Around the world, broadcasting is become increasingly local and specialised to the point where broadcasting might just be exactly the wrong word. With the rise of the internet, and cable and satellite channels to get live content to viewers in addition to traditional means of broadcast, huge opportunities have risen to broadcast hyperlocal or specialised […]
Around the world, broadcasting is become increasingly local and specialised to the point where broadcasting might just be exactly the wrong word. With the rise of the internet, and cable and satellite channels to get live content to viewers in addition to traditional means of broadcast, huge opportunities have risen to broadcast hyperlocal or specialised events to smaller, much more targeted viewing audiences.
For those not as familiar with the terms, hyperlocal refers to broadcasts that service just a few towns or even just a part of a city that people normally associate with traditional broadcast. Hyperspecialised refers to productions that might be interesting to a small targeted audience and dont necessarily merit a linear broadcast channel, such as a regional championship of a less popular sport or special events that might be of interest to a minority group.
Such events present new opportunities for broadcasters to generate revenue but may be worth pursuing only if they are produced cost effectively while still maintaining high standards. Traditional productions supporting major events may haul in 40- or 53-foot trailers because they have the revenue to
do this. New hyperlocal and hyperspecialised productions require a different approach.
There are several existing solutions. The worst of this is to use older SD trucks to save money. It turns out that the internet isn’t low quality SD anymore, and viewers can tell that the graphics are based on old technology.
Another existing solution is to use some of the all-in-one computer-based switching/graphics products available. This doesnt work anymore because viewers expect internet productions to look just as good as linear broadcasts now. The solution does not lie in investing in smaller trucks or vans either.
A new solution is openTruck. These are truck and van designs for sports and live productions from a consortium of manufacturers that are collaborating on interoperable, efficient, and cost-effective solutions targeting this new class of events. The very first openTrucks being built include products from Ross, Riedel, Harman, Abekas, Ikegami and Canon.
More vendors are lining up to be part of future openTrucks and signing an agreement to guarantee a minimum standard of support and interoperability while maintaining the appropriate price points. One of the core technical advancements to make openTruck special is the introduction of a new production switcher-graphics workflow. In openTruck, a Ross Carbonite production switcher operator can have direct control over loading any template or transitioning any layer in the XPression CGs graphics. Since XPression offers an unlimited number of layers per channel, this effectively adds an infinite number of keys to the production switcher’s ME and drastically reduces operator complexity and the size of the production switcher required.
A second achievement of openTruck is the use of the free Dashboard control system. Dashboard is, or will be, supported by over 70 manufacturers as part of the openGear and openGear connect initiatives. This unifies the user interfaces or remote control of their products under a single free system. Taking this further is Dashboard’s free PanelBuilder capability that allows all manner of scripting, data interfacing and customer creatable user interface design. New apps are constantly being created including some interesting ones for scoring tennis, cricket and more.
The design of openTrucks is available on openTruck.tv. There is also a global network of system integrators that are partnering to build openTrucks. We believe it is the first global, standardised, multi-vendor, cost-effective solution to the hyperlocal, hyperspecialised production requirement.