Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Feature Productions specializes in live television broadcasting and video production for events and venues across Canada. Established 15 years ago, the company has built an outstanding reputation for broadcasting live events, including sports, rodeos, festivals, concerts, and corporate productions. With multi-camera video production mobiles, LED screen rentals, scoreboard integration, instant replays, live event streaming and television broadcast solutions, they provide clients with the highest quality live action coverage.
As a leading player in the live event production industry, Feature Productions faces the constant challenge of delivering technical excellence and top-tier broadcast quality for their audiences. For instance, the annual Ponoka Stampede is one of the leading events in the rodeo calendar, attracting over 100,000 visitors, with live coverage available online and via specialist broadcasters to millions more.
As the production provider for the event, Feature Productions needed a recording and monitoring solution that could seamlessly integrate multiple camera feeds, ensure consistent, high-quality recording, and handle the rigors of a live broadcast setup, all while being compact and efficient.
Having first used the Atomos Sumo recorder over five years ago, Feature Productions owner Steve Prankard invested in the Shogun Studio 2 dual recorder and monitor.
The flexible Shogun Studio 2 takes state-of-the-art Atomos multi-channel recording technology and combines it with two premium 7” HDR 2000nit high bright touchscreen displays, all in a single 3RU unit. This unique set of features makes it perfect for live events, outside broadcast vehicles, production galleries and MCRs, post-production facilities, video wall playouts, on-set DITs and sports officiating. Users can connect it to practically any SDI or HDMI source, including camera channels, PTZ cameras and vision mixers.
“As one of the marquee rodeo events of the year in Canada, the Ponoka Stampede was the ideal opportunity to use our two new Shogun Studio 2 units in our broadcast trailer,” said Prankard. “It’s a big event spread out over a wide area, and we position cameras in eight locations, with all feeds routed to the Shoguns. They play a very important role in ensuring we can deliver technically because quality control is paramount.”
The Shogun Studio 2 has delivered a range of important technical benefits to Feature Productions' workflow at events such as the Ponoka Stampede, Calgary Stampede, and PBR Canada Bull Riding. For instance, it records either two channels of 4Kp60 or up to eight HDp60 sources in industry-standard Apple ProRes, ProRes RAW and AVID DNx codecs. This frees their workflow from the constraints of highly compressed GOP-based codecs and their associated artifacts, replacing them with clean images captured directly from camera sensors using modern Intra-frame codecs.
In addition, the ability to use standard SSD drives further simplified the recording and distribution process. With excellent feedback from production staff and event viewers alike, Feature Productions is currently planning to invest in a third unit as it expands its trailer fleet in the future.
“Compared to other tools on the market, the Shogun Studio 2 was not only a more cost-effective and reliable choice but also offered exactly the performance and functionality we needed,” said Prankard. “The ability to bring up to eight feeds into such a small footprint is transformational – I’m not aware of any other manufacturer who can deliver that level of performance. As a result, we have huge confidence in the technology, and it will remain a key part of our infrastructure as we expand our production capabilities even further in the years ahead.”
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