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Old June 15th, 2016, 04:27 PM   #31
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Hey John,

This switcher might be what you are looking for:

Roland V-1HD Portable 4 x HDMI Input Switcher V-1HD B&H Photo

Search B&H for Roland video switchers, they have a large line of them. Be careful with Black Magic switchers, many look attractive until you get down to the specs. The ATEM line does not have internal scalers.

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Old June 15th, 2016, 11:04 PM   #32
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Success!

Sure, this wasn't broadcast quality or pro-event quality, but it exceeded expectations and met the need.

So... the memorial was at 2pm and I went there in the morning to get the last pieces put together. And... the audio flat didn't work. They have this big Soundcraft console and it has ZERO balanced outputs. Huh?The Atomos recorder is XLR in and the downstairs feed expects XLR as well. I have a transformer, but couldn't find it. So great. No audio.

Then I tried some test recordings into the Shogun. Invalid media. We mounted a brand new hard drive the night before. Worked perfectly. Two hours to go and the HDD is belly up.

Whee!

I bolted home as I needed to change clothes anyway. I grabbed by Mackie mixer and a spare SSD that I hadn't gotten around to installing in an audio sampling PC. I took the Soundcraft output to the Mackie and used the Mackie's balanced outputs to send the signals. We have audio.

And I bolted the SSD into one of the media carriers, plugged it in, formatted it, and it worked perfectly.

We had some audio hum. I moved the cables away from all power cords, but it was still there, however, it was tolerable. And the A/V delay was acceptable. We were ready for the show.

I hit REC about ten minutes before the service and just let it roll. When you have over five hours of capacity and are running on AC, why risk starting the recording after the service starts?

Everything went as expected. With a single camera, everything I did was exposed, but I was mostly judicious with my movements. The zoom button dropped a frame or two, but did the trick. The biggest problem was needing to center the person first (not so artistic), and when you zoom, you have to re-frame. The nice thing is that focus was maintained.

The way out was also a bit obnoxious. Hit the zoom button again and you get 10x(!). Hit it one more time and we're back wide. I'd let the person start to walk off the screen, then zoom in and out quickly so we're not looking up their nose. Certainly not pro, but I only did this during the transition between speakers.

At first, I was at the 70mm end, which showed the full front wall of the sanctuary when wide and a thigh-to-top-of-head shot when tight. But one of the clergy was sitting in the tight shot, which was distracting. I then went to 200mm, so zooming in was chest-up. The first person to get this close up was very emotional, so it was pretty touching. People stood at a lectern and didn't move much, so I didn't have to touch the camera at all once the framing was set.

Turns out, people loved the close ups. (I think my zoom was 5X, so this was 1000mm equivalent on full frame. The Vinten and image stabilization rocked. My moves might have been a bit clumsy, but smooth.) I heard from a few people that felt that they had a better view than those upstairs as they got the close up shots of the speakers. And nobody complained about hum or delay. In fact, there were no complaints at all.

I checked the recording and it's clean. I mixed down obvious audio hot spots, added the title card, did some fade ins and outs, and that's it.

Anyway, I call it a success after dodging a few bullets. Given more time/money, I'd like to get rid of the audio hum, use a second camera with a switcher, and use more appropriate cameras (though I have to say, the good old 5D2 still has a nice look - especially when magnified to show less aliasing and when going to an external recorder. I was able to get a nice color balance, offsetting it to cancel a green/amber cast. Oh, we'd also get some mics on the piano. It was barely audible.

Thanks to everybody for their suggestions. And thanks for understanding the context. We'd all like perfection, but time, budget, and manpower don't always allow it. And if you exceed client expectations, put a tick mark in the win column.
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Old June 16th, 2016, 12:55 AM   #33
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Congratulations Jon! Glad it all went so well. I have always said "money matters", and these days there is less and less of it no matter what kind of gig it is. It was your thought, foresight, and effort that pulled this off for them with next to nothing.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old June 16th, 2016, 12:06 PM   #34
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Thanks, Steve.

Looking at the footage, the 5D2/ML, crop mode, and 70-200L IS combo was surprisingly good. One of the keys was not just adjusting the color temp, but also doing the offset to remove the green cast of the lights. Having the waveform parade and nice screen of the Atomos Shogun really helped me dial it in. The images were sharp, yet a bit diffuse, the colors were great, and the Canon skin tones were quite attractive. As you can imagine, many of the speakers were older, they weren't professional actors, and they weren't wearing cinema makeup, yet they all looked quite good. At 1/60, f/2.8, 640 ISO, noise levels weren't an issue. The available lighting in the church was diffuse enough to be attractive. (When your wife likes the way she looked on camera, you know you nailed it.)

The only downside was that odd 13.5 x 9 aspect ratio. The upside is that it filled our cropped 4:3 screen perfectly during the service. The aspect ratio only looks wrong when playing back the recording after the fact. The people look nice and the recorded audio sounds good, so I'm happy.

Interestingly, my poor transitions between wide and tight with the single camera setup aren't too obnoxious as I only did these transitions while the speakers were transitioning or just settling in. I held my water during the speeches, so the stories come through without technology getting in the way. This was definitely a case of "less being more."

Now I have to dig out a DVD burner. I mentioned putting the video online with a password to a few of the people, and you could see anxiety fill the eyes of the older people. Definitely a DVD crowd.

Projects like this are only finished long after the lights have been switched off...
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Old June 16th, 2016, 12:58 PM   #35
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Great report! Reading it was like reading the climax of a thriller novel condensed into a couple pages. It would have been interesting to be wearing a sports watch so one could replay what the pulse was for the day.

After reading about the HDD that went belly up I was prepared for the worst but a true professional pulled it off with a work-around. Man, talk about a squeaker. It also goes to show that one canít have too much extra gear! You just never know. Talk about a cliff hanger!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Turns out, people loved the close ups. (I think my zoom was 5X, so this was 1000mm equivalent on full frame. The Vinten and image stabilization rocked. My moves might have been a bit clumsy, but smooth.) I heard from a few people that felt that they had a better view than those upstairs as they got the close up shots of the speakers.
Close ups: Iíve noticed that on TV programs like the BBC Masterpiece Theater that they will often have real closeups of the face, often even filling the screen with a partial face. The ďwedding with a JVC LS300Ē that Noa posted had a full face shot and they do help make the video more personal or emotional. Wedding shooters seem to be more in tune with closeups. Even though I donít do weddings, this is something I need to try and incorporate in my shots but I keep forgetting.

How many speakers were there and did they all use the mic properly? Hand-held or rostrum fixed?

ď(When your wife likes the way she looked on camera, you know you nailed it.)Ē Ha ha haÖ. right on!

One of the best post-shoots Iíve ever read! Iím really glad the shoot was saved and turned out well. Even if those who attended donít realize what it took to record the event, the crowd here does. So, another sigh of relief here, too.
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Old June 16th, 2016, 03:05 PM   #36
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Hey Jon,

Don't forget to check out the link to the switcher I posted above for you. Only a grand and it may be what your looking for?

Steve
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Old June 16th, 2016, 04:26 PM   #37
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

The switcher looks like just what I need. I used to design switchers in the early 90s at Grass Valley Group, and it looks like this has the main items that I'd need. The GVG switchers had an "E-Mem" feature that let the user set up macros. I'd need to dig into the manual to see if this is possible here.

The iPad app looks good as I could put the unit on a table and tape down the wires, but then use an iPad on a holder/stand and mount it near the camera so it's easily in sight and in reach. Very cool.

I might pitch this to my company for corporate events. If I can finish the production live and avoid any post work, that's a win. It gets us a step closer to live streaming as well.
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Old June 17th, 2016, 12:33 AM   #38
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

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Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
Great report! Reading it was like reading the climax of a thriller novel condensed into a couple pages.
Agree 100%. DVInfo thread of the year. Congratulations on a job well done, Jon.
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Old June 17th, 2016, 12:53 PM   #39
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
Great report! Reading it was like reading the climax of a thriller novel condensed into a couple pages. It would have been interesting to be wearing a sports watch so one could replay what the pulse was for the day.
That's it! I definitely need a sports watch now!

One could have also recorded my speedometer on the way to/from home. ;)

Quote:
Close ups: Iíve noticed that on TV programs like the BBC Masterpiece Theater that they will often have real closeups of the face, often even filling the screen with a partial face. The ďwedding with a JVC LS300Ē that Noa posted had a full face shot and they do help make the video more personal or emotional. Wedding shooters seem to be more in tune with closeups. Even though I donít do weddings, this is something I need to try and incorporate in my shots but I keep forgetting.
I never went super close as that can feel like we're looking close for flaws or guilt in the character. The chest to top of head was perfect for this. It's not too invasive, but it's close enough to feel empathy. Also, the bottom is just above the breasts, so there's no distraction with female speakers. It's also important not to cut right at the nipples or any joint, like the knees. Otherwise, when the person moves, it can feel like a game of peek-a-boo. Not good at a memorial service!

Quote:
How many speakers were there and did they all use the mic properly? Hand-held or rostrum fixed?
There were at least ten speakers. Most went to the rostrum. One of the clergy was there and adjusted the mic for each person. My wife wore a Countryman headset. Only one person who went handheld did it poorly. That person was very nervous, spoke quietly and nervously from a piece of paper, and held the mic far to the side. My wife walked up and said, "here, let me hold this for you." and all was well. The biggest mic problem was no piano mic. The pianist sang the opening song and it sounds a cappella. Fortunately, her voice is good enough that she could pull it off.

Quote:
One of the best post-shoots Iíve ever read! Iím really glad the shoot was saved and turned out well. Even if those who attended donít realize what it took to record the event, the crowd here does. So, another sigh of relief here, too.
Glad to have entertained! And my work now seems to be done. The client is happy to have the video on a thumb drive, which will plug into his TV or computer. My wife has the file and will take care of it from there.

Gotta say, I'm really eyeing that Roland HDMI switcher and a Teradek encoder for future events...
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Old June 17th, 2016, 06:01 PM   #40
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Hey Jon,

Kudos for your wife jumping in to help the poor lady out with her mic. During such an emotional time doing so had to have been a little delicate. As time goes on Iím finding that women tend to be very good at picking up all the emotional nuances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
That's it! I definitely need a sports watch now!

One could have also recorded my speedometer on the way to/from home. ;)
Speaking of Live Streaming the Washington State Patrol gotcha covered. One of their cams on the straightaway picked up your plate. Yeah, as might be expected, the number was little bit blurry but they managed to read it okay.

Not to worry though, the billsí in the mail.

One more run like that and the Governor can finally get his budget balanced.
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Old June 17th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #41
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Re: Live Production/Streaming Challenge

Thankfully, I was on rural roads down here in Southwest Washington. Had I been on I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma, I might not be heard from again...
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