HOW TO: Handle Live events in OnTheAir Manager ?

You use Live clips when you want to use a different source for your broadcast than the output of OnTheAir Node (for example when you want to broadcast Live News from your studio or also if you want to reroute a signal that comes from another source.

Basically there are 2 ways that you can use to broadcast a Live event:

  • connect the signal of your Live source to the input of the same card that is used by OnTheAir Node. During Live events, OnTheAir Node will not playout clips and thus you will broadcast the signal that is getting in the input of the card. This is only working with AJA cards set in Internal Key mode.
  • control a video router, (AJA Kumo, Blackmagic-Design VideoHub CleanSwitch or others) or production switcher (Blackmagic-Design ATEM) to modify the source of the signal that goes to air. This is the best and safest solution.
 
Also note that the application "OnTheAir Live" is only to be used on a separate Node, as it is a completely different program then OnTheAir Manager and it is not required to handle a Live event from within OnTheAir Manager. OnTheAir Live is a program that allows simple playlist control of OnTheAir Node without scheduling, etc... So you would use OnTheAir Manager OR OnTheAir Live, but not both simultaneously on the same Node.
 
Read below for more information on the pros and cons of the two solutions.
  

 

Configure OnTheAir Node for Live events using a video router

Using a video router is the best and safest solution because:

  • it will allow you to do maintenance on the OnTheAir Node Mac during Live events
  • you will be able to select multiple sources as Live sources
 

Which video router can be controlled by OnTheAir Node ?

There are two types of interface to control video routers or switchers from OnTheAir Node:

  • through ethernet: only the AJA Kumo, Blackmagic Videohub and Blackmagic ATEM can be controlled through ethernet. This makes it a very easy solution as there is no need for complex cabling, nor additional hardware, just connect your computer and the video router to the same network, install the drivers of the router or switcher if needed (for example for the ATEM) and configure their IP address correctly and that's it.
  • through serial protocol: this is more complex but it can support more video routers. We have a list of supported routers available here, if yours is not in the list, contact us, send us the protocol and exact model and we'll tell you if and when we can add the support for it. Here is what you would need to control a router through RS232.
Note about routers. When choosing which router you will use, you should make sure that switching from one source to the other is clean. Some routers produce some black frames when switching from one format to the other. For example, with Blackmagic-Design, only the Blackmagic VideoHub CleanSwitch will be usable. Production Switchers on the other hand should all be clean as they are meant for that = switching from one video to the other seamlessly.
 

Configuring OnTheAir Node with AJA Kumo, Blackmagic Videohub or Blackmagic ATEM

In the OnTheAir Node system preference pane:

  • select the "Plug-Ins" tab,
  • select the AJA Kumo, Blackmagic ATEM or Blackmagic Videohub  Plug-In in the Plug-In selection popup menu.
  • select the router you want to control in the "Selected Videohub" or "Selected AJA Kumo Device" menu. If you have only one, it will be selected by default. If you don't see your router there (it should show automatically through Bonjour), check your Network connection and your network settings on both your Mac an router.
  • Add a "Configured Output" using the "+" button at the end of the list
  • Set a Label (this will be the name of this output shown in OnTheAir Manager)
  • Select which Output (from your router) you want to control (this must be your Main channel output)
  • Select what will be the Default Input for this Output. (this should be the signal that is getting out of OnTheAir Node)
  • Click on "Apply". If you fail to do so, the settings will not be remembered.

OTANode_Plugins_VideoHub_MainOuput.png 

Configuring OnTheAir Node to be used with a router controlled through RS232

You will need different things beforehand:

  • make sure that your router can be controlled through RS232 and that the RS232 port is not already used
  • connect the USB to RS232 adapter to your Mac
  • connect the RS232 cable from that USB adapter to the router (make sure the pinouts are correct that's the most common mistake when user can not communicate with their router from OnTheAir Switch)
  • install and configure the OnTheAir Switch software (all communications to the router will go through this software). Make sure that you can connect to the router from OnTheAir Switch. OnTheAir Node will not be able to control your router if OnTheAir Switch can not.
  • make sure OnTheAir Switch is running (install it in the startup items if needed)

Once all that is done, go in the OnTheAir Node system preference pane, select the "Plug-Ins" tab and:

  • select the "Plug-Ins" tab,
  • select the OnTheAir Switch Plug-In in the Plug-In selection popup menu
  • select the router you want to control in the "Selected OnTheAir Switch" menu. If you have only one, it will be selected by default. If you don't see any OnTheAir Switch there (it should show automatically through Bonjour and have the same name as the computer where it is running), check your Network connection and your network settings on both your Macs.
  • Add a "Configured Output" using the "+" button at the end of the list
  • Set a Label (this will be the name of this output shown in OnTheAir Manager)
  • Select which Output number (from your router) you want to control (this must be your Main channel output)
  • Select what will be the Default Input for this Output. (this should be the signal that is getting out of OnTheAir Node)
  • Click on "Apply". If you fail to do so, the settings will not be remembered.

OTANode_Plugins_OnTheAirSwitch.png

 

Creating Live Clips in OnTheAir Manager

Once you have configured OnTheAir Node as explained above, you can go to OnTheAir Manager and create a Live clip. For that ctrl-click or right-click in the Media Browser and choose "Make Live Clip..."

OTAM_MediaBrowser_Contextual_MakeLiveClip.png

This will open a window in which you will be able to set:

  • a name for your Live clip
  • its duration

OTAM_MediaBrowser_Normal_MakeLiveClipMenu.png

Once the Live clip is created, it will be placed at the root level of your Media Browser and it will NOT be placed within a Media Folder:

OTAM_MediaBrowser_Normal_WithLiveClip.png

Obviously there will never be a media linked to this clip, it is a kind of placeholder during which no video clip will be played (this is the reason why it is not placed within a Media Folder.

But it is important to know that these Live clips can have the same attributes as a regular video clip, and that is these attributes that will for example control your video router to switch it to a new source.

Remember that if you modify the attributes of a clip selected in the Media Browser, it will be applied to all occurrences of this clip in all playlists, events and schedules, but if you modify the attributes of a clip from one of its occurrences in a playlist or event, the attribute will only be applied for this occurrence and will not impact the others. This means that for a Live clip (as obviously you will always want it to have the same behavior), you must modify its attributes from the Media Browser. Make sure to select it from there before applying its Attributes.

 

Attributes for Live clips using a Video router

In OnTheAir Manager and:

  • select a Live Clip in the Media Browser (you can select multiple clips at once)
  • double-click on it or use the cmd+i shortcut to show the Inspector
  • select the "Attributes Tab"
  • you should see a section called "Blackmagic Videohub", "AJA Kumo", or "OnTheAir Switch". Depending on what you configured. Toggle it open.
  • tick the checkmark in front of the MAIN output
  • select another input for your Live (this will be the signal coming from your studio)
OTAMAnager_Inspector_Attributes_Videohub_Modified.png
 
 
That's it, now you can use your Live clip in your schedules the same way as you would be using a video clip. When a Live will be broadcasted, OnTheAir Node will then switch the input of your router to select the signal that is coming from the studio. At the end of the Live event, it will automatically switch back the input to the OnTheAir Node signal.
 
 
 
Attributes for Live clips using a video card input

In OnTheAir Manager, select a Live Clip in the Media Browser and double-click on it or use the cmd+i shortcut to show the Inspector. Select the "Attributes Tab", tick the checkbox in front of "Audio Source" and make sure to select "Input" instead of "Player" as shown in the screenshot below:

OTAMAnager_Inspector_Attributes_Builtin_AudioRoutingPlayer.png

This will ensure that during the Live, the sound that will be heard will be the sound that is getting in the input of the card and not the sound of the clips played by OnTheAir Node, but of course when you are playing video clips you want to hear the sound of your clip and thus you should make sure that the Audio Source is set to "Player" when it is not a Live.

 
 
Use your Live clip as a regular video clip

Using a Live event in playlists and events is very easy, just drag and drop the Live clip in a playlist or event as a regular clip. When you will send that schedule to a OnTheAir Node, and that it will play the Live event, the card will be in Loopthrough and you will see the signal that is getting in the input.

 

4. Recommended articles to go further

Attributes are very powerful tools that may take a little bit of time to configure, but once set, it is very quick to use, specially when you use the categories. Toi understand a bit more what are plugins and attributes, you can read these articles:

https://softron.zendesk.com/entries/20628861-what-s-a-plugin-for-ontheair-node

https://softron.zendesk.com/entries/20646993-what-are-attributes-in-ontheair-node

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