TNDV Television (Nashville) is a full-service mobile production company specializing in live sports, broadcast entertainment and corporate events. Though our roots are in Nashville, we spend a lot of time traveling cross-country with our HD and UHD production trucks and flypacks.
Last year the Country Music Association (CMA) brought us home to assist with its annual awards show at the Bridgestone Arena. It’s really a Who’s Who of country music, with performers gathering each year for a grand celebration of outstanding artistry. Not only did we get a first-row seat to the behind-the-scenes action, but we also got to help share it with online audiences around the world.
In preparation for the 2013 CMA Awards, the organization created “CMA 360,” a web site that would deliver live streams of the entire event. The site encouraged audience members to use social media to unlock additional streams from cameras positioned throughout the arena. As viewers tweeted, they gained access to new camera angles and could control the video feeds they were viewing.
This sort of viewing flexibility required an extensive multicamera production setup, which is where TNDV’s crew and production kit came in.
Needed Lots of ISO-Cam Recording and Playback
We came armed with 11 Hitachi SK-HD1000 cameras. The signals from these cameras were fed to our mobile truck via a SMPTE fiber optic cable. The video was then distributed to 11 AJA Ki Pro digital recorders, which recorded the camera outputs in Apple ProRes. Using this workflow, we were able to push out a line cut and five unique HD streams to the CMA 360 web site simultaneously throughout the seven-hour event.
With the Ki Pros, we were able to stop, rewind and play back footage captured from each camera as required. They acted as recorders as well as playout devices. If someone on-camera mentioned an outfit they’d seen earlier on the red carpet, for example, we could jump to the Ki Pro feed from the camera that had captured the shot and play it back for the live stream. We were also required to keep an archive of everything that we streamed, and the Ki Pros gave us full-quality, edit-ready HD files on 750 GB KiStor drives that we could hand over to CMA after the production was all finished.
Really Flexible Setup
The AJA recorders integrated easily into our workflow from live production to postproduction, and I never had to worry about missed frames or drive failures. I knew I could count on the Ki Pros, and that sort of confidence is crucial when you’re in the field recording a live event such as this. The units are easy to set up and give you a lot of options—they’re basically minicomputers with hundreds of parameters that you can set up via web interface and then control using a laptop, Wi-Fi and DNF controllers.
On average we handle more than 200 productions a year, and the Ki Pros play a really big part in our recording and archiving efforts, especially for events that involve live streaming. We trust our productions to them and they’ve earned every bit of that trust. VE