Dramatists Guild Finds Affordable & Effective Live Streaming with Teradek Bond

Mon, Nov 27, 2017

Dramatist Guild Foundation Awards live stream with Teradek

See our previous amazing case studies with Live X:

If you indulge in a bit of theatre or fancy high society stuff, you’ve probably heard of the Dramatists Guild of America. As revered and distinguished as the industry itself, the DGA is an organization for playwrights, composers and lyricists working in America that works to maintain model contracts for their members and achieve greater creative control of their art.

For their largest fundraising campaign of the year on November 6, the guild wanted to try something a little different from their usual agenda: live streaming. The guild has a sizeable following on Facebook, and their goal was to broadcast directly to those audiences. To do this, they commissioned renowned New York-based production company Live X to get the job done.

“The gala was a huge star-studded event that had big names in the broadway scene in attendance. Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd), Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show), and Hal Prince were just a few,” said Nick Micozzi, producer at Live X.

“They’re relatively new to live streaming but have been incredibly active on social media, and they knew that live streaming would be an excellent way to not only engage their fans who may not be able to attend in person, while also demonstrating what the organization is about to a much larger audience.”

Streaming Setup

With a reputation to uphold in their social media space, having a stable video feed was critical to their image. Knowing this, the Live X crew needed a reliable Internet connection at the venue to ensure flawless delivery to Facebook Live.

To capture the show, the production used 2x Panasonic PTZs as main cameras with a Blackmagic Micro Studio for POV camera. The cameras fed to a Production Bot Switch 8 running vMix, where titles were added to the video and sent to a Teradek Bond equipped with 4x high-powered Node modems.

Bond with 4x Nodes connected to Production Bot Switch 8

The Bond is a network redundancy device that combines Ethernet, WiFi and up to 5 cellular 4G/LTE modems to provide a robust, load-balanced connection for transporting video. It works by aggregating Internet sources so in the case that one Internet fails, the other networks will fill in to reinforce the live stream.

From the Bond, an h.264 video feed was sent directly to the Live X Core account, a stream management suite that allows for multi-platform delivery, live monitoring and stream data tracking. From Core, the stream was directed to the Dramatists Guild of America’s Facebook Page for their followers to watch.

An Affordable & Effective Streaming Solution

Because this was a fundraising event, the DGA wasn’t keen on spending thousands of dollars for in-house Internet at the venue. As a result, Live X needed a low-cost alternative that could achieve the same results and not break their bank.

Stephen Sondheim at DGFA Gala.

Having live streamed several major events before like CES, the NFL Draft Party and Mayweather v McGregor Pre-Show for MMAFighting, Live X knew the Teradek Bond was the perfect solution. This is because hardwired Internet at popular venues present two major challenges: high cost and unpredictable connectivity. Relying on a single Internet network leaves content creators at the mercy of that connection, and if it goes down, the live video drops and all of its viewers are lost.

Bonded cellular provided the robust infrastructure they needed to ensure that wouldn’t happen. Even in the venue with tons of cellular congestion, Live X was able to publish a flawless 720p stream to Facebook Live. All of this was done at just a fraction of the cost of what a hardwired connection would’ve cost.

“If it weren’t for Teradek and the bonding solution, streaming the show live  wouldn’t have been possible,” said Micozzi. “The Foundation saved thousands of dollars by using the Bond - money which can be much better spent sponsoring their guild members. Using it and the Nodes, we had complete confidence that the DGA’s video was in good hands.”

Capture.Share.

Our Brands