VidCon 2017: Exceeding Expectation And Pushing The Boundaries Of Technology
For the second time, BC Live Productions produced the Official Live Stream for the 9th Annual VidCon. Having broken ground in 2015 by streaming the event for the first time since VidCon began, the second year came with a fair amount of added pressure. How do we improve upon what we did last year, and create a more engaging interactive experience for the fans at home? The answer was in the Pre-Production: by creating social incentives, improving the creative vision for the Live Stream, and utilizing the latest in professional live production equipment, we were able to show fans the inner workings of Vidcon, and push the boundaries to 'make it feel as if they were there.' We had three days, 27.5 hours of content, and four-hundred and sixty thousand eyeballs on us LIVE. Here's how we did it!
SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION
The quickest way to increase interactivity & reach is by utilizing social media. Tagboard gave us the flexibility to connect our online audience across multiple platforms into a central hub that we had access to. We could poll fans, watch videos from their viewing party, & talk directly with them via our hosts. Connecting with our viewers is equally as important as them connecting to us.
Aside from embracing social, none of it would be possible without the tech. One of the biggest changes from last year is the adoption of Newtek's newest model in professional 4K broadcast switchers: Newtek Tricaster TC1. This switcher is state of the art and comes with 16 standard inputs (with key & fill) as well as 4 ME's. In addition, it now includes both 1080p60 & 4K UHD video.
The beauty of this unit is its integration with NDI technology. Between 'Master Control Room' and the 'YouTube Booth Set' located clear across the convention center, we were able to pull any feed (with audio) from either switcher in real time over a SINGLE ethernet cable. The power of NDI allows us to reduce costs and decrease deployment time when working in a large space with wide coverage.
Trying to manage feeds across the 80,000 square foot Anaheim Convention Center is no easy feat. We wanted to diversify our connectivity this year by utilizing Fiber wherever we could, and upgrading our IP connectivity solutions in the places we couldn't.
How we did this was by turning to the Teradek Cube 655, which is the latest model in Teradek's Cubelet series, and a new addition to the VidCon Production. The Cube 655 features both HD-SDI and HDMI dual inputs and the capability to stream up to 15 Mbits/s (which was huge for us). It also has a much faster boot time, and an extremely reliable remote management system using Teradek's CORE platform. This allows our Encoding Technicians to control everything from the web GUI.
Communication between our two primary production hubs were vital, and we relied on one of the best companies in the business: Clear-Com. Between our sets, we deployed two Clear-Com LQ-R systems connected over IP. On the floor, we used the best wireless technology on the market, the Clear-Com FreeSpeak II. Designed for extensive, clear digital audio communication in large-scale operations, this was exactly what we needed. It was able to keep a continuous, strong wireless connection at all times, across multiple convention halls. By being able to assign channels and configure packs remotely, we were able to provide everyone on the crew with 4 unique talk and/or listen channels at any given time for optimal communication.
There you have it! A lot of work went into this production, and a very special thanks to our partners at Google, Vidcon, and Ego 360 who helped make the 2017 VidCon Live Stream a total success. Another thanks goes to our production partners at Teradek, Newtek, Tagboard, and Clear-Com for providing us with the state of art tools needed to go above and beyond what we did for last years stream.
GET AHOLD OF US
At BC Live Productions, we strive to push the boundaries of what's possible in live streaming, and show off a brands best side. We look forward to seeing you all next year at VidCon 2018!
To get in contact with us to produce your next live event, please go to www.bcliveproductions.com/contact
Written by Jared Brody