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Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection

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Ned MillerBidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 12:24:02 am
Last Edited By Ned Miller on May 18, 2016 at 12:25:18 am

Hi guys,

Don't know what to do here. I was asked to bid on a three day webcast where my Midwest live videotaping would interact with a west coast, live performing, trade show persona, 9X a day times three days. Although this is at the max of my brain power I felt I could handle the video part and an associate who specializes in webcasting can do the geeky part, but then...

The client now requests: "want your estimate to include setting up a separate, dedicated lineā€¦ which is completely separate than our corporate internet connection."

We understand that they are afraid their connection may falter but this is an expense we can't figure out how to bid, any ideas? We learned the name of their present internet provider, should we just ask the cost of laying a new hard wired line of a higher bandwidth? My associate suggests just adding "a dedicated 4g LTE modem". This is all geek to me.

Thanks,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Craig SeemanRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 12:56:22 am

Do you mean a live webcast? Your friend is heading in the right direction but if reliability is critical you may want to use a Bonded device (multiple LTE modems). A single LTE connection is OK if you trust a single LTE provider and local towers are not going to be saturated.

Are you sending a multi-camera switched/composited feed or a feed from a single camera?


Teradek Bond might be a reasonable option.
http://teradek.com/pages/bonding-solutions

You can target a CDN otherwise you can set up a Sputnik server (unix based) which is free. It depends on what your entire workflow is including destination(s).

With a Bond you could buy and use on other jobs or even do live events in the field whether concerts, ENG/Press Conferences, Conventions, etc.



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Ned MillerRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 2:07:14 am

Thanks Craig. Yes it is live. I am worried about the one cell connection option although I thought that dropped calls were a thing of the past, this gig is in another city so maybe their towers aren't as reliable as big city Chicago?

There will be multiple sources going into the switcher. I don't want to buy any gear, for me this is a one off. But in your experience, is this common for them to demand the video vendor be responsible for the connection? From what I'm learning it's the connection which is the week link in webcasting, correct?

Thanks,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Craig SeemanRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 3:21:09 am
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on May 18, 2016 at 3:21:50 am

[Ned Miller] "I am worried about the one cell connection option"
I would be too unless you can test the specific location in the building and under similar load conditions. You can get a great connection in an uninhabited room but on the day of the event there's 800 people in auditorium on their phones....

Bonded devices work by using multiple carriers so the load may be balanced across several carriers.

If you go with a single LTE modem make sure it has a good data reputation and undersubscribed.

Funny story, I was streaming an event in a basement convention hall in a hotel. C-Span and I believe Reuters were there with LiveU units and kept dropping their connection. The client wanted someone independent of the media coverage, someone under their control so they hired me. I check the area and Clear had a Wi-Max tower near by. They were on a budget so I told them that we'd rent a Clear WI-Max modem. No one used Wi-Max (lost out to LTE... sorta the Betamax to VHS) and I had a great rock solid connection.

[Ned Miller] "I thought that dropped calls were a thing of the past,"
Voice and Data aren't always the same. Data can fluctuate heavily based on location and load even when voice is OK.

[Ned Miller] "is this common for them to demand the video vendor be responsible for the connection? "
It depends on the client and their facility but it's not uncommon. Some want you to take on the responsibility. Of course you bill them for that.

[Ned Miller] "From what I'm learning it's the connection which is the week link in webcasting, correct?"
Always the weak link. It's the most common point failure.

You could rent a Bond but because it's so inexpensive I think LiveU units are probably more common in the rental market.



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Rich RubaschRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 2:13:52 pm

Upload speed is the key here. We went with 5Nines which is microwave and provides asynchronous up and down at 60mbps. Even Charter's 100mbps down is great but they top out at 8mbps up. That is what the client is concerned about.

We even used to have T1 at 6 up and 6 down and since it also is a two way protocol we always had a solid 6 up.

You could ask your provider how much to provide one dedicated line back to their gear for a monthly rental and bill it to the client. Shouldn't be too hard.

I have heard of clients demanding a hotel, for instance, to provide a dedicated line to a conference room for a live webcast, so it is not unusual.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Al BergsteinRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 2:44:45 pm

Where is your field location? Many hotels can provide you internet connectivity. And yes, 5Mb is what you should ask for as a minimum. I recently did a huge event in Bellevue WA and the hotel there was able to provide an open Ethernet connection for a fee. I would avoid using a wireless connection unless it is tested in advance. And if you find yourself in a location with nothing but wireless, you a lot more work to make sure that it will work before even signing up. Last year, I was paid to travel to CA to check out whether a remote location could be brought online, and in the end the client decided it was not worth the cost. But both the client and I were satisfied that I gave them a trusted source to get a report from as the local vendor was trying to convince them it would work just fine. In the end we determined that while the general area might have supported higher bandwidth, the specific location could not. Send your techie to check it out carefully in advance and don't just believe the local vendors' claims. Geography matters (G).

Al


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Al BergsteinRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 2:49:06 pm

Just as a follow up. If the client has dedicated internet at their location, why can't their vendor just supply you another hard wired connection at the site for a day or two? Obviously there is capacity in the building from what you describe.

Al


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Ned MillerRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 18, 2016 at 6:05:18 pm

[Al Bergstein] "why can't their vendor just supply you another hard wired connection at the site for a day or two? "

Yes, that's what I don't know. Too much hassle and risk. I'll bow out of this bid. Thanks all!

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Matt TownleyRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 21, 2016 at 3:34:40 am

Ned - it sounds like you've already passed on this project, but I wanted to add my quick thoughts to the thread for future sake, just in case it helps for the next time around or for anyone else.

The folks that mentioned the Teradek Bond were on the right path. This is my go-to solution for completely independent live webcasting. I use the Bond II a lot with 6 LTE modems with great success. As much as I like to own core equipment and technology, I prefer to rent this piece of hardware from a company in your backyard, Atomic Imaging, who was originally referred to me by Teradek when I first sought out a solution to this problem.

I typically give them the address for where I need to stream from, and they use their knowledge and research to help me pick which "blend" of LTE modems from which carriers for that region will work best.

I have used the Bond completely stand alone with only LTE modems and also with LTE modems supplemented by a house-supplied Ethernet or WiFi connection for additional strength or redundancy. This is definitely the way to go in this scenario and it works great. It's also surprisingly cost effective.


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Ned MillerRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 21, 2016 at 11:49:36 am

Thanks Matt. Yes, I know Atomic Imaging. Are you in Chicago?

I did pass on this due to the clause of supplying the feed, that is technically out of my comfort zone. In fact, I am not a fan of producing live events-Too Stressful. I don't mind shooting them but I avoid producing them.

This job is in Milwaukee so I did some research, found the best, most experienced company that does webcasts and we have worked out a commission if they land the project.

Thank you,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Matt TownleyRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 21, 2016 at 4:25:57 pm

I'm in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco area.

Producing and shooting live events and webcasts has become a big part of our business over the past few years. From a business standpoint it's great since live events and webcasting projects are generally paid for by different budgets and different clients than our product and brand marketing videos. It's nice having this diversification of revenue.


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Ned MillerRe: Bidding on a webcast shoot where client insists I provide new internet connection
by on May 21, 2016 at 6:16:55 pm

Ahhhhh....being in Silicon Valley tech runs in your blood.

So my logic was, this would be a $20-$30K project and I'd get half up front. However, if the feed went south I could expect the client to balk at paying the last half and I didn't want to take that risk.

Best,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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