New AirFirst Platform from VCC Provides Do-It-Yourself Solution for Top-Quality, Low-Latency, Two-Way IP Remote Contribution on Demand
End-to-end system makes it easy for production teams to connect with guests anywhere in the world for TV, streaming, live, or corporate events
PALISADES, N.Y., December 13, 2021 — The Video Call Center (VCC) introduces AirFirst™, giving media professionals the first cloud-controlled management system for IP-based remote contributions. Going beyond consumer conferencing systems, AirFirst provides producers with superior-quality, lag-free, on-demand workflows for high speed, high volume control of live remote contributors anywhere in the world.
Originally developed for VCC’s continuing “white glove” Caller CloudTM service and used for more than 20,000 remotes on streaming, cable, and broadcast programs, the AirFirst system is now available to news, sports, entertainment, and other media organizations who manage their own remotes. With the introduction of AirFirst, producers and their teams now have a professional-caliber choice for IP-based, remote contribution complete with real time two-way video and mix-minus IFB return audio for control room communications with contributors.
AirFirst’s unique collaborative workflow supports both small and large teams. A single person can operate the entire AirfFirst workflow from anywhere. Alternately, AirFirst’s secure, shared scheduling/connectivity system can be made available to all stakeholders in a production including dispersed bookers, pre-screeners, producers, transmission, and control room. Each department can contribute needed information to ensure timely, smooth, best air-connections. AirFirst enables producers to tailor the contribution system to their team, show, event, and budget requirements. In scenarios where time is critical such as breaking news, AirFirst shines with first-video from anywhere in the world in as little as 20 seconds.
“Show producers are fed up with trying to force consumer video conferencing software to behave like a production tool. AirFirst from VCC is the answer they are looking for,” said VCC CEO Larry Thaler. “With AirFirst, VCC’s smartphone-based remote capabilities are now available in a do-it-yourself platform. No more jittery, degraded video and creative inflexibility. With just a few clicks, a production team can invite anyone anywhere in the world to join a show as a guest, cast member, or even audience participant. Whether the guest is a ‘remote from home’ or a ‘live feed from a school bus’, they’ll look great. Thanks to VCC’s patented, lag-free technology, the remote person will interact as naturally as if they were in the studio.”
The foundation of the AirFirst system is VCC’s patented system for IP-based remote contribution that supports choices of connection methods native on today’s smartphones and other devices. Exclusive StageDoor™ calling logic makes joining a program easy. A guest simply clicks a link in a text or email. No user names or downloads are required. Built-in Tenaciti™ diagnostic software evaluates the connection and allows producers to make rapid decisions to further optimize the remote even before connecting with the contributor. AirFirst then automates all setup and routing, making acquisition effortless for producers and contributors. After the remote, an instant-erase feature can automatically delete VIP guests’ data to protect privacy.
Additional modules that expand the core functionality of AirFirst include:
CrowdView™ — the premier virtual audience, multi-participant system can deliver up to 25 simultaneous participants per screen and give the operator complete control over seat assignment. Unlike the echo cancellation found in conferencing systems, CrowdView automatically builds a mix-minus for each participant and manages overall mix volume and muting. Exclusive BoP™ technology lets producers zoom in on the assigned position of any audience member, making them into a full-screen, interactive participant in the show.
Caller QueueⓇ — VCC’s patented “green room in the cloud” makes it easy for producers to access, filter, and screen a large number of audience member guests and keep them waiting in the wings where they can watch the show, ready to join the moment producers see the best opportunity. With VCC’s social amplification feature, audience members become participants and participants become promoters.
Scheduler — a cloud-based data platform that makes it easy to communicate between departments by sharing schedule and contributor status information. The persistent database speeds the time-to-connection for regular contributors.
Expandable Capacity — AirFirst can be provisioned to meet the needs of multiple simultaneous shows. Each VCC hardware endpoint can support up to 25 simultaneous remote contributors, and productions can provision dozens of endpoints per network. Customers can provide their own compatible off-the-shelf hardware, or VCC can provide a ready-to-install system. AirFirst can isolate or share data between shows, supporting hundreds of users and the busiest production environments.
VCC AirFirst is available immediately and in use by customers. For information and to get started contact [email protected]
ABOUT THE VIDEO CALL CENTER, LLC
The VCC is a technology and production services company devoted to handling of IP Video remotes-by-smartphone and putting them on the air through patented caller acquisition technology, workflow, and automation (US patents #8,767,031, #9,654,731, #10,904,386 China patent #ZL 201380050976.3, Japan Patent 0149126001 and other patents pending). The VCC licenses its software and provides caller acquisition and production services. VCC has helped clients produce more than 20,000 remotes over hundreds of broadcast and web programs, supporting NBCU, Major League Baseball, CBS, Fox TV Stations, CBS, CNN, Discovery, Fox Sports Networks, Hearst interactive, international Emmys, TLC, NBATV, NFL Network, Paramount+, WWE, Vice, Bally Sports, and many others. Examples of programs and complete information about the VCC are available at thevcc.tv.