Live events are no longer for small audiences. Thanks to the growth of streaming platforms, events can reach bigger audiences with no immediate boundaries in terms of countries and time zones. In addition, the video content can be watched live, or remains accessible to be watched at another time that is convenient to the viewer.
The latest studies show that the live streamed content is being watched 27% more in total minutes than on-demand video. According to Fox Sports, Super Bowl LIV was the most live-streamed Super Bowl in history, delivering an average minute audience of 3.4 million, up 30% compared with last year and up 103% compared to FOX’s Super Bowl stream in 2017 according to Adobe Analytics. A change in the viewing habits for one of the largest sporting fixtures in the global calendar emphasizes the shift in viewing in favour of non-linear platforms.
The growth in demand for live-streamed content means has seen an increase in the level of production value because it has an impact on the audience’s perception, whom have grown used to a good level of picture quality, usage of multi-camera, good lighting levels, and extremely low levels of latency from years of watching linear content. All of these factors contribute to the success of live streams.
Last year, broadcasters across the globe completed a survey on the subject of live streams and latency. The results showed that 35% of respondents felt that the most important factor to the overall user experience was for high quality video, and 31% for low end-to-end latency.
We have considered which Panasonic technology can be considered to solve the challenges of live-streaming, and to make the process as smooth as possible for the operator, whilst maintaining maximum flexibility. This includes:
A complete line-up of remote PTZ cameras, scalable to the requirements of each application and budget
An excellent picture quality, from HD to UHD, with minimum latency, optimal zoom ranges and a variety of outputs
Use of auto-tracking software that can automatically track a subject during a presentation for example
The adoption of the NDI|HX protocol, enabling easy setups thanks to its auto-connect feature, meaning that you can detect devices on a network without any manual configuration with use of a single CAT5 connection, saving time and providing flexibility in allowing a variety of devices to be seen on a network.
An all-in-one switcher, the AV-HLC100, can act as a centralized console as it supports video and audio input, camera control and streaming capabilities, whilst being compact enough to be moved around, quick to setup and easy to operate.
Advanced functionality for flexible operation
The use of PTZ remote cameras can be deployed and installed both quickly and easily, thanks to a full IP connectivity including Power over Ethernet, and allows video and audio, control and power can be provided via a single CAT5 cable. A range of control panels allow operators to adjust the movement of the cameras smoothly on a live shoot. Camera control is also integrated in the AV-UHS500 switcher, enabling a production to be curated with a single operator if required. For simple operation, mostly based on preset positions, a free software (PTZ Control Center) is available, providing full camera control and simultaneous preset recall. You can download it here.
As live-streaming becomes easier and more accessible, more and more companies, as well as educational institution are looking into implementing streaming technology to conduct streamed meetings and events, both internally and externally. 53% of educational institutions today live stream conferences, school events, and lectures. In addition to the hardware, Panasonic has software to complement and improve production value of a live stream is by using the Panasonic Auto-Tracking software, which makes use of motion detection and facial recognition for accurate tracking of the presenter. Automation of repetitive tasks of the live production means that the operator can concentrate on other creative tasks. Panasonic’s auto-tracking software is a simple, low-cost installation over IP that does not require additional equipment, nor is it necessary to wear a sensor or tracking chains.
Integrate. Connect. Stream
In combination with PTZ cameras, Panasonic is also offering a series of handheld camcorders that can also be integrated into a NDI|HX workflow. The AG-CX350 and AG-CX10 camcorders allow freedom of movement for the operators, and also the ability to provide high-quality wide shots due to their fantastic focal lengths, meaning that it is not possible to miss any action of your event. Both cameras can be connected via a wired LAN connection thanks to their built-in NDI|HX connectivity, and basic control via either NDI|HX or from a free iOS App.
For a simple single camera set-up, streaming can be produced right from the cameras thanks to the support of the RTMP protocol. A direct internet connection from the camera means that a feed can be distributed over platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. The last one remains (Twitch) remains dominant with over 1 billion hours watched in January 2020 and gained 73% market share by hours watched in 2019, that’s 20% YoY growth.
For multi-camera configurations, Panasonic is offering a wide range of professional live switchers. The AV-HLC100 combines a 1ME switcher, a PTZ camera controller and an audio mixer within a single device, enabling one person to operate everything, from camera shooting to streaming transmission. It supports both NDI and SDI inputs, and overlay titles, PiP and background transitions seamlessly. It comes with an easy-to-use GUI and a 3D joystick with pan, tilt and zoom, that enables single-handed operation. The AV-HLC100 minimizes the need for external equipment, such as recorders, streaming encoders, routers, audio mixers or camera controllers, enabling easy transportation and quick deployment.
Easy transportation and quick deployment can be aided through the use of the PanaPod, an elevation unit for PTZ cameras of up to 3 meters. It can be placed in the back of the room without interfering with the audience in the hall, yet keeping a clear view of the subject . Unlike conventional tripods, the height is adjustable in real time over IP from Panasonic remote camera controllers, can also support up to three cameras via the optional T-bar unit. The unit ships in a moulded Peli case with protective foam inserts.
For permanent installations, Panasonic is also offering wall-mount solutions for both indoor and outdoor usage. An outdoor PTZ is also available in the line-up, with special functions to ensure the performance under extreme weather conditions such as wind and rain. Panasonic AW protocol has been adopted by most control systems, like Crestron, AMX and Extron, enabling integrated methods of control via IP.
Last but not least, the AW-UE150 is the first PTZ that provides position data in real time, being compatible with Augmented and Virtual Reality Systems. The use of AR/VR technologies for live events has become an accessible way to dramatically enhance the video production, producing attractive content that can engage the audience in a more effective way. Today we see that the adoption level of AR/VR technology in the broadcast industry is rapidly reaching 30-40%.
The choice of Panasonic as your manufacturer for live streamed productions is a safe and solid choice. With a complete line-up of cameras, vision mixers, controllers and software applications, Panasonic ensure high picture quality and ease of use, ensuring that your live streams are a success.