Webcasting from the Museum of London

The Museum of London asked for our help to live stream educational content to over 600 students in 25 schools.  We used YouTube as a platform, given that this was a public event and we needed it to be openly accessible to as many people as possible.

We provided cameras, audio, encoders and crew and the whole thing went off without a hitch.

YouTube is a great platform for this kind of educational event.  It allows a mass audience to watch high quality video in real time.  It lacks some functionality that other corporate platforms might be able to offer but of course, it is free.

We look forward to working again with the Museum of London in the future and in particular we look forward to rolling out more events like this one.

Social Video Streaming for Live Events

We love getting your message out to the world, that’s what we’re all about. We can build bespoke micro-sites, complex automated systems for user registration, payment gateways and more.

But sometimes, we just want the video online, we want it live and we want it easy for the user. Easy means different things to different people though. We work with many clients who are already familiar with Cisco Webex, GoTo Meeting, Goto Webinar, BlackBoard and more. Or perhaps for your requirements, something like Skype or even Zoom might work better for 2 way communications and that’s why we work with all of these platforms and more.

You have an existing social media presence, your customers interact with you on various social media platforms so why not ‘stream’ or webcast live to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Periscope and Meercat or even LiveStream and UStream where your customers are already interacting with you. It’s pretty easy to get a video from your phone up live on these platforms but it’s also possible to stream high quality, studio style video to these platforms and bring superb production value to your social media presence.

Festivals, concerts, theatre – online

The festival market is booming. More and more people are attending festivals with an estimated 32m attending last year in the US alone. 145,000 attend Glastonbury, the UK’s largest festival, every day. And many of these festivals are attended, unsurprisingly, by young people i.e. millennials. So what’s next for the music industry?

SXSW, one of the World’s most famous festivals/conferences generated over 1m tweets last year, showing an increasing blend between the online and the offline, the internet and the physical. And of course, it’s not just music festivals. The RoundHouse streamed the Poetry Slam final live and a number of theatre groups are using platforms such as LiveStream to make their performances public.

The technology is there, the platforms are there. We no longer need expensive satellite trucks and broadcast facilities in order to make these performances available on the internet. More importantly, artists are beginning the appreciate the value that an active online presence creates for them. When did you hear about a singer or movie star who is ‘less wealthy’ because his/her video went viral on YouTube? But you certainly do hear about the singer who made it for the same reason. The UK’s National Theatre have been streaming shows for years and the Royal Shakespeare Society reportedly have a larger audience for one online show than see their shows in ‘real life’ in a whole year.

Now that high quality HD content can be made available online, we’ll see more and more artists asking for their shows to be made available to their fans, providing a value-add content to people who go out and buy their records anyway. Event organisers will see their online presence only strengthening their brand and ultimately, helping them sell more tickets. This isn’t a ‘what if’, this is what the evidence is showing us.

Present Communications ltd look forward to live streaming your event in the future.

AJA Ki Pro Rack

 

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
  • Built-in broadcast-quality Up/Down/Cross conversions
  • HD/SD SDI, HDMI, and HD/SD analog video I/O
  • Multi-channel AES, analog balanced XLR, and embedded audio I/O
  • Remote configuration and control via Ethernet LAN connection
  • Ethernet file transfer
  • Stand-alone operation and configuration, no need for external computer
  • RS-422 machine control, genlock, and LTC connections
  • Dual Media Drive Bays

 

Telephone Conferencing without a telephone…

sip-trunkingLive 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.

 

Roland V-800HD in rental stock for hire in London

 

 

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

 

roland_v800hd_1roland-v800hd-rear

Shortlisted for the Event Technology Awards 2015

Present Communications are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for an award for “Best Hybrid Event or Live Streaming Solution” at the Event Technology Awards.

PUNCH!Our solution allows us to completely bypass network firewalls and system intricacies safely and securely and to set up video conferencing or webcasting solutions (or any other type of internet connection that may be required) very quickly and easily and with little or no configuration at all. Given its ability to break through most complexities, we have named it PUNCH!

This solution is revolutionising the events industry by facilitating video conferencing and webcasting in places where previously it would not have been possible without expensive and time consuming access to an on-site IT teams and venue networking hardware.

It is worth noting that this product can be used to access internet in many circumstances but the reason why we see it is so fundamental for video conferencing is because it allows video conference unit to receive incoming calls even when behind a firewall. The only thing that is required from the venue is access to the World Wide Web i.e. if you can see google, PUNCH! will work.

“We are very excited about being nominated for this award.  This is a product that we use day in day out and it’s great for the team to get recognition for the way in which they are facilitating business communication and allowing these businesses to connect to their international audiences easily and more cost effectively than ever before” – Kieron Garlic, Managing Director.

We wish all the teams shortlisted for the various awards the best of luck and look forward to being there on the night.

 

Mobile & portable internet for outdoor festivals

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.

Video conferencing out of the meeting room

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…

Sound, Light and Video – the importance of thinking it through…

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.