The World is getting smaller, we are at the forefront of bringing people together using online technologies such as webcasting and video conferencing. Technology is available for us to make events accessible to people wherever they might be at that specific time. ‘Delegates’ (in the new sense of the word) are able to interact with each other on mobile devices or at their desks, even from an aeroplane (yes, we have done this).
There are a few obvious challenges to overcome. The two big ones, time zones and languages.
The first is difficult to change, we can’t change time zones but we can be as flexible as possible with our event and we find ourselves now working on events at more peculiar times of the day. If live interaction is not required, we can stagger the streaming in different countries. Or perhaps two or three live events can be staggered throughout the day for the convenience of various audiences.
‘Languages’ are easier. The stream, already going over the web can be interpreted live with questions and online interaction translated in real time. This is becoming a relatively common way to stream and something that works really well for multi-lingual audiences.
In this photograph you see a remote location with real time video sent from the event location to an off-site venue which housed our interpreters who were them streamed live in the web. It’s a big world, but it’s getting smaller.
When our customers require the ultimate in flexibility and reliability, it becomes necessary to bring the entire offering in house. We’ve been offering video conferencing bridging and firewall traversal for some time through our trusted and (frankly) brilliant partners but the time has come for these services to be provided by our own team. This gives us the flexibility to change, amend and adapt on site as required and often at the last minute and I don’t need to explain to event professionals how important that is.
We’ve recently invested in the industry standard AJA Ki Pro, a unit that has proved to be of superb quality and reliability for us over the last year.
With a wealth of professional connections, Ki Pro Rack will fit right into your existing cabling and routing system and record 10-bit Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD files direct to removable hard disk or SSD Storage Modules, eliminating the need for time-consuming logging and capturing. The files can be used in most editing systems without the need for additional transcoding or importing processes.
HD/SD Solid State Video Recorder
Ability to switch between Apple ProRes 422 and Avid DNxHD
Last night, we were working on an event at the Wellcome Collection and I couldn’t help but write about it.
The Wellcome Collection Conference Centre opened almost a decade ago and Present Communications were the first AV company ever to work there, albeit temporarily while another, larger company was brought in on a more permanent basis (we were very small back then, just 2 full time staff!). Over the years, we’ve popped in and out and we still consider the folks at Wellcome Collection friends but since the refurb (click here to learn about it), we’ve been doing much more there once again as their preferred AV supplier.
Last night was a lovely drinks reception for a charity who wanted to do some presentations and watch videos. Present Communications provided the screens, PA system, microphones and technical support for this event. The venue was a gallery space within the building, exhibiting a collection focused on the body and our relationships with our body with particular reference to health and food. This space provided the guests with interesting talking points throughout the evening and the event was a great success.
Live events can happen anywhere and any time. We go where ever our clients tell us to go and we don’t always get the connectivity we need. Our clients come to us because they know how much we enjoy the challenge of making the impossible, possible. Even better than that, we don’t make it a big deal and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
We now ‘stock’ a number of SIP trunks (virtually) in our rental fleet which can be presented in your conference as an analogue telephone line. This allows us to connect industry standard equipment such an digital telephone hybrids and telephone balancing units to a analogue phone lines which actually use the internet. It’s just one more way that we’re helping you to use live events to bring people together.
Here at Present Communications ltd, we’ve been using this amazing vision mixer/switcher/scaler/magic box for a while now and we thought it was about time to tell you about it. The reason we say it’s a magic box is because it has a scaler on every input meaning you don’t have to match inputs. Each input can be individually scaled, stretched, cropped and zoomed as required to fit any available output resolution.
Stellar Image Quality at 1080p (3G-SDI)
Supports 1080p video signals at bit rates as high as 3 Gbps – twice the rate of conventional HD. Asserts all the vividness of high-realism, high-detail camera and computer sources. True Multi-format Performance
There’s no need to convert the input source to match the video output format. The built-in scalers up-convert and down-convert any video source to the optimal resolution. Full Range of Connectivity
The V-800HD supports a large number of input formats, from analog to digital, with all the necessary connectors. The SDI connectors accommodate 3G, HD, and SD. The DVI-I connectors pull full duty for DVI-D, DVI-A and even HDMI using a simple HDMI/DVI adapter. The Mini D-Sub 15 pin type connector accommodates SD/HD component as well as computer input via RGB. 4:4:4/10-bit Internal Processing
The V-800HD uses 4:4:4/10-bit internal signal processing. This lets you achieve compositing and output with no reduction in high-detail RGB signals driven from a computer. The result is a sharp, unblurred display of video and text, even on large screens and LED displays. The V-800HD delivers high image quality for all uses, from live broadcasts to event displays. Newly Developed Key-compositing Engine
Along with the upgraded internal signal processing, a newly developed keyer is included. Chroma Key lets you adjust phase range, amount of chroma, and other parameters based on HSV colour space that is closely related to human chromatic sensation. This allows you to achieve high quality and tight chroma key compositing even when using 1080p video sources. What’s more, the V-800HD can accept an External Key. This attractively composites colourful CG titles and gradation/transparency clips, enabling you to achieve visual effects that are even more impressive. Multiviewer Output for Source Monitoring
The multiviewer output allows you to monitor the status of all input sources plus the Program and Preview outputs. The convenient HDMI connector enables the use of a readily available and affordable monitor. Built-in HDCP Mode
When playing back a Blu-ray disc that contains commercial content or digital broadcast programming, the digital output is encoded using HDCP (Highbandwidth Digital Content Protection), which is one means of copyright protection. This means that switchers that are not HDCP-compatible will not display or pass-through such video content, even in cases where permission for use in a live event was obtained from the copyright holder. To resolve this problem, the V-800HD features a dedicated mode that officially supports HDCP. A panel indicator lets you check the operating state when the unit is in the HDCP mode. Scalers You Can Use Any Way You Like
The V-800HD features scalers that let you make settings independently for every input source. With these, you can take input sources of different resolutions and adjust to any sizing and resolution including odd-sized LED walls. You can freely scale digital, analog RGB, and component sources. A Full Range of Keyers
In addition to the newly designed Picture-in-Picture (PinP), Luminance Key, Chroma Key, and DSK for 4:4:4/10-bit input, you can also use an External Key. Multi-Zoom
Using the shared input function, you can assign the video on channel 1 to channels 2 through 4 and the video on channel 5 to channels 6 through 8. The scaler for each input can zoom into any position in the video image enabling a virtual multi-camera environment. This gives the appearance that you have additional cameras connected.
– 8 Input (4 SDI/Composite + 4 DVI-I/HDMI/RGB/Component)
– 6 Output (2 SDI + 2 DVI-D/HDMI + RGB/Component + Composite)
– 4:4:4/10-bit Internal Processing
– 1 M/E (Key, PinP) + DSK
– Built-in frame synchronizers and scalers on all inputs
– SDI support: 3G, HD, and SD
– DVI-D / RGB / HDMI support
– Input status LEDs
– HDCP support
– Live access to two still-image sources
– 10 assignable cross-points
– Multiviewer monitor output
Present Communications ltd are pleased to announce another remarkable product to the hire stock, the Newsspotter service flyaway kit. This satellite system allows us to connect to the internet from any remote location in the UK, Europe, Middle East and North Africa. This is perfect where the airways might be congested such as large public events, festivals, regattas where mobile 3G and 4G reception can become poor and also in remote, outdoor spaces with no mobile signal at all. This Tooway satellite systems works anywhere with a line of sight to the Europasat satellite.
More and more, customers need their content streamed live to the web and broadcast around the world and limitations such as poor internet connectivity and unreliable mobile phone signals are no longer acceptable excuses. Using a large range of other products in our portfolio such as the PUNCH! and PresentAnywhere systems, Present Communications can truly present from anywhere; not only broadcasting to the web but also providing live, two way communications in the most remote of locations.
Of course, this isn’t just useful for providing internet at festivals, the Newsspotter uncontended satellite connection provides the ideal backup (or main connection) for those important links that just can’t go wrong. Used in conjunction with our Teradeck Bond II, the bandwidth provided by the satellite can be load balanced with other connection such as wifi, 3G, 4G, ethernet and more. Of course, internet connectivity is not just for streaming video (a particular favourite of ours). Event staff as well as paying customers require internet to do their jobs. They need it for PDQ machines, cloud based software and general communications.
And satellite is not as expensive as you might think. Typical bandwidth costs for a satellite are about a quarter of that charged by the mobile phone operators, making satellite connectivity a truly accessible technology. Good internet is not only a requirement in this connected age but also provides the potential for fantastic social media exposure.
Remote and flexible working is of course part of ones daily life now. If we are not remote workers personally, we certainly know a few who are. Data is accessible in the cloud and mobile phones and the Internet have made interpersonal communications easy, even from opposite sides of the World.
As the World shrinks, our workforce and our customers can be easily reached at any time and from any place. Of course it’s not just the convenience; using the Internet rather than travel means we can reduce cost, increase efficiency and productivity whilst reducing our effect on the environment.
Many of us work with colleagues from all over the World and in different time zones. Increasingly, we now communicate with those people via video link, whether it’s in a conference suite or from our desks using systems like Lync or Zoom. This use of video brings benefits over telephone and email. It’s said that when we communicate, 55% of our message is expressed through body language and 38% expressed through tone of voice.
Even as a video conferencing service provider, I would still argue that there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings. Large group meetings, presentations and workshops are still important but with teams spread from one continent to the next, it’s often not possible to get everyone in one room and that’s really where video conferencing comes in. Large venues, hotels, conference and exhibition centres allow us to get large groups together but we often can’t get everyone in the same room.
Historically, event organisers have avoided complicated video links and streaming on the Internet and instead opted for simpler, safer options. With websites like YouTube now accounting for more than half of Internet traffic, video over the web is much safer, more reliable and resilient. Event spaces are also realising the value of offering high quality connectivity to their clients. We regularly run concurrent meetings on different continents, have over flow rooms on the other side of the world or join teams from different jurisdictions all together in one virtual place in order that they benefit from each others experiences.
If you want to know more about how we might be able to make this work for you, please feel free to give us a call…
We’ve all been there. It mostly works but it just isn’t good enough. We’re watching TV or playing a computer game.
So imagine you’re sitting on an aeroplane, you’re watching an in-flight movie. The quality is really bad. It gets worse, it becomes so annoying that you have to turn it off.
Now think about that. What was so annoying about it?
Imagine the video is all wavy and you struggle to make out the picture but the audio is fine. Now imagine the audio is so bad you can’t hear anything but the picture is fine. Which one are you more likely to be able to take.
When we watch a video, it’s the audio we need as much as, maybe even more than the video. We can live with a pixelated image although we might rather it was perfect. But bad audio will give headaches and cause us to be constantly struggling to hear.
So make sure you use a supplier who understands not just the IT aspects but also the video and audio aspects of the project. Make sure you use Present Communications ltd.
Firewalls, NAT, port forwarding, words that strike fear into the heart of even the most veteran video conferencing engineer.
There are many ways to set up a codec on a network. You can allow the codec access to a public IP, NAT to the codec or use simple port forwarding if you think you’re brave enough.
Any of these options require assistance from the in-house IT expert. Of course that IT person should also be handy with video conferencing and understand the specific port requirements and also how H.323 work. When you find that person, send him to me, I have a job going.
There are lots of ways that a firewall can be bypassed. Some are much more complicated than others but mostly they require a lot of configuration. What is really required by the industry is a way to just PUNCH! through any firewall and present the Video Codec to the outside world on a public IP address outside (and not related) to the network it’s on.
Well, we have this product and if you haven’t guessed already, it’s called PUNCH! Each device is plugged into any network via the PUNCH! and that device is automatically configured with a public IP address on our network which will work with your Video Codec or any other device.