Of all the applications in a broadcast facility, none are more demanding technically and operationally than live production.
Below is an overview of typical live production workflow. On the left we have a combination of local cameras and external feeds arriving by either satellite or fiber. In most cases the feeds are decoded back to baseband (uncompressed) but in some remote production applications some feeds arrive as J2K encoded (compressed) and remain compressed within the production facility. Then there are the core functions of replay, graphics and the production switcher. On the far right we see the various different rooms and operator positions where the cameras, feeds, replay and production elements are monitored.
Each operational position is equipped with a monitor wall consisting of multiple displays each showing a mosaic consisting of multiple videos sources, clocks, timers, under monitor displays and tally indicators. Pictured at the center of the figure is the Multi-View processor which receives all of the signals and creates multi-view outputs to feed the monitor wall displays.
Challenges of Multi-View Monitoring in Live Production
The sheer number of uncompressed inputs and outputs within a live production requires very high bandwidth to allow the multiviewer to handle, in the example pictured above there are over 256 inputs displayed on 32 independent multi-view screens.
The speed in which the data must be processed in the multiviewer in order to offer latency as low as 1.5 frames in uncompressed that is critical in live production.
Scale and low latency must be achieved while not scarifying the image quality when scaling HD and UHD images for the multiview display.
Must integrate seamlessly with tally and broadcast control systems to handle dynamic nature of a typical live production.
Until recently, the only option to handle these performance requirements was for the multiviewer to be based on dedicated, broadcast specific hardware. TAG is more commonly recognized for being the first to provide a software based multi-viewing of compressed video signals. In 2017 TAG introduced support for SMPTE ST-2020-6 and then ST-2110 uncompressed video signals and deployed 1000’s of channels combining compressed and uncompressed signals. Then
in 2018 TAG added integration with tally management and broadcast control systems. TAG Video Systems introduced a 100% software, multi-view
monitoring solution for live production applications in 2017 that handles native ST 2110 and ST 2022-6 uncompressed signals while running on generic COTS server hardware. Today TAG has deployed 1000’s of channels globally of live production and playout managing both uncompressed and compressed formats all within the same solution. Below is an overview of the TAG solution and how it has overcome the traditional challenges.
Infinitely scalable. Unlimited number of inputs and outputs can be managed. Processing requirements are easily defined to calculate the number of COTS servers required to deploy. Scale the system when and where you want at whatever number of inputs and outputs.
Latency as low as 1.5 frames in uncompressed
Supports full UHD and HD inputs and performs high quality scaling to produce UHD multi-view mosaic outputs with the image quality demanded by the most discerning TDs and Camera Shaders.
Fully supports all major tally and broadcast control systems
Runs on the same generic COTS server hardware used by other production and IT systems.