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How Live Streams Are Moving Away from Traditional TV

When most people think about live streaming, the first picture that comes to mind is either a choppy, unsteady video being recorded from your Facebook friend’s smartphone, or a gamer sitting at his PC playing Fortnite. But once in awhile, you’ll see live streams that are professionally produced, like Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp Q&A live stream on Facebook last month, used to promote the launch of the movie.

The truth is, companies & organizations are starting to see tremendous value in producing live content and broadcasting on social media platforms. 80% of people would rather watch a live stream from a brand than read a sales-pitchy blog post, with even more preferring live to social posts. When you have more people spending more time on social media than watching TV these days, it’s very clear where the trend is going.

Unscripted and Candid

But people don’t want to see traditional TV shows on live streams. The foundation for live content is built upon its unedited and unscripted side, with viewers yearning for a raw, honest experience. It’s the spontaneity of these shows that catch people’s attentions.

A recent broadcast by White Castle (yes, the fast food franchise) on their Facebook Page showcases this perfectly. Check out this witty live stream where the hosts incorporated humor, presented a product and responded to comments all live:

“Humor plays a big role in keeping people engaged on branded live streams, so our goal was to be as witty as possible while also promoting White Castle’s new chicken rings. We used those crazy-hilarious TV jewelry auction shows as the premise, pretending that the chicken rings were diamonds or some sort of priceless jewelry. We even had someone surprise his girlfriend with a live marriage proposal...and a chicken ring” said Carrie Stett, Director of the live show.

The same can be said about live Q&As, breaking news and even sportscasts like The MMA Hour, where TV-structured shows meet an online audience who want a slice of authenticity.

The New Way to Live

“Viewers don’t want the same kind of content as traditional TV, where shows are over-polished and over-produced. In the live streaming space, viewers tune in for something candid, unscripted and unique. That’s the direction live media is going.” - Carrie Stett.

Live streaming presents an opportunity for content creators to be experimental in ways that would never pass in traditional TV or Video-on-Demand content, yet still reach a wide audience.

White Castle’s Facebook Page already had over 1.2 million followers, which resulted in over 200k views in the 40-minute broadcast. With Facebook Live, it now lives on-demand on their Page and continues to have a life after the event.

“Viewers on live platforms want to interact with content that is personable. They want to be able to engage with brands and relate to them. White Castle were great because they were willing to take some chances and do something innovative and it paid off.”

But just as content is important, so too is maintaining robust video all throughout the show. Carrie and her team relied on the Teradek Bond to broadcast the show and ensure the video stayed exceptional the entire time.

The Bond is a streaming encoder that sends video over IP networks, using up to five 4G LTE USB modems for maximum redundancy. This ensures that if a single connection encountered latency issues, the extra networks would fill in to eliminate this.

“We always carry two Bonds with us, one as the main encoder and one as a backup. When you’re working with clients like Facebook or major companies like White Castle, the quality of the content and video reflects on their brand reputation. Having bonded Internet gives us the ability to broadcast without having to worry about Internet strength, and allows us me to focus on directing a great show for my clients.”

Carrie Stett directs live and traditional content. She is represented by Washington Square Films for commercials. Check out her portfolio and contact her at

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Everything You Need to Know About Streaming HEVC with CORE

While most live platforms and video playback tools have been slow to adopt HEVC, many broadcasters and streamers have already begun to take advantage of the data savings that HEVC compression offers.

In fact, did you know our encoders already do this? That’s right, our Cube, Slice and T-Rax encoders allow for streaming in both AVC (H.264) & HEVC (H.265) to destinations that support it. This includes current-generation Teradek decoders for point-to-point IP video, as well as Core for cloud-based stream management.

Transcoding in Core

Core is where HEVC really shines. One of the main features of Core is HEVC transcoding, which allows you to stream video to Core in HEVC, convert it to AVC, and send to your live platforms.

What are the benefits to doing this? By sending the stream in HEVC to Core, you’re effectively spending only half the bandwidth of an AVC video, but achieving the same video quality. This helps to save a ton of data, with no extra cost to you.

Core is a cloud-based stream management platform that lets you monitor, configure, 

Companies like Drop-In TV has been doing this. As the main broadcaster for the Ironman Triathlon 2018 in Europe, they’ve been streaming HEVC video from several Cubes and Bonds to Core from all across the continent, which is pulled down to their production studio, mixed for the final edits and published to the television program. This has allowed Drop-In TV camera ops to travel thousands of miles in remote areas and keep a solid feed all throughout.

Doing this was a no-brainer for them. HEVC allows them to spend less data to send a stream to their studio, which means keeping costs low. Additionally, because they have to stream from mountains, cities and countrysides, being able to send a high-def stream at lower bitrates ensures they can send the stream reliably.

So let’s take a look at why HEVC could be a great solution for you:

It’s Perfect for Broadcasting in Remote Areas

As a broadcaster, it’s almost inevitable that at some point, you’ll have to stream from somewhere with little to no cellular signal. Sports games, destination weddings, news in outlying locations. In these scenarios, you either hire a broadcast truck with expensive satellite equipment, or you settle for sending lower-quality video to viewers at home.

But HEVC is poised to remedy this. By requiring less bandwidth to stream compared to AVC, you can set a lower bitrate to publish high-quality video.

For example, say you’re broadcasting a fishing tournament at a lake, and your 4G LTE connection is only giving you 3Mbps. If you streamed in AVC, this could achieve a 720p video at most. But by streaming in HEVC, that same bitrate can achieve 1080p resolution, giving your viewers a much better overall experience.

And RF Congested Locations

We might not be able to see it, but our airwaves are jam-packed with RF signals from all of our modern wireless devices. You can see this in locations where there are tons of people, and your phone loses its ability to do anything.

Similarly, even when multiple users share a wired network, the pipeline can become congested to the point of hampering your uplink. Congested areas are unavoidable now, so broadcasting needs to be more efficient.

Streaming with HEVC over AVC will help tremendously. Since you only need half the bitrate to send a stream out, you not only save money on data, but also have a lower chance of being bottlenecked by congestion. In areas like conventions where multiple companies are sharing a single network, this could be the difference between providing solid, high-def video and a spotty one for your viewers.

No Major Platforms Support HEVC/H.265 Yet

This may be true, but that hasn’t stopped many broadcasters from fully utilizing the efficiency HEVC offers. How do they do this? With Teradek Core.

Twitch production streams HEVC to Core using Teradek Cube.

When streaming from the EVO tournament in Las Vegas, the Twitch production crew needed a cost-effective way to provide video for tens of thousands of viewers. While Twitch doesn’t support HEVC natively, the Twitch team used the Teradek Cube to send an HEVC stream to Core. The stream was transcoded in Core to AVC, and then published to Twitch.

So while major platforms don’t support the compression standard currently, Core provides a practical alternative to achieve these streams.

It Saves Data/Money

Cost is the achilles heel of broadcasting, and while 4G LTE doesn’t cost as much as traditional broadcast trucks, it could add up if you’re streaming for long hours. Unlimited plans also suffer from throttling, and that’s the last thing you want during a broadcast.

It’s a no brainer then that HEVC helps to save on data, and thus money. It operates with 40-50% more efficiency than AVC video, meaning you spend less data to get your content to its destination. For on-demand network plans, this can save you a fortune. For unlimited plans, this gives you extra room before you hit the 4G cap.

When streaming from the EVO tournament in Las Vegas, the Twitch crew needed a way to broadcast to thousands of viewers with a low budget. To save on data, they streamed HEVC using the Teradek Cube to Core. Read more about that here.

It Pairs Incredibly Well w/ the Teradek Bond

Teradek Bond Backpack 

The Bond is a 4G LTE bonding encoder that combines up to 5x cellular USB modems into a single Internet network. Used by broadcast professionals, the Bond ensures that the streams get as much network redundancy as possible so the video stays smooth all throughout.

HEVC complements the Bond in three ways. First, the smaller data usage allows Bond users to stream with more confidence. Even if a connection drops, the additional modems could easily fill in the gap. Essentially, it’s much easier for Bond to provide a smooth, reliable HD stream with HEVC compression.

Second, Bond is essential for many production houses to stream reliably, and multiple SIMs on the Bond using data can get expensive, which can be prohibitive for organizations looking to broadcast an event. But using HEVC video, the costs of streaming with the Bond are reduced significantly.

Third, the Bond requires a Core subscription to bond cellular networks anyway. If you’re already enjoying the features in Core, you can easily add HEVC into the mix.


There’s no need to wait for mass adoption to start using HEVC because Teradek already provides a streamlined way to do it. The growing demand for live streaming by organizations large and small means that live video will continue to rise in popularity. The technology and costs must adapt to meet these demands, and HEVC is the best way to do it.

Learn more about Core here.

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How VUER’s “Frame Compare” Tool Saves Time on Set with MAKE films

The Serv Pro was released a little under a year ago, and in that short time it’s already become a staple in many professional setups. Being able to monitor on a smartphone from anywhere on set is a game-changer for production crews, which typically rely on sharing monitors in video village to get the job done.

But while most crews have been using their iOS devices just to monitor, MAKE films has been utilizing the tools that come with Serv Pro’s companion app, VUER, to ensure their clients get the best results possible. We’re sharing how they’ve been using Frame Compare to make sure their shots are precisely lined up between each take.

“The Serv Pro has been incredible for giving everyone a wireless monitor on our sets. Gaffers, makeup, clients. Everyone loves the convenience it offers when you can see the shot from anywhere. But one thing we’ve been adding to our shoots recently that has saved us a ton of time is the frame compare tool,” says Derek Dienner, CEO and Creative Director at MAKE films.

What is Frame Compare?

Frame Compare is a feature on VUER that takes a screen grab of your camera source, exports it to your iOS device’s camera roll, and allows you to compare it with the current camera frame. It does this by overlaying the previous shot with the current shot, showing crew exactly how to position the camera, talent, objects and background to achieve the best precision.

Shopping for the Shot

Director Dienner with Producer Williams monitoring on iPad Pro.

MAKE films works with local and global brands to create visual storytelling videos. Recently, they worked with Pennsylvania-based grocer and home-goods company, Stauffers of Kissel Hill, for a promo video.

“The goal of the video was to re-release Stauffers’ updated Vision, Values, and Mission to their team, partners, and customers. It shows how Stauffers team members interact with their customers across all departments. Their caring customer interactions and expert knowledge are really what differentiates them from other brands.”

Here’s what they used to capture the video:

  • Sony A7S
  • DJI Ronin
  • Paralinx Dart
  • SmallHD monitor
  • Teradek Serv Pro
  • 2x iPad, 3x iPhones
VUER allows for wireless monitoring on up to 10 iOS/Android devices.

“We chose to go with the A7S because we wanted to be as lightweight and mobile as possible. We had one day to capture all the footage, with multiple locations and talent. Because of these factors, getting the best footage in the shortest amount of time at each location was our main priority. Our gear was our best shot at accomplishing this.”

Mounted to the DJI Ronin was the Sony A7S camera, which had a Paralinx Dart sending zero-delay video wirelessly to the SmallHD monitor strapped to a light stand.

VUER is built with professional monitoring tools suited for everyone on set such as Waveform, Vectorscope, Frame Lines and Frame Compare.

Mounted to the side of the SmallHD was the Teradek Serv Pro, which took the video output from the monitor and sent it to every iOS device on set. This included the iPads for the Director (Derek) and Producer (Catlin Williams), and iPhones for the gaffer, coordinating producer, and client. With the Director and Producer switching to iPhones as necessary.

How MAKE films Uses Frame Compare

Because so many crew members had an iOS device on set, they could each monitor the shot conveniently and on the go, reducing the need for additional video village monitors - which creates more set up and break down time - as well as keeping a low profile at the shoot locations.

In addition to monitoring, Derek used Frame Compare to save time and get a more accurate picture on set. Before cutting between each take, he was able to take a screen grab to have an image of the framing. After breaks, they used the overlay to get the exact framing again, ensuring everything was in the right position.

Bottom row images were takes from later in the day. Frame Compare kept the framing precise and consistent. Shot for Frontline Education.

Also, Frame Compare helped Derek achieve a new kind of visual transition, which you can see below:

“The Frame Compare feature has changed the way we look at framing our shots. Before, we would spend lots of time figuring out how to frame after a break, doing comparisons between the main monitor and the camera. Now, we can achieve the exact look every time and speed up the whole shoot, all from my iPad. For projects where you only have a day to capture everything, these things really add up.”

“Our job as filmmakers in this space is to ensure our clients get the best results possible. At MAKE films, we handle all of the creative from start to finish. Oftentimes, we have tight deadlines to work with. Features like Frame Compare and devices like Serv Pro have really made our production more efficient and freed up our time to explore other ways to make our client’s video even better.”

MAKE | On Set with Teradek from MAKE films on Vimeo.

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Why Teradek RT is Perfect for Small Crews w/ Compassion International

Founded in 1952, Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by working exclusively with the Church to lift children out of spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. Compassion partners with more than 6,700 churches in 25 countries to deliver its holistic child development program to over 1.8 million babies, children and young adults. Compassion’s child sponsorship program has been validated through independent, empirical research. For more about the ministry, visit or follow them on Twitter @compassion.

What makes Compassion so successful at bringing aid into these underdeveloped parts of the world? When it comes to video, it’s all about telling a compelling, real-life story.

“Our mission was to film the journey of a family in the UK who’ve been sponsoring a child in Uganda for the last 10 years. They’ve been really invested in her growth but never had the chance to meet before. So we wanted to create a video that captured the emotions of the family traveling to Uganda to meet this young girl for the first time.” - Kevin Kelleher, MoVI Op at Ironclad.

Working with a Small Crew

Handheld rig with Teradek Bolt 1000.

Ironclad was tasked with creating a visually compelling storytelling video that Compassion could share with its current and future contributors, and rather than producing a somber donation video like the ones you see on TV, Ironclad and Compassion wanted to do something more uplifting. The strategy was to shoot cinematically.

"As Compassion and all of their partners strive to operate at the highest level, being able to convey a story with authenticity and make it visually captivating was a top priority for us,” said Kevin Kelleher, MoVI Op at Ironclad.

RED Epic Dragon on MoVI Pro. Pulling focus with Teradek RT Thumbwheels on both handlebars.

But because this is a humanitarian project, keeping the budget low was important. The production ran a 3-man crew: 2 camera ops and Director Ryan Johnson. This made for a very limiting cinematic production. Here’s how they made it work:

The 703 Bolt is an all-in-one handheld 7" monitor with a built-in Bolt Sidekick receiver. It supports receiving 1 video from the Bolt wirelessly, and another via SDI. Since they had 2x Bolt 1000s, one fed directly to the monitor wirelessly, while the other sent video to the additional Bolt receiver mounted to the back. This created a split screen on the monitor where Johnson and the crew could monitor both camera feeds simultaneously.

Because there were no ACs for this production, Kelleher needed to pull focus on his own while operating the MoVI Pro. He used the Teradek RT Thumbwheel-S, a wired controller with grips that allow for operators to easily adjust their own focus.

Camera Ops AND Focus Puller in One

Teradek RT Thumbwheels are wired to the Latitude M receiver and allow for easy control of the lens.

“We wanted the video to be both visually stunning and authentic at the same time, and we had to make it work with the limited resources/personnel in our hands. Lucky for us, we had top-notch gear that made it possible to achieve everything we wanted without needing as much resources as normal shoots. Thanks to the REDs and Teradeks which worked seamlessly together, and AbelCine for creating a custom package that specifically met our needs.”

External FIZ controls are essential to pulling focus on cameras rigged to gimbals. Since Teradek RT sets have optional, adjustable Thumbwheels for self focus pulling, Kelleher simply strapped them to the MoVI and controlled both gimbal & lens at the same time.

Sponsor and child meet in Uganda. Credit: Ironclad

Additionally, Bolts allowed both rigs to be 100% wireless and send pristine, zero-delay video to the Director, who monitored everything on his handheld 703 Bolt. For this run-and-gun shoot where there was no video village, tiny crew and constant moving, wireless monitoring was nothing short of critical.

“We want the video to represent how much it means when people come together to contribute to a cause. Normally this would require a much larger crew, but even with just 3 people we were able to capture every part of this momentous occasion. It really shows how versatile the Teradek RT and Bolt systems can be, whether you have a large crew or a small one.”

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3 Reasons to Get Wireless Video For Your School

Capturing school spirit at West Virginia University with handheld, wireless camera system. Credit: Kyle Monroe

School is out on summer break for now, but it won’t be long before a new Fall Semester sets in and we’re scrambling to make sure we have the right tools for another year! It’s not too early to start exploring what your school will need for 2018-2019, especially since you want the best bang for your school’s budget. What’s on your list?

Have you thought about introducing wireless video to your workflow? Many video delivery systems are now just as fast & reliable as wired systems, but allow you to do much more than a tethered camera would.

Here are 3 reasons why you should consider wireless video for your school:

1. Capture Exciting New Shots

Teradek wireless video used for baseball at West Virginia High School. Credit: Kyle Monroe

Handheld cameras can achieve angles that are much more engaging than static cameras shots, and we’re starting to see more schools/universities adopt these techniques for their productions. For example, handheld cameras can capture both the football players and the audience at much closer and dynamic angles, making them much more exciting than constant wide shots.

The key to handheld systems though is being mobile, and that’s where wireless video comes in. While your production switcher is somewhere in the back of an event, the camera needs to be able to move anywhere and still transmit a video signal back to it in real-time. Wireless video helps achieve this, allowing the camera operator to capture angles that would be previously impossible.

2. It’s Affordable

Teradek Bolt LT wireless systems are now very affordable for schools and universities.

Wireless video is used predominantly by the film industry or schools with big budgets, but as the technology becomes more available, companies have made it more accessible for everyone. Teradek is the premier manufacturer for the world’s most trusted zero-delay wireless video systems. Their newest product, the Bolt LT, is a no-frills wireless unit that sends video from transmitter to receiver with zero delay.

The transmitter connects to any video source via SDI and sends a feed to the receiver, which is connected to an output source. If your camera op is capturing video in a basketball game, he/she has the freedom to be anywhere on the court and send video to the switcher instantly. The best part? Its reduced price point of just $1990 puts it in the realm of affordability for most schools, especially ones with film and TV production programs.

3. Perfect for Education

Schools with production courses can benefit tremendously from having a wireless video system. Broadcast & film technologies are gradually shifting towards wireless everything, from video transport to monitoring to 4G LTE IP-based broadcasting in the field. What better way to teach the future of film than having a wireless set at the school?

Wireless video tools are perfectly suited for both broadcast and film curriculums. If your school has student volunteers who help broadcast events like assemblies and rallies, they can use wireless video for delivering video straight to production switchers or big screen TVs without being bound by cables. Film students could also borrow the gear for monitoring on set, which has never been a viable, affordable option for schools until now.


Budgets don’t exactly give too much priority to film & broadcast programs, but in the chances you do receive the funding, consider giving wireless video a chance. It’s not only a more productive piece of equipment than traditional systems, but also offers more education for your students. And in a world filled with fast-moving tech, it’s important for your school to offer the latest and best to your class.

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Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” Goes Live to Facebook with Teradek Bond

After the massive blockbuster success and infamous worldwide shocker that was Avengers: Infinity Wars, Marvel’s next major superhero movie is launching with high expectations. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe only seems to get better and better with every film, and how do you really follow an act like that of the Mad Titan?

Well, don’t count out Scott Lang and his new superhero partner just yet! Ant-Man and the Wasp, set to release on July 7, is one of the most highly-anticipated Marvel movies of all time, thanks to a star-studded cast, compelling narratives, unique super powers and the unstoppable momentum of MCU hype.

And the company hasn’t skimped on the marketing. Like many of their past movies (including Disney’s), one of the promotional strategies Marvel and Disney wanted to do for Ant-Man and the Wasp was create a conversation with an audience driven interactive Q&A session starring the film’s Director and cast on Facebook Live.

"Hurwitz Creative was tasked with creating a high engagement Live stream for promoting Marvel Studio's newest superhero film following the record-breaking success of Avengers: Infinity War. My personal approach was to capture the true essence of the cast members on a human level. Making A-list stars relatable and creating a safe discussion environment where actors can engage with real fan comments while being themselves yet remain on brand is key,” says George Barnes, Director at Ridley Scott Associates new division, RSA Live.

A Super Setup

As one of the go-to guys for brands, agencies and major studios seeking to do high engagement Facebook Live, George Barnes has a reason for being so trusted in the live production world. Having done the live streams for Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers:Infinity War and many more, Barnes ensures that every production he does for these major studios reflect the craft, professionalism and reputation that they demand.

So how are his live streams so successful? First, foresight. “I saw something special back in 2012. I had developed technology to send live, multi-camera video content to a mobile app. There it was- live interactive Television, in my hand. So I guess you can say I am a true pioneer in this space”

Second, his streaming setup:

  • Multiple cameras including Alexa, RED’s new 8k Weapon, & various Canons geared to the particular project.
  • 1x Sound Devices 633 audio mixer
  • 2x Teradek Bond units (1 backup)
  • 1x Teradek Core account
  • 10x 4G USB modems (5 backups)

For the Ant-Man & The Wasp live stream, 7 cameras shot from multiple angles and sent video feeds to a switcher, where Barnes cut between the cameras and sent the live video directly to the Teradek Bond.

The Bond is a 4G USB bonding device that can combine up to 5 modems, Ethernet and WiFi into a single, powerful Internet connection for video streaming. Used by professional broadcasters, the Bond is designed to offer maximum network redundancy, providing a failsafe in case any single connection dropped. In situations where connections can be shaky and unreliable, the extra connections ensure that the stream stays up the entire time.

From the Bond, Barnes first sent the stream to his Core account, Teradek’s cloud-based stream management platform. There, he monitored the health of his connection, managed the resolution and bitrate of the Bond, and distributed the stream directly to the Marvel Studios Facebook Page.

The show ran for 20 minutes, and garnered over 440,000 total views.

Bonded Streaming for Major Studios

“When working with Hollywood A-list celebrities and the major studios there’s really no room for error on the live stream. We have just one shot to do the whole thing right. There aren’t any retakes in live shows, so our production needs to be carefully planned, beautifully crafted, and perfectly executed.”

Live videos like these can create a ton of positive buzz for the promoting company, but it can also prove detrimental if the live stream fails. Every client puts their reputation on the line for this marketing opportunity, and count on directors like Barnes to get the job done. That’s why Barnes relies on bonded technology to ensure his streams have as much backup as technically possible.

“I use the Bond on all of my live shoots no matter who we’re streaming for. There’s nothing more important to publicity and engagement than having a solid stream with good video quality, and all of that depends on the strength of your Internet connection. And when these huge clients have so much on the line, one connection isn’t going to cut it. That’s why I trust the Bond.”

“We use multiple USBs to give us as much protection from dropouts as possible. It not only prevents the stream from lagging, but also if one of the connections drop for any reason, the backups kick in and you won’t even notice it on the feed. That’s the kind of reliability I want for my projects, and Teradek has never let me down.”

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How ABC’s "Back in Time For Dinner" Gave Monitoring to its Entire Crew on Set

Everyone on set wants to see the monitor to be better at their roles, but as all set life crew know too well, trying to see the monitor in video village is like searching for your friend at a music festival. And if you’re not the Director or AC on set, chances are you’ll have to share a monitor with the rest of your crew and accommodate their needs as well. We all know how annoying that can be.

But this production wasn’t going to have those issues. ABC’s Back in Time for Dinner is Australia’s newest primetime TV show - adapted from the incredibly successful British TV show of the same name - where a family is placed sometime in the 20th century and have to behave according that time period, all while chuckling at the ridiculousness of it all. From fashion to cookware to gender roles, this half comedy, half lifestyle show isn’t only historical, but also a poignant look at the contrasts between now and back then.

“This was going to be the show’s big debut in Australia, so our goal was to make it even better than the BBC did for the UK version. The show was highly-anticipated by Australian viewers who’ve watched the British version since 2015. It’s so popular even Canada is producing one now,” says Tim Hawkins, DP for the show.

Time to Monitor

“One of the biggest obstacles on major sets is how many people want to see the shot. We work in an age of cinematography where because you have tools like monitors, more people want to see it to make their jobs easier. But on top of that, since this show had major network backing, we had clients from Warner Bros, BBC, and even media outlets come to check out the production. So instead of taking our monitors, we used the Serv Pro instead.”

The setup:

  • 3x Sony F5 cameras (handheld/Easy Rig)
  • 3x Teradek Serv Pro
  • 1x Teradek Link router
  • Multiple iPads and iPhones on set

DP Tim Hawkins with Serv Pro on FS5 Easy Rig.

The Serv Pro is an iOS/Android monitoring device that allows anyone within range to monitor the shot from the convenience of their own mobile devices, all by connecting to the same WiFi network. This gives every contributing member on set a personal monitor to play with, and the companion app VUER comes loaded with professional monitoring features like focus assist, frame grab and waveform.

Most of the production used a 3-camera setup, each with a Teradek Serv Pro connected. The Serv Pros then broadcast the video wirelessly to the Link’s WiFi network, where Tim’s crew and clients used their personal devices to pull a feed. Since the VUER app can display up to 4 different screens side-by-side, they could monitor every camera simultaneously.

Crew members monitored every camera feed on tablets and phones with the VUER app.

Most of the primary crew members used it for their roles, including the Director, Series Producer, Executive Producer, 1st AC and clients. At times the crew managed to reach the maximum 10 mobile devices supported.

Something for Everybody

“A large portion of the show is shot in front of the dining table with the talent working around it and sitting down for dinner. For these shots, I want to have eyes on every single camera, and obviously looking at each camera’s viewfinder won’t work. So instead I used either an iPhone or an iPad from the video village. This way I was able to see all cameras at the same time, and see exactly what other members on set were seeing too.”

Serv Pro supports up to 10 iOS/Android devices.

With sets that were often jam-packed, it was essential that crewmembers and clients could monitor without crowding around a single monitor. That’s why Hawkins chose to incorporate the Serv Pros into this production. Each member on set could tune in from their own personal devices, which meant more freedom to move around set and see the shot.

This also helped each member perform their individual tasks better. The series producer & executive producers needed to have photos from the production each night, so instead of taking photos on set, they used VUER’s frame grab to get the images straight to their iOS camera roll. Similarly, when Hawkins had to adjust lights & background, instead of moving back & forth between viewfinder and the set, all he needed was his phone to make quick adjustments.

With the Link and Serv Pro, crews could monitor the shot on personal devices from up to 1000 ft. away.

“For demanding projects like this, it’s critical that we operate as efficiently as possible to get the job done. The solution I found for achieving that is by getting as many of my crew access to the shot as possible. When I could look at my phone and see how the other camera guys were framing, it completely changed the way I operated and directed on set. In my world, the Serv Pro is here to stay and firmly locked into my essentials kit.”

Tim Hawkins is a Director of Photography based in Australia. His work includes other popular TV series such as My Kitchen Rules, Real Housewives of Sydney, Hell’s Kitchen Australia, and much more. Instagram - LinkedIn

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Bonded 4G Introduces Pro Disc Golf to the World

“Disc golf is one of those sports that has been growing tremendously over the last several years, with 25% more people attending events and tuning in online year after year. But it hasn’t quite hit mainstream yet, so we’re using social media and live streaming to bring this awesome sport to our fans.” - Jon Van Deurzen, SmashBoxx TV.

Since 2010, Jon Van Deurzen has been live streaming disc golf as a passion project of his, doing his best to contribute to the rising popularity of the rather new sport that resembles both ultimate frisbee and golf. Based in Milwaukee, WI, him and his company, SmashBoxx TV, handle all of the league’s tournament broadcasts, and provide everything from cameras to commentary to live editing.

On the Course

“Our goal is to be able to stream footage that makes disc golf as exciting as a PGA tour, but without the massive budget that they have. They can easily afford broadcast trucks and several cameras, but as a niche sport, our small budgets force us to find solutions that can get as close to a TV broadcast as possible.”

But live streaming a sport like disc golf isn’t exactly straightforward. Courses are outdoors and stretch as wide as golf courses, oftentimes through trees and thick brush (terrain unique to disc golf). Because the players progress through the course, there’s no way to set up a village for production. Cameras have to be wireless and roaming.

The Smashboxx setup:

  • 2x Canon XF100
  • 4x Teradek Bond
  • 4x Verizon 4G LTE USB modem
  • 1x Teradek Core account
  • 1x vMix

The key to their broadcast is through the Teradek Bond. The Bond is a 4G LTE cellular bonding device that combines multiple Internet connections into a single, robust connection for video streaming. It works by sending IP video to Core, the Teradek cloud-based platform, where it can be redistributed to any online destination, decoder or pulled down via TCP.

Their camera team films from two angles: one at the tee and one at the goal. Both cameras have Bonds equipped with 2x Verizon 4G LTE modems, which stream video directly to Jon’s Core account. The multiple 4G modems give the encoder network redundancy, ensuring the stream stays smooth during the entire broadcast.

From his home in Milwaukee, Jon uses Core to pull down the stream via Teradek Stream Reader into his vMix software switcher on PC. Through vMix, Jon adds graphics, switches between the cameras and publishes the stream to

A Perfect Bonded Solution

“We want to help this professional sport grow into something major, and live streaming has given us and other fans of disc golf the chance to find each other and celebrate it together. The fact that our streams have been getting 15-30k views per day of broadcast shows that there’s an interest out there for niche sports, and we want to make sure that number grows higher every year. The Teradeks are critical to that.”

“One of the most important things for us is being able to manage the stream remotely. We don’t have the infrastructure that mainstream sports broadcasts have, but by going to the cloud, we can pull down the stream from anywhere and add all of the graphics remotely. I’m at my workstation at home instructing my team on where to position, and editing the live footage as it comes in.”

For outdoor sports like disc golf where distance is a major factor, 4G bonding offers an affordable way to bring the action to viewers from anywhere on the course. With Bond, the camera guys are able to move freely around the action while capturing every bit of the plays and breaks. In addition, with Core, Jon is able to monitor and control every parameter of their streams (resolution, bitrate, destination) all from his work station at home.

But most importantly, the main part of Jon’s workflow is the Bond’s redundancy. By using multiple modems per Bond unit, the production team can continue operating even if one modem loses signal. In the event of a dropped connection on one modem, Bond’s automatic failover allows the secondary modems to fill in, keeping the broadcast smooth and seamless.

This helps Jon provide his clients and fellow supporters of the sport the high-quality coverage and recognition that it deserves.

“Everything we do is to make sure our content is top-notch while being strategic with time and cost. The Bonds and Core allow us to go live straight from the roaming cameras, and make it so easy that I could control the entire operation from my home hundreds or thousands of miles away. They go with us into any environment and any location, and allow us to create something worthy of a professional sport.”

Learn more about disc golf here, and more about SmashBoxx’s work here.

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Check Out This One-Shot Action Stunt Filmed Live for China’s New Mega-Studio Grand Opening


April 28 saw the grand opening of China’s new mega-studio, Wanda Studios, which is said by many in the film industry to be so grand, it’s giving Paramount & Universal Studios a run for their money. In fact, not only does Wanda Group plan for the studio be the next major facility for film, but there has been investment of  over $8 billion into the city of Qingdao to create the Qingdao Movie Metropolis, a 166-hectare site with 40 sound stages, production studios, hotels, roads and everything to make the film industry flock to this relatively unknown beachside city.

It’s undeniable that China wants a slice of the global entertainment pie, and this event - which invited A-list cinematographers, celebrities, government officials, studio executives and visitors - is the country’s way of making an introduction. Lucky for us, we were able to get an inside look.

Producing a Short Film, Live!

As part of the event, Wanda Studios wanted to present attendees with a glimpse of what the studio offers. This came in the form of a $1 million short film production that would be filmed 100% live and unedited. Made possible with DJI and U-Gear, a premier rental house in China.

“DJI was given the opportunity to create a realistic fight scene with multiple cameras and not only film it for post-production, but also send a live feed to the big screen where invited guests  would watch the action. This was meant to showcase what the studio is capable of, and be a nice short production all parties could use for promotions,” said Eduardo Cardenas, Senior Producer at DJI.

“The shot was one continuous sequence featuring multiple cameras cutting back and forth by a live production team on site. Because the camera ops were constantly moving, we needed a way to bring the video back to the live production team wirelessly and reliably. That’s why we used the Teradek.”

Here’s DJI’s setup for Wanda’s short film production:

  • 3x RED Weapon
  • 1x ARRI Alexa Mini
  • 4x Teradek Bolt 3000 transmitters
  • 8x Teradek Bolt 3000 receivers
  • 4x SmallHD monitors
  • 4x DJI Ronin 2
  • Ready Rig
  • Dolly
  • Cablecam
  • Motion Control Arm

Each camera was mounted to a Ronin 2 gimbal, which was then put on a Ready Rig, dolly, cablecam and Motion Control arm. The cameras all fed video to the Teradek Bolt 3000 transmitters (mounted on the gimbal too), which sent zero-delay video wirelessly to Bolt receivers in video village & the live production switcher.

From the switcher, the feed was cut live and projected to the big screen above. Check out the  BTS video here:

Grand Opening Success

“Creating a live stunt for the big players of this huge event was a pretty significant ordeal. We only had one shot at doing this right, so there was zero room for errors in any part of the production. It was critical that our four 1st ACs got wireless video to their monitors every time, and that the live team also had the videos to switch between in real-time.”

DJI’s production ultimately represented everything that DJI and Wanda Group wanted to display about the studio’s capabilities as a future facility of film. As the company that now owns Legendary Entertainment and AMC Theatres, Wanda needed to have this publicity event go smoothly. And having zero-delay, wireless video was essential to that bottom line.

“Remember, this was all one continuous take moving through multiple sets. It would’ve been impossible to hardline any of the cameras. That’s why the Bolts were so important. They worked through multiple walls and long distance with zero issues. We knew we were getting the best, and we were proud of what we accomplished.”

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How to Monitor 4 Cameras on a Single iPad – Featuring the Upcoming “DJI Ronin 2 Pro Class with Dave Anglin”

DJI has a new advanced workshop created for professionals in the industry to master their skills in gimbal operation, and they’re packing some serious equipment for their students! The class is led by veteran gimbal op Dave Anglin who just came off the upcoming television show Yellowstone starring Kevin Costner (check out his work at This class is designed for people who have some experience in gimbals, but want to sharpen their techniques to bring it to the next level or even cinematographers who might be interested in learning how to use the tool on upcoming projects.

“Our mission is to teach gimbal ops the most efficient ways to operate, control, maneuver and capture using the DJI Ronin 2 as our focus. We want people who attend our class - which is essentially a MasterClass for gimbal operators - to leave with the confidence that they can work on the next Avengers movie,” said Anglin.

Gimbal and Gear

But there was a challenge in teaching this course: how do you actively check the video of each student? Originally the plan was to have a wireless monitor for each camera rig, with monitors sitting side by side and wireless transmitters on each camera. Of course, this wouldn’t only be very expensive, but also restricts Anglin to the video village and not with the students. So they came up with a different solution.

“This is a very hands-on course so I didn’t want to be sitting behind a wall of monitors all day. I wanted to work closely with the students and guide them throughout the course. So Patrick from DJI proposed that we use the Serv Pros instead. That way I could see every camera feed on my iPad and have a view wherever I went.”

RED with Teradek Serv Pro.

The class consisted of 8 students with 4 cameras. Here’s what the setup looked like:

  • 4x DJI Ronin 2
  • 2x RED Heliums
  • 1x RED Monstro
  • 1x RED Scarlet
  • 2x SmallHD 503
  • 2x SmallHD 703
  • 4x Serv Pro
  • 1x Link
  • 1x iPad Pro
  • 4x iPad Mini

Each camera was mounted to a DJI Ronin 2, pushing video out via SDI to SmallHD 503’s. Mounted to each monitor was the Teradek Serv Pro, pulling a video source and sending it to the Link router.

Connected to the same router, every iPad (with the VUER app) in the classroom picked up the 4x Serv Pro camera feeds, displaying it on a 2x2 grid to see every camera simultaneously. Each team of 2 students carried an iPad Mini to monitor their gimbal operating, and instructor Anglin used an iPad Pro.

A Mobile Monitoring Tool

VUER allows you to monitor up to 4 camera feeds on a 2x2 grid.

“It was really important to me, as the instructor, to have that ability to work closely with my students and see if they were getting the movements down. The class is meant to be small, personal and hands-on, so being stuck behind a workstation and shouting like a lecture wasn’t an option.”

Serv Pro is designed for situations where zero-delay wireless video is not essential. It allows iOS/Android devices with the VUER app to pick up its video feed via WiFi, allowing for a max of 4 screens to be viewed at the same time. This comes with only 2 frames of delay, and is as easy as connecting every mobile device to the same WiFi network as the Serv Pro(s). This is made easier with the Link, our long-range WiFi router designed for production sets.

Serv Pro broadcasts to up to 10 iOS/Android devices on set.

The Serv Pro isn’t typically intended for gimbal use (zero-delay systems are better for monitoring & pulling focus in real-time), but for a class where Anglin wanted to see every student’s work side-by-side, it allowed him to monitor with the freedom of being anywhere in class.

“We wouldn’t have been able to offer the level of service that we did without the Serv Pro. Depending on which group of students I was working with, I could choose their screen on my iPad and enlarge it to get a full size display of their camera. The touch screen makes monitoring much easier than hardware monitors. It was the perfect tool for our needs.”

Want to find out more about the class?

Email to enquire about the next class or to sign up at: [email protected]

Next class will be on July 14th, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.