Glass-to-Glass: A new window of opportunity for content production?
Glass-to-Glass is a phrase increasingly talked about in the world of content production but what is it and why does it matter? Simply put, Glass-to-Glass is the content production process from lens capture through to its ultimate display. Advances in technology, such as the Cloud, and the changing way we consume entertainment and information have rapidly evolved the way we capture, produce and deliver content.
Glass-to-Glass simplifies the capture to delivery process, making it faster, more flexible and more cost-effective. There are an increasing number of use areas where this type of solution is applicable. They range from traditional broadcasting, to live and web streaming of events, such as eSports competitions and music concerts, and the delivery of e-learning or business content.
So, what does a Glass-to-Glass solution typically involve? The solution can be broken down into three connected elements.Content Capture
Content capture is the first step in the Glass-to-Glass solution and uses studio, in-the-field or remote PTZ cameras. All Panasonic technologies and workflows are compatible enabling you to pick and mix different products to meet your need. Depending on the product used, content can be captured in 8k, 4k or HD resolution, with support for High Frame Rate (HFR), High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Media Over IP output (MoIP).
Panasonic’s extensive range of system cameras also provides the flexibility to film in almost any situation. Robotic camera systems enable even smoother movements and these can be automated, programmed and repeated by a single operator, delivering a new level of control and precision.
- Live production platform
Once content has been captured, Panasonic’s next-generation live production platform, called KAIROS, plays an important role at the heart of the Glass-to-Glass solution. The IT/IP video processing platform is based on a unique, ground-breaking software development that relies on CPU and GPU processing power. The fully open platform can accept and process any kind of content, including from non-Panasonic sources.
It gives AV professionals creative freedom by supporting seamless broadcasting on numerous devices and feeds, in any source, format, scale, screen and mix, without loss of quality. More than a switcher, the platform can also perform routing and screen management functions. With multiple screen layouts built through one simple user interface, KAIROS helps AV professionals improve live and virtual productions.
- Versatile visual delivery options
From KAIROS, the content can then be delivered to different visual outputs. As the only manufacturer in the world to offer a 4K portfolio that includes displays ranging up to 98 inches and projectors up to 50,000 lumens, Panasonic has AV solutions ideally suited to the entertainment and eSports industry, Business and Education.
Glass-to-Glass in operation
Panasonic Glass-to-Glass solutions can already be seen in a wide variety of different uses.
With eSports expanding rapidly and attracting millions of followers, this new phenomenon has its own unique challenges when sharing tournament action with fans in the stadium or streaming action to viewers around the world.
Panasonic has unique elements within its Glass-to-Glass solution to address these issues. For example, the Low Skew Mode in the flagship AK-UC4000 camera system prevents any potential issues with unwanted moiré screen patterns when using LED screens, which are commonplace in eSports studios.
For adding augmented and virtual reality effects to productions, the Panasonic AW-UE100, the AW-UE150, as well as the new AE-UE80 PTZ 4K cameras support the FreeD protocol and can be used by the most popular virtual set systems, such as Brainstorm, Ross, The Future Group, Vizrt and Zero Density. These types of cameras are also perfect for capturing multiple headshots of studio-based or remote players while remaining unobtrusive.
To ensure arena-based fans experience the thrill of the action in virtual real-time, Panasonic’s latest High Frame Rate (HFR) upgrade kit for the Panasonic PT-RQ35K projector and PT-FRQ60 Series massively uplifts the frame rate of images projected onto viewing screens to deliver super-smooth motion and virtually eliminate lag. As well as enhanced images, latency can be reduced to just 5ms ensuring fans stay right in the moment.
As a result of these specialist enhancements, Panasonic eSport solutions are already popular with the leading production companies around the world. They are in use at Allied Esports’ global flagship arena, in Las Vegas, and other major eSport tournaments, such as the BLAST Pro Series for the CS:GO tournament, the StarLadder Major tournament in Berlin, and the FIFA eSuperliga powered by Dreamhack in Copenhagen.
Blended learning in Education
The implementation of blended learning in higher education has fundamentally changed the classroom setup and the technology required for teaching effectively. Panasonic provides seamlessly integrated Glass-to-Glass solutions for educational institutions implementing blended learning. These deployments typically use 4K remote-controlled PTZ cameras with NDI options for lecture capture, IP-based automated presenter tracking by movement or audio, and cloud-based lecture capture systems, alongside professional production mixers and switchers and the latest projection and display technology.
The University of Kassel in Germany has installed Panasonic’s Glass-to-Glass education solution that enables them to capture, mix, distribute and display video for both on-demand and remote learning sessions.
Media producers around the world are adopting Panasonic Glass-to-Glass solutions to ready themselves for the next generation of broadcasting. Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster Mediaset recently deployed Panasonic KAIROS, the next-generation live production platform, to support live IP workflows at its Light Studio facility, in Milan.
Panasonic and AED Group also helped international Music Producer and DJ YVES V deliver an early Christmas present to music lovers around the world. Panasonic’s Glass-to-Glass production solution captured the electro house master in action at BENELUX’s first Virtual Production Studio at AED Studios. As well as streaming the main music event, a second simultaneous behind-the-scenes stream showed the full technical production at the heart of the operation.
Set to become a common phrase
As content producers continue to come under increasing pressure to deliver more and more content, faster and with less budget, the adoption of Glass-to-Glass solutions is a sure-fire way to ease the burden. It allows producers to concentrate on the creative with their technical worries taken care of. Glass-to-Glass looks set to become an increasingly common phrase.
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