E3 2016

E3 2016

Nov 6, 2016 Posted by:   Adrienne Zohimsky No Comments

At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, T-Mobile provided a lush lounge area where gamers could rest, recharge, and then battle it out in Overwatch with professional players. The AV Society was there to broadcast all the action, with live play by play and post match highlights. With this stream, we were able to show a professional e-sports event, and integrate the client’s product and branding to create a cohesive promotional package that attracted lot of attention.

Overwatch is one of the season’s most popular games and Cloud 9 one of the most recognizable teams in e-sports.  Together it made a compelling draw to the lounge while the matches themselves drew thousands of online viewers.


The av society provided production services, audio and video streaming as well as technical support for the match play.  Our involvement ensured not only a well executed in room experience but an enjoyable live stream for thousands of avid gamers at home.

Nerd HQ 2016

Nov 6, 2016 Posted by:   Adrienne Zohimsky No Comments

The AV Society had the good fortune of working with Zachary Levi’s The Nerd Machine for the second year in a row. The annual Nerd HQ event hosts panels of the best guests nerd culture has to offer, and raises awareness, as well as money, for Operation Smile. The AVS was on site streaming more than 40 hrs of content over 4 days, reaching an audience of hundreds of thousands, through simultaneous streams on YouTube, Facebook, and Nerd HQ’s own app. Equipped with multiple cameras, knowledgeable professionals, and a couple robots, we were able to bring online viewers the full experience of Nerd HQ’s wonderful guest lineup, but without the waiting in line.

We used a combination of robotic cameras and cameras with talented camera operators to get high quality shots from the panel room with quick and focused live editing to ensure a compelling program. With audience participation being the backbone of a good panel, our team was able to capture all the great questions and fan interactions to share with the online community. Viewers were also treated to a number of surprise guests and world premieres. The AV society was able to accommodate and incorporate all these surprises seamlessly while maintaining a high quality broadcast.

During any event, plenty of audience members have their phones at the ready, and voracious viewers online will rush to copy the video and repost some of the more spectacular moments.  We headed them off at the pass by making sure clips were available for the social media team immediately. Our highlight videos were posted to YouTube within minutes, making sure the audience was retained on the correct social media channels.

In addition to streaming to the official channels, some celebrities wished to have a copy of their own panel streamed to their Facebook page, something our expertise allowed us to do on the fly as the show was in progress.

Nintendo @ SDCC 2014 – Project Highlights

Apr 14, 2015 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

Roughly around the month of May 2014 Nintendo contacted AVS and we discussed creating a stage show that was on a tighter budget than their E3 show, but needed to have the same impact and even more video games on display!  To make matters even more complex, one of the days would be a live shoutcasted tournament on development hardware.  We recommended a setup using our ATEM 2ME switch, taking full advantage of the supersource, giving us the ability to show up to four picture in picture screens containing either hosts, players or gameplay.  With this switch at the core, we were ready to plan the rest of the event and ensure that we were able to show all the games in their full graphic glory.  The on screen graphics would be simple, but we would need a way to update tournament information rapidly, to keep up with the tournament results.  For that we added our custom CasparCG graphics server.


Our task was to broadcast to Twitch.tv for two days from Comic Con 2014.  We would be broadcasting in 720P, a tournament the first day and a series of guests and game demonstrations the second day.  To support the tournament, we would be playing matches on screen in on the Wii-U, with small cameras that showed the players faces as they played.  The second day, we would need to mic up several hosts as well as guests for the live variety show.  Following the budget, we were able to set up several small cameras around the “gaming lounge” so that when our stage was quiet, we could focus on points of interest around the room.  The audience gave us rave reviews, stating that the content was as clear as they have ever seen it and that they couldn’t get enough of the game demonstrations.


We worked for several days with Nintendo to make sure that all the I’s were dotted and T’s crossed.  We staffed six staff team members, including camera operators and production assistants.  Our planning included dynamic tournament bracket creation.  We used Caspar CG to create a completely dynamic tournament graphic, allowing one of our staff to enter information from the tournament into the graphics system.  We have since automated this tool using Challonge and their API but that story is for another day.  We were able to show the fast moving tournament in great detail and get the important information on the screen.











Our second day consisted of some very fun video game demos, including a speed run and platforms that varied from Wii-U test units to 3DS test units.  All worked well for the 8 hour show day.

Equipment List

  • ATEM 2ME 4K Switch
  • 2x Panasonic 3CCD Pro Camcorders
  • 2x GoPro Hero 2
  • 2x Toshiba Camileo X100
  • 1x Mackey Mixer
  • PA System
  • Distribution amplifiers and converters and cabling
  • Production Encoder
  • Laptops and Screens
  • Caspar CG Graphics

Social Media Simplicity

Apr 8, 2015 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

In the realm of live video, nothing is more engaging than getting audience interaction into the show. When a viewer sees a comment or other content that is attributed to them, it blows them away and other viewers are enticed to participate as well. The problem is that there is a huge risk when you take in content from the outside world in a live show! You could end up with a lot more than you bargained for, potentially something that damages your reputation or production.

Twitter is one of the biggest social media sites on the internet and reaches millions. Twitter integration is a sure fire way to increase viewer engagement in live streams, by announcing a hashtag and including viewer comments or requests on screen can create a huge buzz and instantly transform your show. The trouble is, if you automate these takes, you risk showing inappropriate content on your live show and that is unacceptable. If you try to take twitter feeds into your show manually, there is quite a lot work involved even getting one tweet on air with current tool sets. Again, problematic from a staffing point of view.

We faced the same issue over and over, either manually conforming information into our graphics system or chyron or skipping it entirely due to the risks of offensive tweets. Finally we made our own solution.

The tweeter is a simple software tool that allows an operator to do a simple search for a hashtag and bring those results to the screen after a brief approval process. This prevents the issues we’ve had with automated twitter applications.

Our tweeter tool is available to be operated by an AVS staffer or in limited quantity we can set your studio up with the tools. It is compatible with TriCaster iVGA, HDMI and HDSDI. If you need to bring social media into your live event, contact us and we will bring it to you.

Encoding Quality is Everything

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

Live events are a blur. Once the pre-production is all done and the content is set, it is a lot like flying, you follow the flight plan and only change it to execute emergency procedures. That’s how you avoid mistakes, but a lot of little things really impact the overall feel and appeal of the show. The end quality of the show is important from a content standpoint and while appreciation is a subjective concept there are very objective technical qualities which make a show better. Talent has to give a good performance, cameras have to create a pretty image, audio equipment has to produce clean discernable sound and your encoding is as important as anything on the front end of things. In fact, I believe it is an honorary front end player while many folks think of it as mostly a back of house kind of thing.

Video from day 2.  A good example of gameplay starts at 1:30:00 you might also catch a glimpse of Bill Trinen’s “Villager Eye”.

Recently we developed a new process that uses shockingly low-end equipment and produces a 720P 60Fps stream of unparalleled quality. I have used encoders from high end manufacturers and have so far never seen anything as clean as this. We used it for the first time on a stream for our client, Nintendo, and the viewers were in awe. Fans of fast moving video games love it when every frame is in bright, clear, HD.


 You can’t pay for this kind of testimonial.  Well, you can now, by hiring The AV Society.

In this case, we sent a 5Mbps stream from the hotel we were shooting in, upstream to the AV Society video servers. From there, we pushed the stream out to Twitch and to YouTube Live. We didn’t do any manipulation at our server, only sent it along to two different video services. This way we didn’t change the quality in any way and the video hosts only re-encoded once, if at all. On the Twitch side of things they didn’t re-encode at all, it was straight from our encoder to the end user at source quality.  Fast moving video with tons of little bits of moving objects, like video games, can end up a blur of macroblocking when compressed to h.264.  This can make a dramatic moment in a game or video look like a muddy cloud and ruin the moment for many of the online viewers (confetti canons during awards ceremonies at esports events are outrageously effective at ruining encodes).   This process keeps the macroblocking to a minimum and gives us a super high quality, high framerate feed for our viewers.

What the viewers said about our stream was genuinely the best compliment anyone could have given us in this particular space. Having a stream quality that made them crave the game even more was our goal and we surpassed it. I am very proud of The AV Society’s techniques and as a gamer I am glad the viewers appreciate it.

Making the Most of What You’ve Got

Jul 22, 2014 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

When you have only a few leftover lights and an extra camera that can sometimes mean you can get a great shot of a very relevant prop item and add a lot to the stream.  In this case, we had access to one of the trophies at Quakecon and a very simple setup of lights and camera.  With a little finessing we were able to put it into play as a hero shot for cutaways and GP B-Roll.

The AV Society Streams Quakecon 2014

Jul 19, 2014 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

International eSports competition promoter Faceit contracted The AV Society to support their effort at Quakecon 2014 during the invitational and open tournaments which were streamed to Twitch during the event. The AV Society assisted with encoding, show operation and camera work on set.

Thousands of viewers from around the world watched as some of the best FPS players went toe to toe in the revered and fast pace shooter.

The AV Society Supports Gamespot at E3 2014

Jun 17, 2014 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

At E3 2014, Tracy Peterson joined Gamespot to shoot field reports with the talented Anna Prosser Robinson.

Choosing a Streaming Service

Jun 3, 2014 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments

Streaming is big.  Stream host Twitch recently became the number one video service overall by the amount of video served and users can’t seem to get enough live video content.  Ustream weighed in at number 3.  Big names in music and entertainment are now streaming live to their audience, either pay per view or ad served.  Even politicians who don’t want to be left behind the technology curve are now live streaming to their potential voters.  One thing that is universal is the desire to increase the reach of media to the millions of potential viewers that reside on the Internet.

If you are just starting out, there are a lot of options and many of them only require that you have a webcam and something to say to the world.  Twitch focuses on gaming, while Justin.tv, Ustream, YouTube and LiveStream will take all comers.  There’s even self hosted options if none of these options seem to work for you.  There are many others jumping into the game with various features all trying to take advantage of the next wave of media on the Internet.  Which is the best for your purposes?  How can you make the right choice?  I’ll go over the top choices for live streaming on the Internet and highlight some of the unique qualities of each while setting up for a comparison chart of common features at the end.

NeuroGaming Streams the Future with The AV Society

May 14, 2014 Posted by:   Tracy Peterson No Comments


On May 8, 2014, some of the biggest and brightest stars of emerging gaming technology came together to discuss the future of virtual reality and neuro-technology in entertainment. Palmer Luckey, Ed Fries and many others joined the panels to discuss how games and entertainment will be affected by new technologies that connect to users in fascinating ways.

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