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Streaming to Social Networks: The Infrastructure of an Interactive Concert Tour

Chinese singer Luhan’s solo concert tour Luhan Reloaded: 2016 was streamed live to Chinese video-based social network YY Inc. earlier this year with a 4K live production package from Blackmagic Design. Fans were able to interact with the singer in real time on smartphones via the ME mobile live streaming app during pre-show rehearsals and warm-up, as well as during the show, changing the way fans take part in a music concert.

Guangdong i-Mass Vision used four Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K PL cameras and an ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K with ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast panel to deliver the live presentation.

Jiang Weizhong, director of Guangdong i-Mass Vision, says that his team shot the event with Blackmagic digital film cameras instead of EFP units because of their extended dynamic range. “Concert lighting tends to be complex, which brings you both extreme brightness and darkness at the same time. So we decided to use Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini 4K digital film camera for its wide dynamic range.”

Each of the four URSA Mini 4K PL cameras deployed for the production was equipped with a Blackmagic URSA Mini B4 mount. All cameras were set in film mode for the widest possible latitude. “Besides a much wider dynamic range, using the film camera for live production gives you another advantage because it includes a high-quality internal recorder, which means that even in live production you get film-quality footage from each camera without having to hang an external recorder for each one,” adds Jiang.

Each of the URSA Mini 4K cameras output a 1080i/50 feed via SDI. To color match these cameras, each camera feed went through a Blackmagic HDLink Pro before entering the ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, controlled by the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel. “Unlike EFP cameras, there are no white balance settings in digital film cameras. However, using the HDLink Pro converters, we were able to apply a pre-built LUT to each of the camera feeds for color matching, which is a simpler solution,” Jiang explains.

The program feed from the ATEM switcher then went to a live grading system, which sent the graded feed to ME’s live streaming system.

With the URSA Mini 4.6K now shipping and features being added that will allow ATEM switchers to control the cameras remotely, Jiang looks forward to exploring more possibilities with his Blackmagic Design solution. “We will also use the more powerful URSA Mini 4.6K camera in live productions, and we believe its 15 stops of dynamic range can make sure more realistic lighting at the concert is presented to audiences watching the show on TV or the internet.”   

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