CP Communications and its subsidiary Red House Streaming have gradually evolved their St. Petersburg, Florida headquarters into a specialized broadcast and production center that even produces and streams original programming worldwide for local and remote talent. The growing media and entertainment company has now deployed a varied network infrastructure of 1Gb and 10Gb pipes that interface with its two homegrown RHS studios and new RHS-36 truck, allowing the company to seamlessly manage live content coming from and going to any location globally – without leaving the property, and without leaving the IP domain if desired.
These advances, along with the ability for clients to bring their own production trucks to interface directly with the IP network infrastructure, have inspired CP and RHS to formally rebrand the facility as Red House Streaming Production Center. The facility has already hosted several REMI productions, including the Bermuda Track and Field Championships and two ACC Golf Championship events.
“We differ from conventional production centers because we offer a true all-IP production ecosystem,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, of CP Communications, and Red House Streaming. “We offer multiple levels of professional production using traditional studio or control room workflows. Regardless of which production service is used, we acquire in IP, we produce in IP, and we distribute in IP. We can keep it all in IP with our vMix workflows, or also decode content for a traditional SDI workflow onboard RHS-36. We can then encode it back to IP for distribution.”
As Heitmann explains, the Red House Streaming Production Center uses Internet Protocol compression standards in ways that allow clients to capture, edit, process, and deliver programming in their preferred formats. “We work in compressed environments, instead of moving uncompressed content around the facility on network cable,” said Heitmann. “Working in compressed environments is what gives our clients the freedom to manage content to and from anywhere globally over IP in a variety of formats, including RTMP, RTSP, SRT, and NDI.”
The first 2022 REMI production project from Red House Streaming Production Center was the Bermuda Track and Field Championships for Carr-Hughes Productions (CHP) which aired on NBC Sports. This project utilized CHP’s High Rock mobile truck. Red House Streaming engineered a layer 2 network that transported eight video signals with 32 channels of audio, RVON communications, control data for cameras, and return video and scoring data to and from Bermuda. “Basically, we extended the truck and production center networks to Bermuda,” said Heitmann. “The NBC announcers were in RHS Studio A and the international commentator was in RHS Studio B, and it was as if they were onsite.”
CP’s RHS-36 mobile unit was later brought in for the ACC Women’s Golf Championship, which took place in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. CP and RHS acquired eight bonded cellular signals from the Reserve Golf Club and natively placed them into the traditional control room workflow onboard RHS-36 back at Red House Streaming Production Center. The content was managed and processed on board RHS-36 in a traditional SDI video workflow, which includes a Ross Video Carbonite switcher, Ross Xpression graphics, Evertz Dreamcatcher replay systems and Yamaha audio mixing, before being distributed over IP to the web. A similar project for the Men’s ACC Golf Championship event live from Panama City, Florida followed one week later.
“The ACC Women’s and Men’s Golf Tournaments were the proving ground, as there were six hours of live transmission with eight cameras including an RHS CamSTREAM, a drone and six traditional cameras – all coming into RHS-36 over bonded cellular,” said Heitmann.
While RHS-36 offers a more traditional control room environment, RHS Studios A and B offer true studio workflow environments for clients that truly want to keep it all in IP. “We are using our vMix studio switching workflows in the two RHS studios, which keep everything in native IP,” he said.
Heitmann adds the company’s new FastReturn system brings another important differentiating layer to the company’s REMI production arsenal. FastReturn can ingest any H.264 baseline profile RTMP stream, supporting HD resolution and 128kbit stereo audio with bitrates up to 10 MBps with less than 400ms of latency, and then place live-acquired content from the cloud directly into Red House Streaming Production Center’s IP network. CP and RHS technicians architected the IP network infrastructure for optimized redundancy and failover and added an enterprise broadband pipe to support future 4K, 8K, and similar high-bandwidth productions.
“We have 1Gb backup pipes for transmission, engineering, and other production arms that assure uninterrupted service, and we have a full NOC for monitoring and quality assurance as well as to manage remote talent,” said Heitmann. “It’s all about providing the most flexible and reliable solutions for today’s varied REMI productions, and we can handle it all from Red House Streaming Production Center.”