Tampa’s first streaming network capable of reaching more than 1 million viewers offers a socially responsible approach to media and community engagement – and will serve as a blueprint for RHStv network launches in other US cities
St. Petersburg, Florida, March 2, 2023 — Red House Streaming, a subsidiary of CP Communications, officially launched RHStv Connecting Tampa Bay, a homegrown, advertising-supported streaming network with a growing lineup of original topic-driven programming, on February 2. Available on the official RHStv.com website, a free RHStv app for iOS and Android devices, and Connected TV platforms such Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Play, and Roku, the FAST (free ad supported television) streaming networkempowers local voices through three linear channels and a large roster of shareable VOD programs.
RHStv Connecting Tampa Bay represents the next phase of CEO Kurt Heitmann’s vision to grow the Red House Streaming (RHS) business into a full-service video production and media delivery company. The Red House Streaming business also includes a professional studio and production center in St. Petersburg, Florida; and a live event business powered through production trucks, technicians, and a range of RHS and third-party hardware and software solutions.
The RHStv Connecting Tampa Bay launch now adds broadcast-quality programming for Connected TV platforms to Red House Streaming’s creative services and technology portfolio. What excites Heitmann the most is the opportunity for RHStv to serve a social purpose that empowers people to discover, share, create, engage, entertain, and come together through social media platforms, premium streaming services, and local content available live and on-demand.
“RHStv is a new approach to media and community engagement,” said Heitmann. “RHStv represents a socially responsible network that offers inspirational stories to viewers of all ages, create awareness on important topics, and provide a voice to local businesses, charitable organizations and our youth, among others. We aim to empower individuals and communities through the convergence of linear television, social media, and direct-to-consumer delivery of professionally produced content created in our studios or on location.”
Heitmann emphasizes that while RHStv’s original content today is largely about the Tampa Bay community, the content will appeal to all viewers that have interest in the region. That may be through family ties, fondness for local sports teams, or other connections to the community such as a local business, previous or upcoming vacations, or other general interests. The hyper-local Tampa Bay focus also establishes a blueprint to expand the RHStv model to other cities.
“RHStv Connecting Tampa Bay is a template for other cities where we intend to launch similar services in over the coming years,” said Heitmann, noting that the company’s remote production expertise will play a role in that expansion strategy. “We intend to open satellite studios and production facilities that pair with our REMI production services. The RHStv model itself is about the delivery of content, and bringing compelling content to local audiences using modern streaming platforms. We don’t own the content; our clients own the content, and we can provide the production services and technology infrastructure to support their visions as desired.”
RHStv Connecting Tampa Bay has already attracted local sponsors, including Golden Diamond Source and Tactical Rehab, for its program lineup. Some sponsors produce their ads at Red House Streaming studios. “The real draw has to do with the quality of our programming, and our audience reach, which has the potential to reach more than 1 million viewers,” said Heitmann. “We also take steps to maintain the privacy of our viewers, which is a concern to streaming audiences,” he added. “We do not and never will share or sell viewer data.”
RHStv Connecting Tampa Bay offers three linear channels (the flagship RHStv channel, Sarina Fazan Network/SFN and Youth News Network/YNN) that cover multiple topics. Programs are added to the VOD library following their first airings, and available for viewers to embed and share via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. For VOD content, viewers can search for specific topics from the main page menu bar or a search function, including business, entertainment, family and education, health, lifestyle, and sports.
Speaking of sports, a fourth linear channel now will bring additional sports talk to the network. The first of these programs, The JP Peterson Show, is currently broadcast live weekdays on the RHS.tv channel from 10am-12noon. Peterson is a local sports personality that served as lead sports anchor for WFLA-TV, the Tampa area’s NBC affiliate, for 10 years; Sarina Fazan of SFN is also a former local news anchor and journalist, having spent nearly decades at WTFS-TV, the area’s ABC affiliate. (Fazan and Peterson also co-host The Lighter Side of Sports on RHStv.)
Another popular program to recently launch on RHStv’s linear channel is Caregiving Worldwide, a weekly series with host and entrepreneur Traci Lamb. Also available in the VOD library, Caregiving Worldwide welcomes CEOs from around the world to speak about products and services that help more than 300 million people worldwide take care of loved ones at home.
Red House Streaming supports, enables and simplifies the creation and delivery of broadcast quality media content. Powered by CP Communications, Red House Streaming (RHS) provides custom glass-to-glass IP production and streaming solutions for every type of live event or recorded program. With our solutions, you can bring unmatched efficiency to your operation, enabling superior live video streaming without the need for costly satellite uplink equipment or airtime. Whether you shoot at our studio or remotely, RHS makes producing and streaming content easier and more affordable than you thought possible. Learn more at
New Spark HD trailer joins flagship RHS-36 production truck to support broader range of budgets and requirements for live-streamed productions
St. Petersburg, Florida, February 16, 2023 — Red House Streaming, a subsidiary of CP Communications, has officially rolled out its second mobile production vehicle to support the company’s growing schedule of live-streamed productions. The compact unit is equipped with broadcast-quality video gear and a Dante audio infrastructure, providing a professional streaming control room with a hybrid HD-SDI and IP production workflow to support a wide array of events.
Red House Streaming developed the 16-foot Spark HD to offer an affordable standalone mobile production solution for high school and college sports, corporate events, and concerts and festivals among other live-streamed events of varied budgets. With its onboard SRT encoders and data transmission capabilities, Spark HD can establish a network connection to deliver live streams from locations that lack reliable internet connectivity.
A 24-input Ross Carbonite production switcher and vMix machines for graphics and replay provides plenty of power as a mobile production trailer. On the audio side, Spark HD has a Yamaha TF-5 audio mixer, and its Dante infrastructure supports 64 channels of bi-directional audio through integration with external Dante subnets. Spark HD also comes complete with an RTS OMS intercom system, and supports intercom trunking through RTS RVON and TIFF telephone interfaces.
“One of our first projects involving Spark HD was a live boxing event in Florida that involved supporting five transmission formats and required a large cluster of replay devices,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications and Red House Streaming. “Spark HD shined as our transmission trailer and as a B Unit for specific production elements, including graphics. It is a compact unit that packs plenty of punch to supplement our largest REMI productions.”
“But Spark HD mainly exists to provide our customers with an affordable solution to professionally produce live-streamed events – a core and continually growing part of the Red House Streaming Business,” he added.
Heitmann notes that Spark HD has been in demand as an onsite production control room, and in some cases his customers have selected Spark HD over a more traditional flypack unit due its affordability. He points to a recent special event at a Tiger Woods PopStroke location, a Florida-based chain of family-friendly golf and outdoor dining destinations.
“Mike Billingsley, owner of video production Action Television, called us and asked for a vMix flight-pack with some PTZ cameras. We offered Spark HD as an alternative, and that gave him a controlled environment for a turnkey production that included extra cameras, a fiber backbone and even a generator,” he said. “That essentially sparked his production, and he got much more value out of his efforts to produce and deliver a more compelling live production for a very affordable price.”
Red House Streaming’s ability to meet different client budgets is strengthened by the company’s thoughtful infrastructure. For example, corporate AV events that don’t require replay gear can still leverage the hybrid HD-SDI and IP workflow to produce and record events without the extra bells and whistles required for live sports production. “Spark HD can support everything a traditional broadcast workflow requires at a lower cost,” said Heitmann. “We have a traditional broadcast switcher yet can manage the audio workflow, graphics and more through our Dante network and vMix system, which keeps costs lower for the client. In the end, they still achieve the same high-quality result for live productions.”
About Red House Streaming
Red House Streaming supports, enables and simplifies the creation and delivery of broadcast quality media content. Powered by CP Communications, Red House Streaming (RHS) provides custom glass-to-glass IP production and streaming solutions for every type of live event or recorded program. With our solutions, you can bring unmatched efficiency to your operation, enabling superior live video streaming without the need for costly satellite uplink equipment or airtime. Whether you shoot at our studio or remotely, RHS makes producing and streaming content easier and more affordable than you thought possible. Learn more at www.redhousestreaming.com.
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New office establishes presence in Southern California and anchors regional business efforts for other West Coast markets
St. Petersburg, Florida, August 10, 2022 — CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, has opened a new office in Los Angeles, bringing the company back to LA after a 10-year hiatus.
“The business models have changed, and we have changed with them,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications and Red House Streaming. “We are focused on high-end 4K production gear, RF camera packages, multi-camera PTZ production systems, and more for broadcast and AV customers.”
The LA office is led by Ian McKelvy, General Manager, CP Communications, who joined the company in late 2019. “LA is such a huge market, and a strategic market,” said McKelvy. “And to better serve that market, you need to have boots on the ground. We really want to showcase our solutions, from more traditional broadcast productions to the bonded cellular live streaming solutions we offer through our Red House Streaming subsidiary. This is an exciting opportunity for CP Communications.”
McKelvy expects a presence in Southern California will provide the company the opportunity to collaborate with design groups in the area and attract corporate clients. The new office will also help drive REMI production and live streaming business back to the Red House Streaming (RHS) studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Coming out of the last couple of years, people don’t necessarily want to fly to a studio,” McKelvy explained. “They are starting to realize just how much you can do with streaming. There’s so much opportunity for our streaming business, and we offer many different solutions for the corporate video market. By stocking our hardware locally and providing local technical support and expertise here, we can better support our customers and their projects.”
While LA is a main focal point, the new CP Communications office also provides better access to other clients in the region. “With an office on the West Coast, we can get gear quicker and more efficiently to markets like Las Vegas and San Diego,” McKelvy said. “We also have some great clients in the Northwest, including Portland and Washington State, so we will be able to better service them as well.”
The new CP Communications office is located at 15907 Blythe Street in Van Nuys, CA.
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CP Communications subsidiary produces and streams live events from 10 locations to reach in-person and remote participants – a first for the annual SXSW Conference and Festivals
St. Petersburg, Florida, May 16, 2022 — Red House Streaming, a subsidiary of CP Communications, helped to transform this year’s live production model for SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas, which for the first time featured a hybrid event to support in-person and remote participants. An official 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals technology partner, Red House Streaming (RHS) designed and deployed a wide-area Layer 2 network infrastructure across multiple event locations with a supporting onsite crew to help bring inspirational sessions and panels, music showcases, comedy performances and more to audiences worldwide.
The 10-day SXSW Conference and Festivals took place from March 11-20 at venues across the city, with CP and RHS supporting events at 10 venues including the Austin Convention Center, where many of the largest sessions and Radio Day Stage music events were held; and Brush Square Park, an outdoor venue where the International Day Stage music showcases took place. Red House Streaming connected SXSW’s master control center, located in the Austin Marriott Downtown, with the 10 remote venues and a roaming camera crew that covered other venues around Austin. RHS’ family of IP and bonded cellular technologies were used to manage all Dante audio signals and intercom communications over the network.
Red House Streaming’s network also supported redundant video transmission between master control and all connected venues, with supporting hardware provided by parent company CP Communications. That included Mobile Viewpoint Ultralink encoders to back up the primary NDI transmission network across all 10 locations, a vMix live production flypack, and a scalable RHS MulticamSTREAM infrastructure to process and stream live video and audio content acquired from Panasonic PTZ cameras. That system was installed in Room16AB of the Austin Convention Center, the home of several high-profile SXSW Featured Sessions for which RHS provided live production services.
Impressively, the expansive wide-area network and supporting technology infrastructure required only a three-man crew from CP Communications and Red House Streaming. In addition to helping build out and man the master control center, RHS technicians supported the remote camera crews on location, provided field support and maintenance services for all connected remote venues, and managed a large communications infrastructure across all sites. The master control center also doubled as a network operations center for live signal monitoring and troubleshooting.
“The technology infrastructure put into place for this year’s events proved exceptionally reliable,” said Marshall Dungan, Technical Director and Senior Producer for SXSW Conference and Festivals. “Their video and audio equipment worked very well between master control and our many remote sites, which is not an easy endeavor given the complexity of the network. The reliability of the bonded cellular video encoding equipment proved invaluable when we had to switch from the primary feed.”
CP Communications and Red House Streaming CEO Kurt Heitmann emphasized that supporting live communications between producers, technicians and other professionals is perhaps the most essential technology component for events of this magnitude. Red House Streaming has had plenty of recent experience perfecting its wide-area networking strategy for live, IP-based communications during large-scale, city-wide productions, including high-profile marathons in New York City and Chicago.
“CP Communications has long excelled at city-wide production for live content acquisition and event production, which before required a complex and often expensive analog RF infrastructure for video, audio and communications,” he said. “The beauty of IP is that it can go anywhere and is far more affordable. For SXSW, our strategy included a Dante network to support an RVON communications system between master control and the 10 remote sites. We then extended that infrastructure city-wide by adding a Dante-enabled Unity intercom server in master control, allowing personnel to communicate from any location in the city that had cell coverage.”
As SXSW Director of Commercial Content Stephen Light notes, the level of customer service provided ultimately helped to ensure a successful production event overall. “The Red House Streaming team was consistently proactive and responsive to the needs of our crew throughout the event, and their ability to adapt to changes is essential in a live event environment,” said Light.
About Red House Streaming
Red House Streaming supports, enables and simplifies the creation and delivery of broadcast quality media content. Powered by CP Communications, Red House Streaming (RHS) provides custom glass-to-glass IP production and streaming solutions for every type of live event or recorded program. With our solutions, you can bring unmatched efficiency to your operation, enabling superior live video streaming without the need for costly satellite uplink equipment or airtime. Whether you shoot at our studio or remotely, RHS makes producing and streaming content easier and more affordable than you thought possible. Learn more at at www.redhousestreaming.com.
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St. Petersburg, Florida, March 29, 2022 — CP Communications continues to advance its Red House Streaming subsidiary with new OTT platforms that further differentiates the company’s portfolio of production and delivery services. As the enduring expert in content acquisition and mobile production for sports and live events, CP Communications launched Red House Streaming to provide an IP and bonded cellular alternative to its traditional RF business for event coverage and production. The move changed the game by making production costs and labor affordable and reliable for an entirely new subset of end customers.
Last year, CP added a curve ball to its pitch rotation with the launch of Red House Streaming Studios, a full-service production studio at its Florida headquarters built for remote (REMI) and in-studio TV production. Earlier this year, the company launched The Sarina Fazan Network, its first streaming network. Now the company blazes a new trail with a Red House Streaming partnership that brings white-labeled OTT channel opportunities to its entire customer base.
Enter StreamViral, an OTT platform provider that specializes in bringing minor league sports teams, federations, and niche sports to viewers online, providing a fan engagement experience that previously would have been cost-prohibitive. StreamViral creates customized OTT channels where live and on-demand content is distributed direct to consumers watching on connected platforms. For CP Communications, it means adding a valuable service that continues to move Red House Streaming into new territory, beginning with OTT services for sports organizations – offering a highly engaging and reliable OTT delivery service for broadcast.
“Red House Streaming is the only business of its kind to offer glass-to-glass production, which means acquiring the signal on location with our own camera systems and streaming them to our own production control and network operations center at Red House Streaming Studios,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “With StreamViral, we can now take those signals beyond the glass, providing our customers with white-labeled OTT channels and services sent direct to their audiences. It means that our customers can truly start and finish with us. No one else can provide that breadth of services today.”
StreamViral sought out a partnership with CP Communications due to a shared love of the sports production market. CP Communications annually covers many of the biggest events in professional sports, while StreamViral has its sights on the underserved minor leagues, for example. By partnering with CP, StreamViral has access to the technical sports production experts, truck fleet and professional studio environment that CP and Red House Streaming have offered to its sports and broadcast clients for 30 years. For CP, it is an opportunity to add a cutting-edge service that makes them truly unique to their competitors that haven’t quite moved on from traditional mobile production.
“Many of the minor leagues, grassroot sports and college games are seeing an increase in demand for viewing and are looking at more fan engagement initiatives,” said Heitmann. “With StreamViral, we can now offer a platform that provides a genuine opportunity to monetize their content and continue to evolve our services. The old days are not coming back, and we are embracing the future of broadcast.”
Red House Streaming and StreamViral share another common trait: The adoption of cloud services to amplify their value propositions. In between the camera and studio, CP Communications has launched new platforms to transport and monitor live-produced content in the cloud, providing an extra layer of quality assurance prior to streaming live and on-demand content to consumers. StreamViral also utilizes cloud-based platforms and delivery mechanisms broadcasters use for playout platforms, making it extremely reliable, affordable, and highly scalable for service subscribers.
“StreamViral has grown quickly, and we are thrilled to partner with CP Communications to take the OTT revolution for sports into exciting new places,” said Mark Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, StreamViral. “Together we will offer innovative services and implementations that changes the broadcast landscape for all sports customers large and small. Together as partners we will combine our expertise to offer services built on proven and highly dependable cloud platforms with an array of different live and VOD services. We are excited at the prospect of disrupting the OTT market for sports in the United States jointly with CP Communications.”
Based in the UK and supporting global customers, StreamViral offer the most comprehensive Over-The-Top (OTT) as a service video-streaming platform for sports leagues and federations. Their end-to-end white-label solutions are ideally placed to offer live streaming, video-on demand (VOD), encoding, user management, content protection and delivery services. The platform can be customized for branded apps. Their solutions are built on our powerful media cloud platforms, which provides unrivalled flexibility and power across the entire delivery workflow. Contact Stream Viral at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
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St. Petersburg, Florida, January 19, 2022 — CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, today announced the launch of two new products for live production, the Virtual Media Center and FastReturn secure video management platform. Both solutions are built around WebRTC – the cloud-based technology used by Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other popular videoconferencing platforms – and have been proven in the field during high-profile events over the past few years, including the Fall 2021 editions of the TCS New York City Marathon and Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
“People have been struggling with the latency of live video in remote production workflows,” explained Kurt Heitmann, CEO of CP Communications. “Announcers can’t be way behind the action with play-by-play or analysis. With FastReturn, we use the power of the cloud to deliver streaming return video with ultra-low latency, so you can view your live production from anywhere on any device in real-time.”
FastReturn’s base package includes five streams and supports up to 100 users, but can be scaled to accommodate additional sources and larger crews. Users access FastReturn content via a web browser on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, as well as through Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick digital media players. Content is accessed through a secure client portal (optional custom user pages and templates are also available).
The platform 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. FastReturn can also spin up edge servers around the world that are geographically closer to the production to provide even lower latency and better reliability.
Available as an ad hoc service, the Virtual Media Center is a browser-based multi-viewer designed for monitoring, not retransmission, of live video signals. Designed for use by remote journalists, it features a variety of multi-viewer templates, from simple 2-box and 4-box displays to more extensive layouts based on the number of signals being shared. Through a browser-based interface, media personnel can select which video feeds to monitor. All templates deliver video feeds with secure, two-step authentication and less than 400ms of latency.
Beyond event coverage, the Virtual Media Center can also help with multi-camera remote production. For example, a two-day commercial shoot was recently produced across three sound stages in Atlanta. The on-site crew used multiple Red House Streaming (RHS) CamSTREAM systems along with the Virtual Media Center to provide the California-based producers and director with real-time, behind-the-scenes views of the production. Developed by CP Communications, RHS CamSTREAM systems are all-in-one, cost-efficient video production and streaming solutions that are quick to configure and deploy for any live production.
“For members of the media who are not able to travel to an event, or for video production crew members who can’t be on-site, the Virtual Media Center provides an effective and efficient way to monitor the live-action from multiple cameras,” Heitmann explained.
FastReturn is available as a monthly service or can be licensed for specific events. CP can also provide RHS CamSTREAM units and RTMP encoders for rental.
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CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live events and broadcast productions, has appointed Karl Prentiss as Director of Production for Red House Streaming (RHS), effective immediately. Reporting to Vice President of Red House Streaming Lowell Beckner, Prentiss will manage the RHS studios’ in-house broadcast and A/V productions from CP’s St. Petersburg production complex and network operations center.
Prentiss said, “This new position at Red House Streaming is an incredible career opportunity for me. As the Director of Production, I am excited to work alongside a creative team of proven innovators, and I am looking forward to trailblazing the future of our industry with them.”
Prentiss comes to CP with more than four decades of broadcast engineering, video, and photography experience, including master control and studio management. He began his career in1979 as a Master Control Operator for WBAK-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana. From there, he made his way to Florida, working in master control at West Palm Beach-based stations WPTV-TV and WPEC-TV, before moving to the Tampa Bay area in 1994.
At WFTS-TV in Tampa, Prentiss worked as the Master Control Supervisor for a decade. It was at this position that he met Beckner, who served as the station’s Director of Engineering, and Prentiss’ work ethic made a lasting impression.
Beckner said, “When I thought about the kind of manager we needed at Red House Streaming, I thought of Karl. His engineering expertise and understanding of studio operations are strengthened by his creative eye and hands-on work producing high-quality content. From photography to graphic design, to video, Karl knows what it takes to create high-quality content and to push forward the boundaries of our industry.”
Prentiss has spent the past several years honing those creative skills. In 2014, he left WFTS-TV to pursue his own photography business, Prentiss Photography, where he specialized as a portrait, wedding, and commercial photographer. Then, a move back to Indiana in 2017 allowed Prentiss to broaden his creative skillset even more.
As the Creative Projects Manager for The Skinny Productions and Fatheadz Eyewear in Indianapolis, Prentiss handled all photography, art direction, and production management for a variety of brands and projects. He designed and built all aspects of the in-house video studio for “The Skinny with Rico and Ken” racing podcast, fully incorporating vMix 4K Production software, which Prentiss directed, switched, edited, and delivered.
Back in Tampa Bay, Prentiss will put this experience to work for RHS, as the CP subsidiary continues to build the line-up of productions being taped and streaming from its 5,600-square-foot St. Petersburg facility. With a culture of innovation, Prentiss will lead the local production team in providing custom glass-to-glass IP production and streaming solutions for every type of live event or recorded programming.
RHS studios offer everything a content creator needs to produce broadcast-quality programming for post-production editing or to immediately begin broadcasting or streaming to any website, social media platform, or URL. The RHS production complex features two 600-square-foot studio spaces and an adjacent control room with vMix 64 4K production switchers, and a Yamaha TF1 64-channel audio console with Dante interface.
Studio A houses a professional anchor desk with several monitors for custom branding, and Studio B offers a dynamic chromakey space for virtual packages. Both studio spaces include Panasonic AW-UE100KP 4K PTZ cameras, Sennheiser wireless talent microphones, and DMX lighting with Dracast studio lights.
In addition to studio operations, Prentiss will also manage field projects, utilizing RHS’ CamSTREAM system for remote/REMI productions and other cutting-edge mobile technology. Learn more at www.RedHouseStreaming.com.
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St. Petersburg, Florida, December 13, 2021 – CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, today announced it successfully provided live coverage – featuring direct feeds of the professional athlete races – at the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 7 using IP encoding and bonded cellular solutions. It also managed the event’s Virtual Media Center (VMC) for remote journalists.
Film 45, in partnership with New York Road Runners, produced the five-hour live broadcast for ESPN2 and WABC-TV, and a three-hour live World Feed for international broadcasters. CP’s HD21 mobile unit served as the central hub for managing the production’s 30 inbound and 20 outbound video signals (including 14 feeds for the VMC). All inbound IP streams were decoded and converted to HD-SDI for distribution. CP also handled paint control for 14 cameras covering the race, which hosted approximately 25,000 runners across all five boroughs of New York City.
“This is the best year we’ve had for coverage, with 98 percent coverage of the course,” said Frank Rafka, senior RF tech manager for CP Communications. “IP encoding and bonded cellular have become more reliable in the last two years. We really had great success with such a complete changeover of technology. It really shows what the engineering teams at CP can do.”
Race coverage included footage from two helicopters, four smart cars, and two motorcycles. Two cars featured robotic cameras on Black Arm stabilization systems, as well as Dream Chip POV cameras for on-camera talent coverage. There were also three remote production sites on the course, each supporting a handheld and jib camera. The sites featured two Mobile Viewpoint UltraLink-Air H.265 encoders, Mobile Viewpoint playout servers for confidence feeds, and additional communications equipment.
“Our IP encoding and bonded cellular solutions require significantly less infrastructure than traditional RF,” explained Rafka. “We don’t have to deploy microwave equipment or rent rooftop space for receiver sites across the course, and we don’t need to assign personnel for all those receive sites. The TCS New York City Marathon production perfectly illustrates the narrative for adopting IP encoding and bonded cellular for large events.”
The VMC was built on CP’s FastReturn platform, a remote production workflow solution that provides content security and extensive user management. While the technology has been in place since 2019, CP has improved its low-latency performance as the importance of remote production has grown.
“With so many people living in a Zoom world, latency has become less and less acceptable,” explained Allen Harris, lead IP and bonded cellular specialist for CP Communications. “The Virtual Media Center was pushed to the forefront during a time where media are often covering events remotely.”
“During these times, enhancements and increased accessibility to industry-leading technologies, such as those provided by CP Communications, are essential in creating a positive experience for viewers tuning into the TCS New York City Marathon in more than 180 countries and territories around the world,” said Trina Singian, Head of Media & PR, NYRR. “Likewise, the need for creating technological solutions for global members of the media in today’s landscape has become crucial to providing effective digital solutions for journalists. The Virtual Media Center successfully extended New York Road Runners’ reach to markets across the globe.”
For the TCS New York City Marathon, CP used the raw camera feeds from the NEP program production and integrated the footage into four multi-viewer streams so journalists could follow different professional runner groups and the international broadcast. “We built the ‘looks’ in our HD21 production truck using Grass Valley multi-viewers, encoded the streams with Videon VersaStreamers, and pushed those video streams to cloud servers where we hosted the Virtual Media Center,” Harris recalled.
A virtual professional athlete media availability during race week was hosted via Zoom. CP used its CamSTREAM Collaborate all-in-one remote production and streaming solution – which features a PTZ camera and tripod along with a video encoder, return monitor, and UltraLink-Air bonded cellular transmitter for reliable connectivity with Zoom and other video collaboration platforms to enhance the virtual experience. Harris controlled the system remotely.
Approximately 40 journalists were active in the VMC during the live stream of the post-race top finishers press conference, asking questions through the Zoom Q&A feature. CP utilized its Mobile Viewpoint bonded cellular solution to share live video signals between the production truck and the physical Media Center. The company installed playout servers in the Media Center, which received copies of the live feeds of the professional athlete races from the production truck that were displayed on large screens for the in-person press attendees.
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When the pandemic put a full stop to sports and live event production, CP Communications parked its mobile trucks and shifted its focus to REMI and in-studio production – a business that continues to grow for the company. The return of live sports now has CP Communications treading familiar territory with events such as the MLB All-Star Game, NBA Finals, and – most recently – Aramco Team Series New York, an internationally televised and globally streamed professional golf event.
CP Communications, a specialist in RF and IP-based content acquisition for professional golf events, was hired by event producer Ohlmeyer Kusserow Group (OKG) to step in on short notice due to COVID-related restrictions for international production teams. Within two weeks, CP Communications had a turnkey crew and technology plan for the hilly Glen Oaks Club on Long Island in October. CP Communications drove its flagship HD-21 production truck to the course with 50,000 feet of fiber, eight RF cameras, eight RF effects microphones, two RF talent microphones, and course-wide communications. The company also coordinated RF frequencies for live coverage, using special temporary authority, or STAs, from the FCC to acquire spectrum.
“It felt like old times,” said CP Communications CEO Kurt Heitmann. “We have years of experience providing full video and audio coverage of big golf events for major broadcast networks, and the ability to turn around a turnkey system and crew on minimal notice for live productions of any size. When the OKG team came calling, we were ready and eager to step in to help them bring this event to viewers worldwide.”
CP Communications Vice President of Sales and Marketing Aaron Segarra adds that one of the more challenging elements of covering golf is perhaps unexpected.
“Ensuring high-quality video and audio production is essential for any live televised production, but with golf, the most challenging element is clean communication,” he said. “We established a Hytera network with 40 two-radio radios and four channels each of inbound and outbound communications. That is where we really shine for golf, and it is so important given the number of acquisition points and production sites positioned around the course.”
CP Communications acquired and distributed all content over RF for delivery back to HD-21, where MultiDyne VF-9000 video fiber-optic transport frames received and processed the signals. CP technicians managed and switched the feeds in HD-21’s master control center before handing off to OKG, which provided the World Feed and other live broadcast services to TV networks and OTT services. That included four channels of video and multiple channels of audio distributed to the host broadcast facility in Germany.
“Golf is one of the toughest sports to produce, and CP Communications gave us very close to full coverage from tee to green across all holes on a hilly course that is challenging to cover,” said Chris Ohlmeyer, Executive Producer and Managing Partner for Ohlmeyer Kusserow Group. “They executed a plan that allowed them to cleanly capture and run signals RF over fiber, while also supporting our own hard cameras over the same infrastructure. They came through with a professional operations and support team on short notice while also keeping us within budget. These were tall orders with only two weeks from first contact to tee off.”
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On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 12 PM ET, Emmy-award winning journalist and producer Sarina Fazan is celebrating the 100th episode of her show, “On The Record With Sarina Fazan,” and is introducing two new spin-off series, “Love in America” and “Dating in America.” Produced from St. Petersburg’s Red House Streaming studios, all of the shows will air on the Sarina Fazan Network (www.SarinaFazanNetwork.tv) and also will be streamed on social media.
Fazan, who has successfully set up seven couples and is officiating the wedding of her eighth couple in 2022, said, “As a journalist with two decades of experience, I have heard a lot of great stories. I am in love with love and truly hope to spread this incredible feeling to my viewers who tune in every week. We need more lighthearted stories to lift spirits and love does just that!”
Special guests Brian and Molly Auld are joining Fazan at Red House Streaming studios for the 100th episode of “On The Record With Sarina Fazan” with a “Love in America” story of their own, as a kick-off to the new series. Brian Auld, who is the President of the Tampa Bay Rays, and his wife, Molly, credit a Post-It note and a determined grandmother for the start of their relationship.
Auld said, “Molly and I are honored to be part of this milestone show, celebrating love and all that is great about Tampa Bay. At the Rays, we’re committed to our community, and it’s clear that Sarina is too. We’re excited for her as she expands her show line-up and has a larger platform to share even more local stories.”
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Martín Gramática and his wife Ashlee will be featured on an upcoming episode of “Love in America,” which will stream live on November 24.
The “Love in America” series will celebrate couples who are married, while “Dating in America” will focus on singles.
“On The Record With Sarina Fazan” will continue to cover the stories of interesting people and trending topics for Tampa Bay fans and listeners across the nation.
“I want everyone to be able to watch the show and see a little bit of themselves in it. I want people to know how much I care about every story in every episode,” said Fazan.
Watch “On The Record With Sarina Fazan,” “Love in America,” and “Dating in America” on the Sarina Fazan Network (www.sarinafazannetwork.tv) or on Fazan’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Listen to the “On The Record With Sarina Fazan” podcast on Apple, Libsyn, Spotify, or wherever podcasts are found.
ABOUT SARINA FAZAN MEDIA: As a four-time Emmy Award-winning television anchor and reporter, Sarina Fazan has told the stories of Tampa Bay for more than two decades. She made her producing debut in 2020 on Investigation Discovery’s “Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up.” As the owner of Sarina Fazan Media, she is using her proven experience as a storyteller to help businesses and individuals succeed in their dreams. Whether through the traditional media or emerging media platforms, Fazan helps her clients craft the most engaging and compelling approach to their communications. Learn more: www.sarinafazan.com