Live capture workflows in broadcast news and live events can be make-or-break for production teams. A seamless, intuitive media ingest pipeline makes the content production process more efficient, while in turn delivering higher-quality output to end viewers. If you are involved in content production – whether it’s on the live capture, production, or post production side – here are six essential qualities to look for in a live capture solution.
1) Reliable, High-Quality Live Capture & Ingest
In a live production, you may be capturing live feeds or importing footage from camera cards. Your live capture solution should never be the bottleneck for your news or live event. The quality and reliability of a live capture solution can have a significant impact on the final broadcast output. You need to handle a growing ecosystem of viewing devices and resolutions. That includes higher-quality formats like UHD and HDR. You also need to oversee and manage the diverse array of signals coming into the production so you can route them efficiently and promptly. A live capture solution tightly integrated with a media processing and automation solution can ensure a smoother live production.
Live news broadcasters, for example, need to support various formats, resolutions, and frame rates flexibly. This ensures content is captured with the utmost clarity and precision. For live sports content producers, the added pressure of displaying this content for large screens in stadiums shows how a high-quality, reliable media ingest solution can be a game-changer.
2) Unmatched Scalability & Adaptability
In a fast-paced live news or sports production environment, every channel matters and every second counts. A live capture solution should be able to scale up or down as needed in a given production scenario. Supporting SRT, NDI, RTMP, Transport Streams, and ST 2110 in addition to SDI ensures this solution can be adaptable and scalable in any type of broadcast setting. This solution can ingest content efficiently and effortlessly so teams aren’t worrying about how to bring media into the production. This seamless adaptability can also empower live edit-while-ingest workflows for growing files, as well as on-prem and “edit @ home” remote editing. This speeds up post production significantly. With these capabilities, news and live events production teams can share their stories and content more immediately with audiences.
3) User-Friendliness & 24/7/365 Support
Rapid production environments make no exceptions for new employees or new tools. That’s why, beyond simply being flexible, reliable, and powerful, a live capture solution should also be user-friendly. Having an intuitive interface not only facilitates easier onboarding for new employees, but also minimizes potential issues down the line. This can be of even greater value to a news or sports broadcaster if that user-friendly UI is also accessible remotely via the web. This allows production teams to tap into global talent pools without worrying about whether they will have access to the systems they need to do their jobs.
The mission-critical nature of live events also warrants excellent support, to help you troubleshoot any potential challenges 24/7/365. Providers with decades of experience and a team of trusted, well-respected experts in the live production space will ensure uninterrupted newsroom and live event operations and around-the-clock availability.
4) Powerful Media Capture & Processing Workflows
Capturing and ingesting media is a critical piece of the puzzle, but effectively leveraging those assets in processing and post production workflows is just as important. This could involve transcoding to different formats for various devices, automating title card and graphics inserts, or full-fledged live editing workflows in tools like Avid and Adobe. A live capture solution needs to empower these workflows by frictionlessly feeding ingested media wherever it needs to go, as it’s being recorded. A live capture solution built upon a media processing foundation is even better.
A tight-knit solution for media capture and processing can be of great value to news broadcasters, as well as live sports and events content providers. Accelerate post production timelines with editors working on files as they are being captured. Or, simply append pre-packaged graphics and bumpers on short subclips from live-recorded media. It all stems from having a solid live capture solution to feed these workflows.
5) Seamless Integrations & Compatibility
Speaking of tight-knit solutions, another key feature to look for in a live capture solution is compatibility. Start by ensuring the solution is compatible with existing production equipment. It needs to seamlessly integrate with cameras, switchers, and whatever other hardware or software components are being used in the studio. This cohesive workflow eliminates bottlenecks associated with incompatibility, and shifts the focus to delivering groundbreaking content for viewers.
Whether it be through developed integrations or via flexible APIs, a live capture tool can pass content seamlessly from system to system, or extract metadata to make intelligent workflow-based decisions. A live capture solution that easily integrates with media asset management (MAM), automation, and content management systems will be critically important for live events, sports production, and news broadcasting organizations.
6) Eco-Friendly & Cost-Efficient
To add a layer of complexity, growing interest in eco-friendly tools have made energy efficiency a pivotal focus point for technology purchase decisions. Live events, sports, and news production teams would undoubtedly love to have an energy-efficient live capture solution that delivers high-performance ingest and processing of many channels and feeds simultaneously. By having a solution that has high channel density, teams can extract additional environmental and production workflow benefits. With efficient power usage, broadcasters and production companies don’t have to compromise between performance, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.
Hopefully this has shed some light on what live events and news production teams need to look for in a live capture solution. As expectations and standards for content quality rise, and demands for faster turnaround times increase, a live capture solution can be a critical enabler or a catastrophic bottleneck. Visit https://www.telestream.net/lightspeed-live/overview.htm to learn more and see how Telestream can help you with your live capture and media ingest needs.