Companies, educational institutions, and live event organizers around the world raced to revamp their content creation strategies during the pandemic and virtualize a range of activities from internal training and communications to delivering dynamic content to remote audiences. Close to the trend, live production company Broadcast Management Group (BMG) (opens in new tab) saw a sharp rise in customers looking to create in-house production studios, whether for internal distribution or for sharing live and on-demand content via a public website or social media streaming platform. Although BMG's client applications run the gamut from entertainment and sports productions to finance, hotels, fitness and beyond, AJA technology is part of nearly every design, including the company's latest install for multinational investment bank and services company UBS. (opens in new tab)
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"We recommend technology that we know will be a stalwart in the field, which is part of why I love AJA (opens in new tab)gear so much; it's earned a reputation for being some of the most solid tech in broadcasting," said BMG SVP of Engineering and UBS project lead Megan Kirst. "Whenever possible, I like to use AJA routers, audio embedders/disembedders and Mini-Converters because I know they'll perform well for our customers. Having an embedder fail in the middle of a live production just isn't an option for our clients, and with AJA, that's never a worry, plus, AJA support is quick and stellar in the rare chance a client experiences any issues."
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UBS (opens in new tab)approached BMG to envision a complete studio that would allow it to produce and deliver live content to team members located across the globe. Although a large majority of content is currently training-based, BMG designed the workflow to be flexible and support content delivery outside the organization should the need arise in the future.
The studio design includes four cameras, with feeds running through an AJA KUMO 6464 3G-SDI router (opens in new tab) and into decoders, then back through KUMO and into a video conferencing solution. Thirty AJA openGear OG-3G-AMAs (opens in new tab)and three AJA OG-X-FR openGear 2RU rackframes (opens in new tab) are also integrated, enabling audio embedding/disembedding as needed in the workflow. AJA Hi5 and HA5 Mini-Converters (opens in new tab)support conversion between HD-SDI and HDMI within the studio.
BMG is a leader in designing, building, and operating facilities around centralized technology and decentralized production teams. The UBS setup is designed to support remote production (REMI), so that the UBS team can control it from anywhere in the world. Typically, presenters use the studio to live stream presentations on currency, market trends, charts, and more. All the content is distributed to employees through UBS' internal IP network as a live H.265 stream and made available for on-demand viewing post-stream.
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In developing the installation parameters, BMG surveyed UBS on its goals and existing equipment arsenal, and then determined the timeline and urgency. Once all the details were fleshed out, Kirst and team built out an equipment list based on the budget. After receiving the greenlight from UBS to move ahead, the design phase kicked off, followed by the pre-build. BMG began the install as soon as the equipment arrived on site and then began training.
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As technology continues to progress, Kirst expects projects to grow increasingly complex, with AJA gear remaining key for successful implementations. "Emerging technologies and trends like IP and AR/VR are moving so fast and introduce new challenges and opportunities for our team," Kirst said. "We're thankful that amidst all the unknowns that come with navigating new workflows, we can always count on our AJA gear to remain a steady workhorse for routing, conversion and audio embedding/disembedding."