High-Quality, Low-Latency

Remote Production

Off-Premise Remote Operation Solution – Emergency Application

Remote operation has become a hot topic in the current coronavirus era. This page provides an overview of how to use Ross technology remotely. We have many clients that use the proven techniques described below to enable their own remote production implementations. Please feel free to contact Ross tech support if you need guidance in further understanding the solutions described below.

Remote Operations
Ross products and solutions are geared to be easily operated through remote applications, VPNs, and video teleconferencing applications. Our free DashBoard software makes it simple to control and monitor hardware products, and many of our software applications can easily be accessed through remote applications. Additionally, we have solutions that are hosted through web servers that can easily be accessed via VPNs. Inception and Streamline are fully cloud-ready with our Inception.cloud and Streamline.cloud software as a service platforms. A wide range of Ross products now support the use of an Elgato Stream Deck, which is a great tool for remote production.

Monitoring
Monitoring is crucial in all production workflows. It’s important to have a low-latency stream of a MultiViewer that can be accessed by all off-premise operators. One quick way for a user to get a low-latency MultiViewer accessible to multiple people is to use a third-party SDI / HDMI capture device for Mac or PC from a vendor such as AJA or Blackmagic. Next, with embedded audio included on the stream, the operators can utilize a video conferencing software such as Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype and set the capture device as the webcam input. The video conferencing software is made to handle multiple simultaneous users and operates in close to real-time, which keeps the latency low. However, it’s important to consider the fact that lower latency may result in lower quality as well. Other solutions include hardware appliances that can be used to deliver point-to-point video streams at low latency from vendors such as INET.LIVE and Haivision. *Using a capture device may tax the performance of a machine – it is recommended to use a quality computer dedicated to serving up the live video feed.

Intercom
One major thing to consider is the solution that your team will use to communicate between different locations. Remote and cloud systems are available for many intercom systems, and we recommend consulting your intercom partner for options. Conference calls and online conferencing sessions are not ideal ways to communicate with your team when placed in separate off-premise remote sites.

IT Requirements
When using remote apps, we ask that you consult with your internal IT resources to make sure they comply with the current network policy. Ross recommends TeamViewer as the remote access application of choice, and it is the application that we have used for all of our testing. Some IT departments are concerned with the security of using TeamViewer, as it exposes their network to the outside world. It should be noted that TeamViewer has a local-only mode that will isolate itself behind a VPN. If you wish to use a remote access application other than TeamViewer, we recommend that you consult with Ross Video Tech support. Please note that Microsoft Remote Desktop is not recommended for use with XPression, Mira, and Tria systems. It is also important to note that many VPN connections often do not provide an IP address in the same subnet as your production equipment if the network is segregated. Please ensure your IT group is aware of what you are connecting to so that they can allow the necessary routes to the devices you need from your remote computer over the VPN.

Ross Off-Premise Remote Production Solution

Carbonite

Carbonite Solo, Graphite, Carbonite Ultra, Carbonite Black v13, and Carbonite v13 all offer a DashBoard-based SoftPanel that allows for full access and control of Carbonite switchers. By using a remote access application and / or VPN access, you can use DashBoard to control a Carbonite series switcher remotely. It may be a good idea to utilize DashBoard proxy server if you want to run DashBoard on a local machine and connect to a Carbonite frame over a VPN service. Learn more about Carbonite…

OverDrive

Using OverDrive from home is as easy as using a remote access application to access your OverDrive client PC. Since OverDrive is already connected to your entire newsroom and automating your newscast, it is a great way to run your entire broadcast remotely. It may be a challenge being away from the OverDrive cockpit and not having access to SideShot, SideSlide, SideStick and more. Take extra care when executing your show knowing that you have less tools around you to help execute your production. We also don’t recommend adding anything new to your workflow. As an example, if you don’t typically automate audio, moving to an offsite workflow may not be the best time to introduce audio into the mix. Learn more about OverDrive…

Robotics

All Ross robots and cameras provide a means for remote operation from anywhere in the world. With the release of the new DashBoard-based pan and tilt head plugin, users can now download DashBoard and connect natively to the robots. Once connected, users have total control of pan/tilt/zoom and focus without the need for a physical joystick, as well as full access to all of the presets stored on the robot. SmartShell can be accessed remotely using remote access software like TeamViewer, allowing the operator to fully access the on-screen controls. Users will need to determine a system for monitoring the live camera feeds. Learn more about Ross Robotics…
*Contact tech support for assistance in setting up DashBoard control to your Ross Robotics.

Streamline

Most customers will be able to access Streamline via their VPN. It is possible to put Streamline on the public internet through our Streamline.cloud versions, but features such as storage will require VPN access regardless. Users will need to access their storage directly if they’re sharing content between editors and producers. Rather than editing-in-place on the storage, the user will want to copy the material to their local machine, edit, and send the final product back to the appropriate placeholder in Streamline. Learn more about Streamline…

Tria

Controlling a Tria server remotely can be easily done in two ways. The first is remoting into the Tria engine using a remote access application, but we recommend steering away from Microsoft Remote Desktop. The second way is by loading the Tria explorer software on a remote PC. This software can connect to a Tria production server over a VPN connection. Learn more about Tria…

Infrastructure & Connectivity

It is important to keep your facility up and running from anywhere. All Ross infrastructure and connectivity products can be controlled and monitored with DashBoard. Refer to the DashBoard section for best practices when monitoring and controlling your infrastructure and connectivity products.  Learn more about Ross Infrastructure products…

Acuity

Ross has been able to host a virtual panel for Acuity since Version 8. To access this panel, you simply type the IP address of the switcher panel into a web browser. The browser will then display a virtual switcher panel that is an exact replica of the physical panel. If you want a more compact SW panel, you can load the Acuity SoftPanel on a PC, set it up as a satellite panel, and there you can set the panel size. For those customers that are running OverDrive, they may have an Acuity Rack Panel (ARP) that will serve up a virtual panel without a physical panel in place. Learn more about Acuity…
* To set up a PC with the Acuity SoftPanel software, please contact Ross tech support.

XPression

To access the sequencer remotely on an XPression Studio or Prime system, we recommend using a remote access application that won’t affect graphics card performance. For this reason, Microsoft Remote Desktop is not recommended. For remote sequencer and DashBoard panels (DashBoard API licenses required) it is acceptable to run these through a VPN. Running XPression Remote Sequencer remotely over VPN works very well but does require an XPression hardware license key (dongle). Workflow tools such as MOS / NLE plugins, project servers, and XPression Maps can easily be accessed through a VPN connection. Learn more about XPression…

Inception

Inception’s suite of software (News, Live, and Social) is browser-based, which is optimal for off-premise use. Whether using Inception in the cloud or on premise, there is no additional software to install or manage on client machines. For an on-premise solution, local IT staff should require the use of a VPN to ensure secure access. Inception.cloud access is hosted and maintained by Ross – customers simply need an internet connection to use the software suite. Learn more about Inception…

PIERO

PIERO does not support remote access on the PIERO 2RU Linux servers, including support for TeamViewer. To utilize PIERO remotely, we recommend using the PIERO Club software using a cloud storage transfer of video clips to and from your playout / replay device. Learn more about PIERO…

Mira

In combination with DashBoard, our latest Mira servers offer a unique Mira Touch single monitor replay control with monitoring. To access, simply launch DashBoard on a local Mira server and you will see the Mira Touch interface. Mira Touch is a simplified version of the Mira replay application, and is more than enough to keep you on-air and allow you to perform replays when off-premise operation is required. Learn more about Mira…

Lightning

Lightning Control System (LCS) offers a very visual hands-on workflow. Using touch screen interfaces, Lightning is able to condense an entire control room into a single-monitor intuitive workflow. Traditional LCS workflows require external keying of switcher MultiViewers and the LCS DashBoard panel. In recent versions, Ross has added NDI as a monitoring source, with the layering being done inside of DashBoard. For off-premise workflows, we recommend converting the switcher MultiViewer to NDI, accepting the NDI feed inside the LCS DashBoard panel, and then remoting into the LCS computer. This will give you the full interface, including monitoring with low latency and reactive control. You will need to find a solution to get audio to your off-site operator location, as DashBoard does not support NDI Audio. Learn more about Lightning…

DashBoard

DashBoard natively connects to Ross devices over IP. In many cases, opening DashBoard across a VPN may work well to connect, monitor, and control devices. In cases when you experience long load times, have many DashBoard connected devices, and a large number of users, the use of a DashBoard proxy server may provide benefits. The proxy server cuts down the number of messages being sent, which results in substantial time savings when working with OGP binary devices. The DashBoard Proxy Server translates OGP binary to OGP JSON, which allows us to make use of JSON’s bulk messaging functionality to send fewer messages. Instead of sending 2-3 binary messages for every parameter, the proxy server caches the information and sends one compressed message. DashBoard’s proxy server also compresses the message being sent – in one of our test cases, we saw a 26MB file reduced to a size of 800kB. Learn more about DashBoard here…

FAQ

Can I use keyboard shortcuts to control my Carbonite or Acuity production switcher?

Keyboard shortcuts are not a native part of the Virtual or SoftPanels for Carbonite and Acuity. The only way to get keyboard shortcuts to control your production switcher is by making a custom DashBoard panel, assigning trigger IDs to buttons, and then applying keyboard shortcuts to those trigger IDs.

Can I just use a VPN and run DashBoard locally?

In most cases, the chatter between DashBoard and a Ross device is too much to handle over a VPN. If you have a good VPN connection, we recommend setting up a DashBoard proxy server at your production facility to act as a hub for all remote connections coming in. However, even with a DashBoard proxy server, there could be issues with slow response times and devices that send and receive lots of information.

How do I set up DashBoard Proxy Server?

Please refer to this document, or within DashBoard select “Help” and search “Proxy Server”.

Should Custom Panels be ran using a remote access application or can I host it locally and run over a VPN?

This really depends on the Custom Panel. Simple commands being sent from DashBoard aren’t a problem, but data-based DashBoard panels and instances where multiple commands are being sent from DashBoard simultaneously to trigger devices may not perform the same way when deployed remotely. For complex panels, it is best to remote into a local computer hosting the panel, but simple panels that are sending basic commands to a single device may work just fine when set up remotely.

What does Ross recommend for a remote access application?

Ross has been a long-time user and subscriber of TeamViewer. TeamViewer is what is used by our tech support and services staff, and we have tested TeamViewer more than any other remote access application. Please note that Microsoft Remote Desktop is not supported by many of our products, as it disables the graphics cards. Products like XPression, Mira, and Tria utilize resources from the GPU, and using Remote Desktop will cause issues with performance.

My IT department won’t let me use TeamViewer because it is exposed to the outside world. Any way around this?

TeamViewer allows for “local mode only”, in which it will only connect to sources based on their IP addresses on a closed network. In this mode, TeamViewer will only operate on your facilities network or when dialed into your VPN. Please be aware that TeamViewer requires a paid subscription for commercial use. For any other remote access application support, please check with Ross tech support before using.

Recommendations

  • When configuring a MultiViewer for distributing, try to use less sources vs more sources. This will allow you to keep to a single monitor, and if the quality gets poor you will still be able to see what is happening.
  • If you have to use an open party line for intercom, be sure to isolate yourself in a quiet place and be mindful of the chatter, especially if the presenter is on the party line as well. You should also wear a headset if possible.
  • Hardwire your computer to your home router or modem using an ethernet cable to avoid connection issues.
  • Plan for at least 2 if not 3 monitors in your at-home setup.
  • Make sure your audience knows that you are operating things remotely. It helps to not only let your audience know you are doing the same thing they are, but it also offers grace if mistakes happen.

Interested in more info?

Send us a Note!

The first step is a consultation with a member of our sales team or one of our certified Ross resellers to discuss the specific needs of your organization. Next, we will look for a mutually convenient opportunity to coordinate a demo.

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