Founded in 2018, Live Production Tech is a video production company in South Africa. Just recently, Video Transport was used as part of their workflow to remotely produce a major polo competition in the UK. We spoke to Michael Esteves about how Video Transport was used during the Cartier Queen's Cup 2021.
Having started the company, Michael invested into LiveU streaming units, but soon found out that a separate solution was needed to send video feeds back to the production location.
It's a real time point-to-point video acquisition or distribution system. It allows us to send video from our studio to remote locations.
What is the specific job Video Transport is used for?
So the use case we're using now, is we are filming polo in the UK. It's a two or three camera mix at the side of the field that is sent to our studio in South Africa, where we do switching, graphics and replays. We use Video Transport to send the Program feed back to the field in the UK so the commentators can look at the replays and comment on them in real time.
What is the business value of the product to you?
It allowed us to bring the cost down of the whole event. It's a lot cheaper for us to do the production in South Africa and offer the service to a UK event at a cheaper rate. But it wasn't possible to provide the same level of service that a person on site provides. Video Transport allowed us as a business to provide our services to international clients, as if we were there, at a cheaper rate.
Was your use case connected to the pandemic?
Last year was the first year that we did it. We got the contract, because in the UK the tournament happened during the pandemic, and they weren't allowed spectators at the field, and also worried about having too many crew at the field. So they asked us to be remote.
But, coming out of the pandemic – hopefully, we are coming out of it – we’re not going back to the old way. I don't want to leave my studio: it's quite nice not having to drive and spend hours setting up. We turn it on and it's all working, all plugged in, all good to go. So, this is definitely the way forward, even post-pandemic, when we can potentially get back to the way things were.
So, last year, when we did it, it was about practicality: it was impossible to do it without the solution. But this year, we could have possibly done it there. But it doesn't make financial sense to do it in person, and it does make financial sense to do it remotely.
What do you like most about the product?
We like the fact that feeds automatically appear in the VT Receiver app. So, the setup is nice and simple: you just click on that feed, and it shows up. This ecosystem, where the other app knows about the sender, is super helpful.