Hello, we are evaluating the purchase of a Peplink MAX Transit DUO to stream on location in places where there is little 4g coverage.
Our workflow is as follows for car rally coverage. We have a team of on-location cameras that transmit through the SRT protocol to the studios. We use the Vmix software to receive and mix all the feeds from the cameras and produce the streaming. In addition, on location we also have reception of the program return.
We have several doubts:
Do we need a transmitter equipment (MAX Transit DUO), the cloud (Speedfusion to recompose the bonding) and a receiver equipment type Balance 380? What is the role of the receiving router Balance?
We are concerned that Peplink does data bonding and is not specialized in video like other equipment such as LiveU, Teradek Bond, Aviwest, which have algorithms optimized for LRT video, etc. Only data. Will it work as good?
What would be the best configuration of the MAX Duo: WAN aggregation? Bonding? Failover?
We do a lot of video streaming over Peplink / Speedfusion and have no problems with it, often from some very esoteric locations and carrying more than just the video up/down between the remote sites and Studio / MCR.
Depending on where in the world you are you may want to find a local partner to work with who can go through your requirements and recommend the best mix of equipment.
FusionHub in the cloud (either self hosted or the Peplink hosted version) is optional, although it can be useful to have a central aggregation point (or multiple / geographic diverse ones - we spin these up all over the world and willl bring traffic to a local hub, even if I am then tunneling the traffic from that hub further). At the studio end you could either use a physical balance or a FusionHub VM to terminate the PepVPN tunnels on.
You should consider how much VPN throughput you require, and how many concurrent remote sites you are likely to have at any one time and select something with a bit of headroom in both categories. Also consider what connectivity and bandwidth you have available at the studio side.
On the flipside you can also consider that those companies do not specialise in network equipment…
We’ve been through this exact discussion with some of our customers, but Peplink do have various bonding algorithms that are very good for live video - WAN smoothing / FEC etc. are what you should read up on here.
See above, but a TST duo with 2 modems and 4 sims from different providers should be pretty robust, enable vpn bonding and consider using WAN smoothing / FEC if necessary. If you are in an area with very marginal data coverage you may want to consider something with more modems like the MBX4 to give you more parallel connections.
I have been supporting broadcasters globally with this kind of deployment recently. Many of the recent big name Live and pre-recorded UK TV shows have had remote cameras with the talent, centrally operated by production teams. Others in the US are using remote teams to do real time content capture - particularly for virtual events - with talk back etc.
Speedfusion VPN is point to point. You can either go from a remote device back to a hub device hosted in your office / production studio (if you have enough bandwidth there), or you could host your streaming endpoint in the cloud and build a Fusionhub beside it to not be limited by physical broadband speeds at your office location.
You also need to size the hub device by the number of simultaneously connected remote devices (or peers) and by the amount of supported PepVPN throughput.
Its a valid concern. LiveU, Teradek and others have very tight physical integration between the video encoder element and their LTE modem management. This means that they could potentially make the encoder situationally aware of the state of the connectivity and adjust framerates, buffers and resolution accordingly.
In practice though I have not seen much intelligence around that. Instead they tend to let SRT do its thing and then work out the optimum amount of latency / buffers to add to maintain the desired resolution / framerate.
The workflow is different with Speedfusion Bonding. You will sometimes need to spend a moment to tune the VPN tunnel to make the best use of the available bandwidth, but once you do that you will have a super reliable backhaul link with the option to turn on FEC, and Wan Smoothing (data duplication). SRT loves running over the top of that kind of stable link and will give you the best possible results. Personally I’s prefer to have specialist IP Bonding tech and specialist Video encoding tech separate as it allows for more versatility and upgradability in the future.
Also don’t underestimate the operational cost of SIM and data allowance management, Peplink are the very best at that and it can remove many of the hurdles associated with high bandwidth streaming over cellular. We manage full estates of SIMs for some of the biggest broadcasters using InControl2 in ways that would be impossible using other vendor equipment.
As a start - If you are using a Transit Duo, get the CAT 12 version and turn on FEC and WAN smoothing with Dynamic Weighted Bonding enabled. Then disable WAN smoothing if you find you don’t have enough bandwidth in that location.
Personally I would prefer to use the HD4 MBX CAT 18 for remote video streaming if budget allowed.
I suggest you speak to a local Peplink partner - they can help with SIMs, antennas, enclosures and remote support and are well worth engaging with for this kind of requirement.
Very very good points explained here. Thank you both a lot.
Just one more think. Could you descrive me or point me to a link where peplink products are used in a Broadcast TV scenario? I hesitate to invest in products that are not focused specifically to my application like the Transit Duo (which is designed to provide internet to vehicles, if I’m not mistaken).
I basically need the functionality of a point-to-point LiveU or Teradek Bond in order to have video+audio contributing feeds from cameras on-location to my vision mixer.
Have good internet connection to receive all those feeds and push the streaming to the CDN, again, from 4G and limited internet from remote locations.
And much more like: video return to the presenters, audio IFB, …
Like I said, LiveU provides me all of these but with a premium price tag. To be honest, it works as it is used by major broadcasters like Fox TV, but once you enter their ecosystem you are trapped to utterly expensive cloud.
I did the connectivity using bonded cellular for this epic live, real time Hit Man event where live actors in the UK streamed HD video content back to remote players in the US and London with Grapevine Connect a UK Peplink Partner.