“Traditional broadcasters worldwide are seeing huge competition from on-demand web streaming services. To counter this, they are looking to cover more and more live events, and are increasingly moving into regional and collegiate sports to meet the demand for broader choice and a more tailored viewing experience. However, lower advertising revenue from individual events demands a more cost-effective approach to live production.
“Modern and powerful — yet cost-effective — products are now helping broadcasters do more for less, and in less space. Rich feature sets specific to live broadcast, automated and assistive features, greater control integration between systems, and slick UI design with a focus on usability all help to reduce the burden on operators and scale down the space needed for control surfaces. As a result, modern broadcast facilities — both mobile and fixed — can now be very compact while still outputting live material in real time.
“Cost reduction does not need to affect the quality of output. We are seeing huge demand for affordable compact audio mixers, but crucially, these are live broadcast-specific products with a full feature set that belies their appearance — offering capabilities under the hood that rival much larger traditional consoles.
“The features include powerful surround DSP, monitoring, and metering at a price point not normally associated with a broadcast-specific mixer. This kind of product allows controls rooms to be very compact, fitting more into a facility, and mobile units can become much smaller too.
“An alluring aspect is the emergence of remote or “at home” production (also known as remote integration or REMI). Traditional mobile production has very expensive equipment and skilled staff tied up travelling between events, setting up, and tearing down, often just for a few hours of coverage a week.
“Remote production yields huge cost savings and efficiency improvements; remotely controlled, IP-connected kit allows the expensive equipment to be located in a broadcast facility where it can be utilized more effectively. Control rooms can switch between jobs and remote venues, with plenty of engineering staff and operational cover on hand. Plus, operators are able to work in the same daily environment, without travel expenses and setup time.”
Pete Walker, product manager for Calrec Audio