LiveOS used again for VRT “De Warmste Week” production

VRT’s 2023 charity event “De Warmste Week” (DWW) is a week long live event the week before Christmas, taking place in Bruges (Belgium) and broadcast live 24/7 on a pop-up TV channel and on the VRT live streaming platform. Every evening a talk show reviewing the highlights of the day is being produced on VRT’s LiveOS platform, as it proved very reliable and easy to use last year.

VRT technology and operations teams designed a unique remote production workflow, using a combination of terrestrial transmission and JPEG-XS ultra low latency compression to interconnect the DWW studiofloor and control room in Bruges with the LiveOS platform in the VRT broadcast center in Brussels.

Early 2023 VRT acquired and installed a LiveOS platform for the daily production of the “Vlaamse Gebarentaal Journaal” sign language news (VGT) with a concrete plan of reusing and sharing the LiveOS resources for more productions such as sports commentary and talk shows. An opportunity to do this came with the simultaneous production of the DWW talk show in Bruges and the VGT news in Brussels.

VRT TV studio infrastructure team lead Martijn Rymen describes the project as follows:  “The move from hardware-based to software-based control rooms allows us to dynamically allocate the available LiveOS computing power to different productions, based on their needs. For the DWW daily talk show we are using the resources in our data center in Brussels for the remote production of the talk show in Bruges. We transport the camera images in Bruges over our terrestrial transmission infrastructure to the LiveOS system in Brussels, using JPEG-XS compression for an ultra-low-latency production. The production control room is also located at the festival site in Bruges; the web-based LiveOS user interface and the hardware panels are connected over the same wireless link, as are the JPEG-XS return images and multiviewers for director and camera operators.”

VRT Project Manager Arnoud Delporte embraces the potential of software based live production: “Control room, studiofloor and tech room don’t need to be close to one another anymore, which avoids having to transport loads of equipment to your outside productions. The web-based LiveOS user interface greatly simplifies operations: no need to train your operators on many different hardware devices, as these are now available as intuitive and easy to use LiveOS widgets in the Google Chrome browser which can be accessed from anywhere via the internet or local connectivity. This production is a test case and we’re currently looking into other productions which could benefit from this way of working.”

“LiveOS emulates the traditional hardware studio, fully in software that runs on COTS IT servers. You no longer need to transport or install many different hardware devices; instead this whole talkshow will run on one or two servers.” says NetOn.Live founder and CEO Michel De Wolf.

“We brought together the technology and operations teams to make this happen. There is a huge amount of expertise at VRT, and the colleagues were very eager to get started with this new technology. A big big thank you to all involved, it would not have worked without you!” concludes Martijn Reymen.