Driving IP-based live TV with Celebro

Studios of Celebro with NewTek IP technology

Celebro specialises in live production, providing studio space, galleries, uplink facilities, staff and everything required for producing and transmitting live content. The rapidly growing organization has studios around the globe including central London, Washington D.C, Moscow, Los Angeles, and Ramallah.

Celebro also recently completed works on an additional five studios in London and two in New York. Also, it has recently begun trials of a new OB service that allows multi camera switching down a single transmission line. The service is currently being offered to international broadcasters on a trial basis. Celebro prides themselves on using the latest technology to offer some of the highest levels of automation in a studio, anywhere in the world.

Global broadcasters such as BBC World Service, MTV and TRT World all use Celebro’s studios. The newest addition to the London studios is an exclusive Twitter broadcasted BuzzFeed show called #WhatToWatch, a weekly roundup of recommendations of what to watch on linear and non-linear TV across the next seven days.

As a UK company with firm roots in Russia, Celebro has an excellent track record and experience of helping some of the biggest names in TV and film work abroad with major media and broadcasting players. “We pride ourselves in being the leading broadcast consultancy with advanced 4K TV studios worldwide,” comments Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro. “The team at Celebro work closely to consult broadcasters on IPTV, broadcast strategy, commercialisation, editorial and technical services, plus access to transmission networks and a diverse catalogue of content. We truly offer the whole live production package.”

The only way is IP

Having previously invested in NewTek’s TriCaster® multi camera live production systems that helped TRT World to continue reporting via Facebook Live during the 2016 Turkish coup attempt, Celebro fully trusts NewTek’s range of IP solutions.

TriCaster enabled TRT World to produce and stream live news reports from its London journalists via Facebook Live within a very short space of time, and later to stream to YouTube and the TRT World website. As events progressed the team was able to receive additional video reports from around the world, including Istanbul, and incorporate them into the live stream. This ‘emergency transmission stream’ rolled for approximately 15 hours, until the channel was able to get back on air in Istanbul.

“There was very limited connectivity in Turkey, so TRT World’s Facebook Live stream was something of a lifeline. The social media element also provided a way for people to communicate – there was a huge level of engagement with tens of thousands of people watching live, and then on catch-up later,” comments Dodd. “TriCaster and Facebook Live enabled us to keep people informed during an important world event. We do a lot of streaming on Facebook Live, and with the TriCaster’s advanced live streaming capabilities, it was the obvious option.”

Having had great success with TriCaster coupled with Celebro’s rapid expansion, Wesley turned to NewTek and its VMC1 ultimate production system, to significantly increase the studio’s scalability to accommodate the company’s growth plans.

Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro
Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro

Flexible growth

Offering unparalleled efficiency and flexibility, the NewTek VMC1 solution was integrated and allowed Celebro to usher in a new paradigm of production workflow, based upon NewTek’s software-driven live production technology. Now at the heart of Celebro’s operations in Oxford Circus, the NewTek VMC1 modular approach to production systems has delivered virtually limitless access to video sources and video mixing possibilities.

The NewTek VMC1 is a true hybrid platform providing full backwards compatibility with traditional SDI equipment. Video, audio, control signals, metadata and tally signals are all transported digitally using NewTek’s NDI® technology that creates a fully customisable IP workflow solution with limitless scalability. Furthermore, the NewTek VMC1’s modular approach to production systems delivers virtually limitless access to video sources and video mixing possibilities.

Jahlene Joseph, Head of Studios at Celebro, said; “The extraordinary flexibility of NewTek VMC1 means we can push video content around our building using NDI – giving us unparalleled control over how our clients can view, ingest and manage live video streams.”

Offering more configurations and a more complete set of capabilities, Celebro found no other solution that would enable complete unified production workflows to the scale and scope of NewTek’s VMC1.

Both TriCaster and the VMC1 are powerhouses, providing a ‘complete production environment’.

By embracing a software-based production solution like the VMC1, Celebro is now also able to offer uncompromised 4K UHD services through a single upgrade. This has enabled Celebro to embrace further production workflow efficiencies keeping all clients happy.

Talking TalkShow

To further enhance the facility’s offering, Celebro has also invested in several  TalkShow™ VS 4000 systems that offer professional, multi-channel video calling for both SDI and IP workflows. The TalkShow system enables Celebro to conduct multiple live, production-ready Skype video calls simultaneously during a broadcast.

The NewTek TalkShow VS 4000 integrates multi-channel video calling to enable instant connection and live interaction online via Skype. This allows presenters to facilitate compelling conversation and in-depth discussion between multiple remote guests in real time regardless of location. TalkShow VS 4000 takes advantage of Skype TX 4 from Microsoft.

“The TalkShow system enables us to cost-effectively connect a reporter in the field, industry experts, pundits, politicians or the viewing audience from anywhere in the world to the news studios using an internet tool that is easily available to all,” says, Dodd. “This means everyone can become a spokesperson in real-time for breaking news around the world.”

Celebro has taken the use of TalkShow to another level. “We’re using TalkShow to link up TV Studios in different parts of the world to provide multi-views from one studio location to another. It provides a way of sharing a gallery stack between studios and even countries, which is amazing,” comments Dodd.

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The future

Celebro believes that IP is changing the way journalists can get a story on air. For a lot of news broadcasters, it is much faster, easier and cheaper to create a programme. IP also enhances the viewer experiences making it a much more immersive and interactive form of media.

Wesley explains, “I am a massive fan of IP-based solutions for broadcast. It reduces the masses of cabling usually needed to produce a programme and you can control what is happening by a simple click of a mouse. With the IP solutions we have in place, the team here can build a complete gallery in just one day.”

“The next generation of TV viewers want to receive programmes, especially news, in a different way. Content is not being delivered just through the television, but now through various social media channels and we need to adapt to help broadcasters deliver this,” continues Dodd.

As Celebro grows worldwide so will its investment in NewTek’s IP-based workflow solutions.

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