What’sNext

At a Glance

Hardware:

  • HD Broadcast Studio
  • Blackmagic ATEMs
  • Makito Encoder
  • Wowza Server
  • Grass Valley T2

Software:

  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Edius 6
  • Motion 5
  • WordPress

My Roles:

  • Founder
  • Series Producer
  • Head of Technical
  • Editor
  • Website Design
  • Graphics and Logo
  • Presenter

Project Overview

What’sNext is a weekly live TV show hosted by Staffs TV that focuses on Film, Music and Games. It was founded by myself and Sophie Piedallu and we were the series producers for the first two series (Jan 2012 – Mar 2013).  I also presented all but two of the episodes, as well as leading the technical side during set-up.

The show was set up to provide Staffordshire University film students experience of working in a broadcast environment. The focus was to produce a regular show with high productions values and content relevant to other students on the Beaconside campus.

The show won highly commended for Best Live at the 2013 NaSTA (National Student Television Association) awards.

Production Workflow

Every episode of What’sNext was recorded inside the HD broadcast studio at the Beaconside Campus of Staffordshire University. During the set up of the show, I would oversee all the technical aspects of the studio including VT, Graphics, CCD and Lighting. As the crew was often untrained, I had to both train them on the equipment and fix anything that went wrong.

The show was live broadcast using a Makito Encoder, a Wowza server and an embedded JWPlayer on our websites. The streaming was set up to try an enable as many viewers as possible to watch, for this reason I set up dynamic streaming and HTTP Live Streaming to the system. This meant that the stream would work on Flash and iOS and would automatically switch between SD and HD based on the speed of your internet connection and the size of the screen.

One of the initial problems the show had was that audio or video would accidentally go out over the live stream while we were setting the show up. In order to fix this, I introduced a transmission centre which went between the studio and the encoder. This was a Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio, which allowed an operator to vision mix between a static logo and the studio feed (and any other HD-SDI or HDMI source if needed).

The show was recorded onto a Grass Valley T2 in the Grass Valley HQ codec. As the show was edited on FCP X, this file had to be first converted into XDCAM H22 using Edius 6 and then converted into Pro Res using Sony XDCAM. However, recently Edius released a plugin for Mac that allowed the codec to be opened natively in Quicktime (and therefore, in FCP X).

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