TNDV, a full-service provider of mobile production and audio facilities, as well as production and secondary services for broadcast television, live entertainment, and AV-related productions, continues to diversify its range of live production services. TNDV has now adopted LiveU rackmount decoders to address evolving live production business needs, including REMI production, while also minimizing production costs for live content acquisition and media networking.
TNDV recently purchased two LiveU LU2000 rackmount decoders and unleashed its power for several high-profile projects this spring and summer. The LU2000’s flexibility has proven especially viable, as TNDV uses the decoders both on its trucks and as part of the live production workflow in its Nashville network operations center. The company is also using LU300 HEVC portable field units for live content acquisition and streaming back to TNDV’s trucks and Nashville NOC.
“The simplicity of sharing the LU2000 between studio and remote applications was a major selling point for us,” said Rob Devlin. “We can plug these into our network facility infrastructure on short notice and quickly integrate them into a remote broadcast that we manage from here in Nashville,” said Rob Devlin, President, of TNDV. “We can just as quickly unplug it, put it on one of our trucks, and use it as part of a wireless camera system to capture a sports or entertainment event. We can even use it to provide reliable crosstown connections.”
The ACC Rowing Championships in Lake Hartwell, South Carolina, is an ideal recent example of the latter, according to TNDV president Rob Devlin. In addition to using five wired Hitachi HD5000 cameras along the shorelines, TNDV embedded two LiveU battery-powered wireless camera systems directly into the action. The races were recorded and returned to the ACC Network for post-production, with parts airing on a subsequent two-hour ACC Network special broadcast.
“We really wanted to make it more exciting than the traditional rowing event that anyone can watch from the shoreline,” he said. “LiveU’s technology allowed to us get much closer to the action. We added them to what the ACC calls ‘chase boats’, which placed us right next to the competitors on the lake. That injected a new layer of drama and excitement into the live-action we captured for the audience. Most importantly, the video we captured was smooth from the starting line to the finish line, and the picture quality was perfectly matched with the wired cameras.”
The LiveU LU2000 has proven even more valuable back at TNDV’s Nashville headquarters, where Devlin says the units have been pertinent to managing TNDV’s increasing REMI production business. “We do a lot of live entertainment events, and as usual we had a busy season of concert festivals,” said Devlin. “While it’s not quite as exciting as how we use these on location, the dependability factor in our network facility is critical for REMI productions. Each of these units can take in four remote live HD feeds. It’s more of a set-it-and-forget-it type of application, but the reliability in performance is very important. And in these applications, we really like to use the LU Central management portal to monitor connections and quality and adjust settings as needed. “
TNDV has seen a third, less-anticipated use case arise since beginning to use the system: venue-to-venue networking. TNDV has even tested the LU2000’s 4K prowess in this scenario in a recent flypack shipment for a concert event in Las Vegas.
“This is where the LU2000 proved its value as a problem-solver,” said Devlin. “The live production company simply could not find an available network infrastructure to carry a 4K signal over a four-mile stretch between two venues,” he said. “On quick notice, we shipped a flypack with a LU2000 for crosstown 4K networking. We have also used the LU2000 for several cross-path return applications when sending program feeds between two trucks. There are many ways to leverage the benefits of this technology, and we are just scratching the surface of what’s possible.”