchers? The thing I like about the Apollo is that it can be controlled by the camera op, rather than at a fixed console. With a two camera (fixed/wide & tight) shoot, I like the ability to do both. For other functions, I'd like the ability to do a key as well. For company meetings, the shots are:

1) Wide
2) Tight, centered
3) Tight, offset with slides keyed on the side
4) Full screen slides

By controlling it myself, I can pan from 2 to 3 and fade in the key. Also I can go to 1 or 4 when I want to reframe and back to 2 or 3 when the reframing is done. To do this traditionally, we'd need a TD, switcher operator, camera op and intercom system - plus a trailer so the TD isn't shouting in the presentation room!

Note that the Odyssey doesn't do keys, so I'd need that done externally with that product.

So far, I haven't found my perfect HDMI switcher for this task.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 01:27 PM   #30
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Jon, I feel for you. Sounds like a real white-knuckle project. However, just when you get all the technical stuff figured out, this is what’ll kill you.

One of the things that was written earlier was the problem with speakers not holding the mic close enough to their mouth or chin and that is a real common problem. It happens all the time.

There’s the arm waver. The new speaker gets handed the mike, starts speaking, and before you know it, they’re waving their arms around with the mic two feet away. For fixed mics, there are the short people and the tall people. They get in front of the rostrum and maybe they adjust the mic but anything within a foot or two is good enough, right? Then there is the soft-spoken speaker, often the shortest one, and often furtherest away from the mic.

As a suggestion, maybe one can print up a large sheet for placement on the rostrum to let them know the mic must be close to their mouth or chin. Words? A side view diagram of the face with a mic? Whatever. With the TV news crews they typically have a mic with a cube and their call letters or something like ABC, NBC, and for our British cousins, BBC, written on it. Okay, since we can’t have that, what about a cardboard piece taped to the mic (sticking up at right angles) that tells them to hold it close to the mouth?

Just telling the speaker doesn’t generally work. The typical speaker forgets after two or three seconds and it’s all over. Everybody strains to hear what they’re saying until they finally sit down.

It would be neat if the audio person had a red light with a remote. The red light could be placed on the mic and when the audio gets too weak the button could be pushed that would activate a flashing red warning light.

What’s the old saying? “A chain …. er, sound system, is as strong as it’s weakest link.”

We’re all rooting for you on this project.
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