Some of the world’s most recognizable brands – from major financial institutions to leading technology providers, universities, and world-class medical centers – rely on AVI-SPL VideoLink to deliver broadcast quality video from any lens to any screen™. With our rich legacy of broadcast video and creative content production, the VideoLink team knows how to transform customers’ communications concepts into powerful enterprise video strategies.
For the last 30 years, the centerpiece of our broadcast video offerings has been the ReadyCam® Studio. What started as a tool to help put people on live television, controlled over a dial-up modem, is now a multi-purpose executive video broadcast center based on a patented cloud-based control system, constantly evolving to meet our clients’ changing needs.
In 2022 we took the ease of use of the single-camera ReadyCam Studio and added ReadyCam MCS, our multi-camera solution with the same cloud-based control system, VLGateway.
But the technology did not develop itself overnight. Our VP of Engineering, Leigh Willis, reflects on the lengthy development process to make ReadyCam MCS a reality.
Our first client inquiry to expand from single-camera to multi-camera studios occurred over five years ago. At that point, VideoLink had decades of experience in designing and building ReadyCam Studios, but this request meant tripling the input sources (cameras) and thus dramatically increased processing load and added the potential for camera synchronization issues.
Our initial approach was to prototype the functionalities that we knew we needed through a hardware-based approach. This gave our production and development teams the opportunity to learn what operational challenges resulted from remotely producing multi-camera content. We held mock productions followed by in-depth analyses to determine what features would be necessary to turn the hardware-based prototype into a scalable, software-based solution.
With the new required functionality identified, it was up to VideoLink’s software engineers to implement and test them. Leveraging our experience with video encoding and our EnhancedIP video transport, we were able to overcome the technical challenges.
Then came time to build one.
The AVI-SPL VideoLink Baltimore, MD office housed the first ReadyCam MCS installation and subsequent remote productions. And it was a success! We were able to remotely control all three cameras, wend return video, adjust mic levels and control DMX lights, from our control room in Newton, MA, as well as from our Philadelphia office.
What we didn’t have was a way for all three locations to communicate with each other throughout the production. The final obstacle to implementing a smoothly operating, remotely controlled, multi-camera studio was adding a universal method of communication.
To ensure that everyone felt as though they were working in the same room, much like a standard studio control room, we added a flexible intercom capability that enables all parties (on-screen talent, technicians, remote producers, stake holders, etc) to communicate in real time.
With that last crucial capability enabled and another few months of fruitful testing, we were finally ready to roll out the ReadyCam MCS to clients in January of 2022. Just a month later, an Eastcoast financial service company was home to our first client system.
Hear more from Leigh Willis, VP of Engineering, on ReadyCam MCS: