Creating CasparCG templates in Adobe CC

Those of you who know me will know I’m quite up for doing seemingly mad things if someone throws them at me and they involve some challenges of a technical nature. Back sometime in April, already planning to go along to BUCK – Europe’s largest brony convention, held in The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK – I asked their staff if they needed any technical people to help out on the day. “No, but we need a technical manager” was the response. How could I say no?

Two weeks from the gig, and things are now settling down to the nitty-gritty of producing content for the live stream. The stream itself is fairly complex – four Sony PMW-200 cameras, two of them with Wevi HD-SDI senders, a Roland V-1600HD vision mixer and a boatload of computers feeding in video. Any decent multicam production needs a little bit of glamour in the form of lower thirds (the things that pop up to say who people are) and some title cards. Of course, this being a quite low-budget production we wanted to do this on a budget. Enter CasparCG, a superb open source playout system designed and developed by our friends at SVT, Sweden’s BBC equivalent. This is a bit of a rushed walkthrough of how I put some of the stuff together. Continue reading Creating CasparCG templates in Adobe CC

Next steps: Video streaming and production

I’ve done a lot of blogging on radio and Rivendell in particular. I’m a huge proponent of open tools and technologies wherever possible because it provides tons of flexibility, is cheap, and in many cases is just as powerful or easy to use as the commercial stuff. Radio and audio is complex, but why stop there? At Insanity we’ve been evaluating video streaming as a way of adding to our existing broadcasts and coverage, as video can be far more engaging to consumers than audio, particularly in the YouTube era. But with Insanity, we have one major problem: We don’t have any money!

So, you might figure that’s a problem. You’d be, partly, right. Video involves a lot more data, loads more numbers to crunch as a result, more bandwidth, and so on. Not to mention the relevant methods of capture are immensely more expensive to implement than the equivalent-quality audio. I’d like, though, to highlight a few nice things for open source video and production. Continue reading Next steps: Video streaming and production

Interfacing SilentJack and Nagios

So, silence detection is a big deal when it comes to monitoring broadcast audio systems. You want to be sure your stuff is making noise. If your sustainer’s not putting anything out, it’s not a lot of good.

SilentJack is an awesome little utility from the king of ‘oh, that’s a handy little program for broadcast’, Nicholas Humfrey. This guy’s getting a beer if I ever meet him. But it’s not a simple drop-in tool for monitoring, sadly – we need to do a bit of work to make it so. Continue reading Interfacing SilentJack and Nagios