In today’s mobile environment, video content is produced and distributed in almost every industry. Colleges and universities record lectures, the government has replaced costly in-person training events with high-quality training videos and large corporations have turned to video and streaming capabilities to handle corporate communications.
With the ubiquitous nature of streaming and on-demand video everywhere from our phones to our TVs to our computers to our classrooms and conference rooms, designing and deploying a broadcast solution might seem like a cinch, but overlooking key considerations can sink your video content before it even reaches the viewer.
5 Things To Remember When Designing Your Broadcast Solution
A successful broadcast solution requires the integration of multiple components, including hardware such as cameras and routers, software with editing and streaming capabilities, and a robust infrastructure including your network bandwidth and distribution channel requirements.
Here are five considerations you can’t forget when designing your broadcast solution:
- Define the use case. The number one pitfall of any integration project is not having a clear goal or objective in mind. Do you need a large-scale broadcast solution with in-house studio capabilities? Or do you need a smaller, agile solution that can be deployed at multiple locations? Will you be recording several large events a year, or several small events a week? How will participants access your video content, and from where? With solutions ranging in price from $50,000 to millions of dollars, understanding your organization’s specific goal — and how your new system will interact with other solutions that you might already have in place, such as video conferencing endpoints — will help ensure your investment is geared to your specific needs.
- Put your network first. Thousands of people watching videos over your network at the same time will shut your network down in a flash if it’s not ready. IT engineers should be included in discussions about broadcast solutions from the very start. Questions to consider include how many people will be accessing video content, whether it will be multicast or unicast, whether it will be live or on-demand and how access will be controlled. In some cases, a separate video network may be required.
- Consider your space. The type of action you are filming, as well as the location of that action, will inform what kind of camera, lighting and other equipment you need. Will you be filming and distributing a large number of in-house video? If so, a fully equipped in-house studio might be worth the investment. If you need a mobile system for location shooting, access to power and streaming capabilities should top your list of considerations. The space where people will view the content should also be taken into consideration. For example, employees will watch short training videos at their desks. These videos also don’t need to have as high of a resolution as a live corporate town hall meeting that will show on a large conference room display for a big group of people.
- Record what you want. Perhaps the most important consideration in your use case outline is what you want to record. And with the right equipment, you can record just about anything. For indoor “talking head” videos, a small room and static camera might do the trick. For a lecture where audio and media, such as PowerPoint slides, need to be captured in addition to the video, a more sophisticated set up with a high-quality microphone is probably required. If you are recording live events such as sports or musical performances, a system design expert can help determine what specialized equipment you need.
- Plan for distribution and archiving. The quality of your video, particularly resolution, has a large impact on your distribution and archiving needs. The quantity of video and how long it will be retained also impact the cost of storage. Going back to your use case will help determine how much video content you’ll be creating and what quality that video needs to be.
Midco had two fully equipped production trailers. The challenge with these production trailers is that it’s hard to load everything up, get the trailer to its destination, unload everything, do the broadcast, and move to the next location.
Focusing on the Behind-the-Screens
Many people think video quality matters most when designing a broadcast solution, but professional AV integrators know that what’s behind the screen is even more important than what people see on it. You might have the best video in the world, but no one will see it if it crashes your network or if your distribution channel can’t handle it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money—or an expert—to create high-quality video, but proper distribution and storage capabilities require an investment, both in the necessary equipment and the necessary expertise. Let an experienced professional integrator help you put your money where it matters most.