South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corp. (MBC), the nation’s second largest broadcaster, relied on three integrated remote production technologies from TVU Networks, the provider of cloud and IP-based live video solutions, to bring in 64 guests via remotes for a special COVID-19 broadcast.
With new cases spiking in late 2020, the government funded production of a live broadcast special to address the disease. However, the ambitious plan involved a multitude of guests participating live, which exceeded the technical capabilities of MBC. While its headquarters is a state-of-art, modern broadcast facility, it did not have the ability to bring in 64 guests via live remotes.
“We’re quite familiar with TVU Networks and the capabilities of their technology,” said Mr. Kim Sang Dong, Production Engineering Department Manager. “They were extremely helpful with MBC’s “The Paik Father” live cooking show and several other projects. That gave us the confidence to call on TVU to help us get so many remote shots on air.”
Not only was bringing in high-quality, low-latency live video of 64 guests a significant hurdle, but MBC needed to ensure its video contributions would be flawless despite so many different smartphones in use and relying on the public internet.
MBC relied upon the TVU Anywhere mobile broadcasting app, TVU Partyline cloud-based videoconferencing platform, and TVU Receivers to support remote contribution; integration of live shots into the program; and real-time, interactive communication among hosts and guests.
Guests on the program used the TVU Anywhere app on their smartphones and other digital devices from their remote locations, while MBC producers used the broadcaster’s TVU Receivers to take in and manage those shots.
At the MBC studio, TVU Receivers decoded all incoming TVU Anywhere streams. The receivers gave the studio complete control over the TVU Anywhere transmissions and made it possible to integrate them into the show. Located in an MBC sub-control room, the receivers fed their SDI output into the inputs of the broadcaster’s routing switcher. Producers in the production control room accessed those sources from their production switcher to take guests to air as required.
TVU Partyline delivers real-time, broadcast-quality interactive HD video and audio conferencing. MBC used TVU Partyline so hosts and guests could interact with one another more naturally during the show.
As a cloud-based solution that leverages patented TVU Networks’ technology, TVU Partyline ensures the real-time give-and-take interaction between remotely located guests and hosts that viewers expect to see during in-studio interviews.
TVU Partyline leverages TVU’s Real-Time Interactive Layer (RTIL) to enable this natural discourse regardless of the distance between guests. It integrates seamlessly with other TVU products like TVU Anywhere, making it easy to access and use.
Using a TVU Anywhere feature called Return Video Feedback, a picture-in–picture video giving guests a way to see return video of the program and other show guests, made it easier for everyone to participate in a more conversational manner.
Further enabling the natural back-and-forth among guests and hosts was TVU Partyline, which allowed everyone to talk to each other in real time without confusing delays.
Sang Dong, Kim, a Production engineering Dept Manager working with MBC on the special, selected TVU Partyline for the program. “TVU Partyline was an elegant solution to a difficult problem,” he said. “Enabling so many guests to participate in the special from their homes and offices isn’t within the realm of what we could do using conventional remote technology.
“However, TVU Partyline along with TVU Anywhere and TVU Receivers made it possible to overcome the distance separating everyone and the delays that you’d normally expect. All of the guests and hosts could interact as if they were together in the studio, and viewers were spared the distraction of endless pauses due to technical limitations, so they could focus on the important information being conveyed about COVID-19.
“Without this technology, it’s hard to imagine how we would have been able to produce such a live show with the so many participants, each offering their unique viewpoints on such an important topic. I am confident TVU Partyline will become a regularly used tool in our production toolbox, especially when remote guests need to participate live in our shows,” he added.
“We’re honored to have had MBC select TVU to help them produce this very important public health event. Like many broadcasters around the world, MBC has had to rely on new remote production solutions such as our TVU Partyline to assist with overcoming COVID-19 restrictions,” explained Liming Fu, Vice President of Sales for APAC, TVU Networks. “We look forward to continuing to serve MBC and other leading broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region on their IP and cloud production needs.”