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ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K powers immersive live streaming
Blackmagic Design announced that its ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K live production switcher and ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel were used as part of the immersive live streaming workflow at the recent Oculus Connect 5, Oculus’ annual virtual reality developer conference.
ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K powers immersive live streaming
Headed by Supersphere, an L.A. based immersive content and technology company, the 4K and 12G-SDI virtual reality (VR) workflow also relied on a number of additional Blackmagic Design products, including six Teranex AV standards converters, a Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 router, six HyperDeck Studio 12G broadcast recorders, five DeckLink 4K Pro capture and playback cards and several Teranex Mini Quad SDI to 12G-SDI converters.

“We have been working with Facebook and Oculus for a while as an immersive streaming provider,” said Jason Diamond, partner and technical creative director, Supersphere. “For Oculus Connect 5, there were some unusual requests. We needed to not only stream the all important keynotes for several hours each day, but we also had to stream more than 10 hours of esports tournament finals into Oculus Venues. We have expertise in immersive esports streaming, and used several tools, including the Blackmagic Design suite, to build custom environments in headset to give a richer esports experience for fans all over the world.”

Available inside the Oculus Go and GearVR headsets, the Oculus Venues platform allows users to attend live events in VR with all the sounds, lights and energy of really being there.

“Our technical workflow was a little different for each style of input. For some sources, especially those coming from graphics cards on the gaming computers, we would use a Teranex AV to upconvert from 1920 x 1080 to Ultra HD for inclusion in the overall 4K environment,” explained Diamond. “All sources would eventually feed into the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K at the heart of our system. We used the ATEMs as the control center and as the primary switching environment for any immersive broadcast. We also routed ISOs and the line cut to the HyperDeck Studio 12Gs for recording.”

“For Oculus Connect 5, we pretty much used every feature the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K had in its bag of tricks; advanced chroma keying, Ultra HD multi viewers and built in SuperSource were all core to our workflow. Additionally, esports by nature has a ton of sources, so the ATEM’s 20 inputs came in handy, and we were maxed out on our console at times,” he added. “Meanwhile, the Teranex AV is just an industry workhorse. It’s famous for ‘anything in/anything out,’ and it’s our Swiss Army knife for formats and conversions.”

The majority of the Blackmagic Design gear is housed in two flypacks purposefully designed for live VR, 360º, 180º and 4K streaming and built on a 12G-SDI infrastructure from the ground up. The flypacks are used on a weekly basis, traveling all over the world for events and shows.

“Our overall philosophy when building our racks is to merge new technology with proven technology and workflows. Multi cam, multi geometry immersive streaming is hard. The trick is to blend the new, sometimes very unusual tools with the stock and trade of broadcast,” said Diamond. “By doing that, we are able to hire talented, experienced broadcast professionals and leverage their decades of experience in producing great shows while bringing in enough new technology to allow the immersive elements to shine.”

He concluded, “Our business started encompassing a fair amount of multi cam immersive live streaming, and we needed to build a reliable, robust set of solutions that would let us do that at a professional level for demanding shows and clients. Blackmagic Design provides products at just the right intersection of price, feature set and performance, allowing a growing company to build professional grade solutions for high end projects.”

Info: www.blackmagicdesign.com

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