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The Behind-the-Scenes of NAB Show LIVE Will Be a Major Technology Demonstration in Itself

For eight hours during each day of the 2023 NAB Show in Las Vegas, a complex live Remote Production broadcast of the events will be aired internationally over the internet. This IT-enabled broadcast in itself will be a major showcase of the latest television technology.

NAB Show LIVE will combine several cutting-edge technologies to connect events on the show floor in Las Vegas with a central control room 2,500 miles away at Broadcast Beat Studios in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Broadcast Beat Studios and Broadcast Beat Magazine are both partners with NAB Show for the broadcast.

Ryan Salazar, Founder of Broadcast Beat and Executive Producer of NAB Show LIVE

Ryan Salazar, Founder of Broadcast Beat and Executive Producer of NAB Show LIVE, said this year’s marathon broadcast will be different since it will not come from a central stage, but from throughout the venue using six LiveU LU600-equipped mobile crews and two LiveU LU800 portable ENG units to carry several other live camera feeds from throughout the venue.

“Our coverage of NAB Show will cover every aspect of the event, from the various pavilions to interviews with notable figures attending the show,” Salazar said. “Using advanced bonded cellular and IP technology, we will be totally mobile and live from anywhere in Las Vegas.”

LiveU LU800

All of the LiveU signals, which include the company’s cloud service, are decoded using multiple LiveU LU2000SMPTE 2110 Bonded Video Decoders located at Broadcast Beat Studios in South Florida. This system makes all the signals compliant with SMPTE 2110.

The LiveU LU600, which is in the form of 3.6-pound backpack with a four-hour battery, is the company’s sixth generation bonded cellular system. It was designed for global newsgathering, live sports and events coverage. Combined with an HEVC video card, it can provide the same video quality as H.264 while using about half the bandwidth.

Also being used for the show are two LiveU LU800 production field units. The LU800, operating on 5G cellular networks, will handle four simultaneous video feeds from various cameras at NAB and feed them via bonded cellular back to Broadcast Beat Studios in Florida. A second unit will be used to send the same signals simultaneously for redundancy purposes.

Everyone who has been to a previous NAB Show probably knows it can be difficult to get good cellular coverage at the Convention Center. That won’t happen with these LiveU mobile units, since each has cards for special, uncrowded networks from multiple cellular providers.

Each LU600 can handle up to 12 network links. This includes six to eight carriers (bonded), one integrated LTE cellular modem, internal Wi-Fi and two Ethernet ports.

Fujifilm H2S

“We’re returning to NAB for the 14th year to share tangible ways that customers can reduce production costs, meet the increased demand for quality content and optimize the monetization of their content assets by leveraging cloud-based workflows,” said Ronen Artman, LiveU’s VP of Global Marketing “We’re excited for Broadcast Beat, in collaboration with NAB, to demonstrate our technology during several live stage productions planned for NAB 2023.”

In addition to the LiveU units, for the first time Fujifilm X-H2S and X-H2 cameras with the FT-XH file transmitter accessory will be used to send video wirelessly via Adobe’s Frame.io Camera to Cloud (C2C) technology.

Fujifilm H2S (Back)

These cameras will be used with a mix of Fujifilm lenses, including the XF18-120, MKX18-55 and MKX50-135 models.

Within moments, these cameras will automatically recorded send video from the show floor back to Adobe Premiere editing suites at Broadcast Beat Studios for editing.

A firmware update for the cameras coming this spring will make Frame.io C2C available to all Fujifilm customers owning the X-H2 and X-H2S cameras with the FT-XH wireless adapter.

“From the press of the first shutter, or the end of the first take, with this firmware and using FT-XH, files will automatically upload to a user’s Frame.io account directly from camera and be ready for use within seconds of being made,” said Victor Ha, a vice president at Fujifilm.

NAB Show LIVE will be switched on NewTek’s TriCaster 2 Elite production platform, the company’s most sophisticated system. It combines a myriad of inputs and handles all video, audio, graphics, automation and routing. It also streams productions to various platforms.

“NAB Show Live will be seen by the biggest broadcasters in the world, so we are honored to be the chosen live production platform to run the show with TriCaster 2 Elite. The year’s NAB Show promises to be bigger than ever and on the Vizrt booth (Booth W2821.), we are looking forward demonstrating how the TriCaster systems meet the demands of every kind of production. It is essential for visual storytellers to possess professional quality tools to draw viewers into their story, and we are going to show exactly how to do that – with the most powerful live production system on the planet.” – Chris Black, Global Head of Brand and Content at Vizrt Group.

Video is viewed on ten Plura Broadcast monitors via a TBC Consoles TracWall (video wall system) and IntelliTrac (control room desk), while audio will be mixed with a Behringer WING 48-channel Digital Mixer interfaced with Audinate’s Dante Controller for signal routing.

Real-time graphics will come from a Brainstorm Aston system. Cinedeck’s ZX Server is used for multi-channel ingest and playback, while an Atomos Shogun Studio 2, a dual channel combination recorder and monitoring device, is used in the data center for video recording. A FOR-A MFR-5000 128-by-128 router handles for video.

Video segments from the show will be managed on an Octopus 11 newsroom computer system integrated with Newsmaker Systems automation to unify all production on a single platform. The Octopus system streamlines the entire production workflow, including planning, editing and delivering multi-platform content. It allows the director and producer to see how every show element fits together.

With all the crews constantly moving around the Las Vegas Convention Center and the main switching director in Florida, real-time audio communication is essential. Everyone associated with the production must have clear communication and it must always work well. In this case, redundancy is key.

Among the communication gear is the Clear-Com FreeSpeak II, a multi-channel duplex digital intercom. From the outside, the intercom appears to users as a traditional headset intercom and operates in the traditional way. It is the internal intercom circuitry that is different.

With the Clear-Com FreeSpeak Base Station, users can connect over 1.9 GHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, as well as third-party Dante devices.

This system is integrated into the LiveU’s own internal system intercom capabilities and also uses a special network not available to NAB attendees. In addition, each crew member’s cell phone will have Unity Intercom, a communications app that allows users to reliably connect over Wi-Fi or cellular networks with individual users.

Unity Intercom app and Server Interface

This collaboration of integrated communications devices means anyone can speak with anyone else instantly. And, in case of some kind of trouble, there is instant backup capability.

At Broadcast Beat Studios, Brainstorm’s InfinitySet is controlled by motion tracking from NCAM. This is basically a large LED video wall being used as a virtual set. When the camera moves, the NCAM system tracks the focus breathing and zoom of the lens, sending tracking data to Brainstorm’s InfinitySet to move the virtual environment for realism.

From the Broadcast Beat facility, the final program feed is sent from multiple Zixi Broadcaster servers to Brightcove, who does the distribution to the NAB Show website and other social media platforms.

Salazar said this year’s NAB Show LIVE will be far more mobile than in the past and a fast-moving presentation built from both live and pre-recorded segments. “The idea is to bring NAB Show to those who aren’t able to attend, no matter their location in the world. The technology will be seamless. This type of production would not have been possible without our amazing industry partners.”

Fluotec lighting in Studio A of Broadcast Beat Studios. This is where Ryan Salazar will start his tour of the NAB Show LIVE Remote Production workflow.
Writer at Broadcast Beat
Frank Beacham is a New York-based writer, director and producer who works in print, radio, television, film and theatre.

Beacham has served as a staff reporter and editor for United Press International, the Miami Herald, Gannett Newspapers and Post-Newsweek. His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, the Village Voice and The Oxford American.

Beacham’s books, Whitewash: A Southern Journey through Music, Mayhem & Murder and The Whole World Was Watching; My Life Under the Media
Microscope are currently in publication. Two of his stories are currently being developed for television.

In 1985, Beacham teamed with Orson Welles over a six month period to develop a one-man television special. Orson Welles Solo was canceled after Mr. Welles died on the day principal photography was to begin.

In 1999, Frank Beacham was executive producer of Tim Robbins’ Touchstone feature film, Cradle Will Rock. His play, Maverick, about video with Orson Welles, was staged off-Broadway in New York City in 2019.
Frank Beacham
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