Music has a way of uniting people, so as the Golden Melody Awards (GMA) geared up for its annual ceremony, it opted to turn the production volume up a notch this year. The annual event celebrates top musical talent across Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, and is shared with audiences across these regions live via traditional broadcast, over-the-top (OTT) and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). Audiences tuning into the production via the Taiwan Television Channel, LINE TV, and MOD were treated to a surprise, a colorful augmented reality (AR) performance by Taiwanese Artist Hebe Tien courtesy of the production crew at Getop and a host of AJA Video equipment.
Responsible for delivering the AR content to GMA’s production crew on-site, the Getop virtual production team developed a turnkey live AR system for the event comprising a Dell 7920 workstation, an AJA Corvid 88 card for audio and video I/O, Pixotope, and Unreal Engine. An AJA GEN10 HD/SD sync generator enabled signal synchronization, while an AJA HD10CEA was used to generate additional signals for the system. Both were installed in an AJA DRM Mini-Converter rackmount frame for simpler equipment operation on site.
To fuse the AR portion of the production with the live event’s 1080i output, Getop needed a way to convert its AR engine output from 1080p to 1080i for delivery to the GMA crew, and ultimately chose to use an AJA FS-HDR frame synchronizer and HDR/WCG converter. “Even though this particular production was SDR, we opted for an FS-HDR, as it’s a Swiss-Army knife for live productions like this, where you’re juggling multiple sources. We can easily manage four channels of real-time HD cross-conversion simultaneously, but also have the flexibility to work in HDR if future projects demand it,” shared Paul Chou, CEO, Getop. “It’s also so versatile, in that it supports an expansive range of formats and packs a ton of functionality into a 1RU format.”
All signals were routed through an AJA KUMO 3232-12G router, with an AJA KUMO CP2 Control Panel used for configuration and control. “In live production, routing technology rarely receives the credit it deserves. It sits at the heart of the whole production pipeline, ensuring all of the audio and video sources in different formats are routed to the appropriate destinations,” said Chou. “Given its important role, the reliability, flexibility and quality of the router you choose are vital, especially for such a massive live event like GMA, where there’s no room for error. Our KUMO 3232-12G delivers on this front, and so much more.”
For monitoring and archival, the AR portion of the production was recorded on an AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G recorder, and precisely monitored with an EIZO CG319X Grade One monitor in SDR REC.709 color. Getop used an AJA Hi5-12G Mini-Converter to convert the SDI signal from the KUMO router to HDMI for the EIZO monitor input. In closing Chou explained, “Ki Pro Ultra 12G’s genlock-free, multichannel HD recording makes it possible to capture the output of our AR engine alongside other live production feeds like that of the OB truck and the camera, which is vital because the delay of each signal is different. It’s also great for reducing our technology footprint on site. The fact that the Ki Pro Ultra 12G and all of our other AJA equipment is also so cost efficient, versatile and reliable is also a huge boon to our work, as AR production can be expensive and complex. Our AJA gear helps us keep costs down while still allowing us to achieve the quality caliber our clients and their audiences expect.”