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Making it easy to enrich the live broadcast with reliable, high-quality Skype contributions, whether from across the production facility or from across India, the STX-200 changes the way that the “IGT” fans, host, judges, and even the contestants can interact and engage.
Whether using a desktop Skype client or a mobile device, fans are able to connect with the ColorsTV reality show via Skype-to-Skype calls, group video calls, and instant video messages. With the Skype ID “IGTonColors,” viewers can connect with one another and send questions to the show’s judges and presenters. These users also gain access to exclusive “IGT” contests, highlights from the show, bloopers, and exclusive interviews with show participants.
Although these contests and group chats with judges and hosts drive further viewer engagement with the show, the most unique element of the show’s Skype usage is the way it is used along with Riedel’s STX-200 to enable creation of exclusive content and behind-the-scenes footage. An engineering team from Riedel integrated eight STX-200 units with the Skype TX Studio system at the “IGT” production facilities in Mumbai along with the Riedel’s MediorNet Compact real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom system. Working with Skype and these Riedel systems, show producers can add new and original fan-focused content to the broadcast while continually ensuring the quality of that feed.
Together, the STX-200, MediorNet Compact, and Artist systems enable transport of program video with embedded audio from the studio to the production switcher and on to the control room, as well as flexible routing of signals to individual Skype users using Surface™ tablets and other smart devices to facilitate Skype calls between viewers, contestants, and judges. With this solution, the host might call contestants via Skype to let them know that they will be heading to the next round of competition, or show producers might arrange for surprise calls by family and friends to contestants in the studio.
With the STX-200, Riedel has created an elegant and economical alternative to the cobbled-together solutions often used to bring Skype audio and video into the production environment. Working with the Skype TX interface, a single operator in the “IGT” Skype control room can monitor and control all eight STX-200 units. The operator can preview and then monitor the quality of multiple calls, and if video quality levels drop below a set threshold, the STX-200 automatically reverts to a still image of the speaker. The STX-200 also prevents issues such as audio dropout and provides a clean feed of Skype calls, free from notifications, signals, advertisements, and pop-ups.
“Riedel systems are designed to excel in the live production environment, and the deployment of our STX-200, as well as our Artist and MediorNet systems, for ‘IGT’ has been another successful example of their reliability and ease of use,” said Lars Höhmann, product manager for MediorNet and Skype at Riedel Communications. “Our communications and networking solutions make it easy and affordable to bring the interactivity of the show to new heights.”