Production engineer extraordinaire Mark Schubin's Monday Memos on digital television, a labor of love for him, an important source of information for his readers, and fodder for many a post on this blog, have been MIA since late last summer. One of the many who has missed them asked about it on the OpenD TV list. One of his principal gigs has been the Met Opera, and it's been feeding live performances to theaters around the country. Here's his interesting response in its entirety. --Dennis
[opendtv] Re: Whatever happened to...
- From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: Open DTV Forum <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 11:19:31 -0400 (EDT)The multiplication of media at the Metropolitan Opera happened. If you're at
the PBS Technology Conference next week, come to my Friday presentation,
subtitled "My Life Since September."
In brief, we are transmitting live HD cinemacasts to sold-out movie theaters
around the world. How sold out? The live transmission of "Barber of Seville"
on March 24 ranked well within the top-20 in U.S. weekend grosses, despite the
fact that it was shown only once.
Why is it taking so much of my time? Here are a few highlights from "Barber"
(just one of the series):
- 16 transponders on 13 satellites as well as three transoceanic fiber cables
- multiple motion-compensating HD frame-rate converters
- one-hour HD delays to compensate for the different starts of Summer Time in
North America and Europe
- 14 HD cameras and 30 recorders
- five robotic mounts, including two extendable towers and a track, all of
which had to be deployed in minutes
- a 600-foot live, backwards Steadicam move (ending at a live burro)
- shooting multicamera live in the control room itself (one intermission was
shot live in five different venues)
- live subtitling in multiple languages
- stereo, 5.1, and LT/RT sound, discrete and encoded
- coordinating live commercial U.S. radio, non-commercial U.S. radio, global
radio, and the HD cinemacasts, all of which sometimes share and sometimes use
different production elements
- coordinating the parking of production vehicles on three Manhattan blocks
with the fire department, the police, and local security
But I'll try to get something out.