A Webby!



Our last blog entry was .. 2016 is loading … let’s go! And we went! For both our offices in The Netherlands and Brazil, 2016 turned out to be a crazy, fully loaded year… without even the time for a blog update…

So here we are…. already halfway into 2017. With some blog entries to come, we will bring you all updates with Connecting Media.

Last year started to get busy around April, talking with our new client LITmedia in Brazil about an international project in Rio de Janeiro. Specifically; Droneweek by General Electric.

5 days of streaming, live from 5 different locations. Alright… we did this before in Europe. But hey… this is Brazil and everything is different here! Each of the 5 locations was different and every day had its own problems to solve. We had 2 days at the Office and Lab of General Electric, 2 days at the Olympic venue that was still under construction and 1 day at Marapendi lake. Our crew was from the USA, Brazil, Australia and The Netherlands… imagine the communication there :)

Day 1 was an ‘easy’ day, a test day one week in advance. 2 cameras on tripods, live drone footage plus some extra cameras by the drone guys from Spark Aerial. It turned out to be our first Facebook Live webcast, a Drone Ballet show.



Day 2 was at the Marapendi lake. One of the biggest problems we had to solve on every location was a dedicated broadband internet connection. Our client was in charge of that part, but of course the technical solutions at the locations had to come from us.  Also at the lake where we received the signals by ‘radio’. Interesting detail was, that we needed to receive live video from a Kayak from the Brazilian national Olympic team and from a boat that followed the Kayak with the coach and a special app that the coach used for measurements during the trainings.



Day 3. Day 3 started during day 2 already, because we heard that we were not allowed to place an internet antenna at the Olympic venue! So, no internet... Internet can be important for doing a live webcast ;) Overnight we solved the problem with the help of a lot of friends. Solution: we set-up a satellite uplink to L.A., from there the signal was sent to Washington where it would be streamed to Facebook. As backup, we had a downlink in Paris from where we could stream to Facebook as well… we did not sleep very much that night.



Day 4, back at the General Electric Lab. This time at the building where they test the fiber-optic that runs over the bottom of the ocean from one continent to another.   



Day 5, the final. Back at the Olympic venue with a broadband connection from another supplier. And that connection was not stable at all. Just moments before we went live on the General Electric Facebook page with one stream in English and one with Portuguese audio, the internet-connection slowed down…… In the 1-minute countdown we checked the line and 15 seconds before live we said… GO!



All went well during these 5 days, both LITmedia and General Electric were more than happy with the result. What happened the day after this job… we’ll tell you in the next blog post.

We just found out that the Droneweek production has been nominated for a Webby Award, known as the Oscars for the internet. We are very very proud of this!

WebbyAwards2017
Link to the WebbyAwards website with a nice #Droneweek #BehindTheScenes video from our crew!

We want to thank our crew, our client LITmedia, Crew of The Barbarian group + LOT112 , of course our friends from Spark Aerial and Peixe Voador Produções for this 2 week adventure which we still call the most difficult job we did in our existence.

Also see the following links: Drone week photos: Photo Drone week portfolio: Portfolio

The Connecting Media crew

2016 is loading …. let’s go!

2015…. For us, a year with new offices and edit-suites in The Netherlands and Brazil.

Our web and app department was leveled up with new members in our crew. New investments in our future, our co-workers and partners worldwide and, of course, our clients.

Next year, would love to have more collaborations with all of you. We will go on with the same passion, and will keep doing our best to stay innovative, flexible and help you with your goals of 2016. Let us know what your wishes are.

It was again, an absolute pleasure working with you. For us it was an exciting year in all our activities. We hope it was a great year for you too!

2016 is loading …. let’s go!

Happy Christmas & a Merry New Year!

The Connecting Media crew

Connecting Media Netherlands has MOVED!

After 8 years in our media-studio in Baarn, it is time for a new step. We're moving to media-town Hilversum. Our new address has everything to do with music and sound, with which it started at Connecting Media. We are already feeling at home.

From the 1st of June, you can find us at the Wisseloord "Sounds" building. If you want to visit us, or send some chocolate, this is the right address:

Connecting Media
Mozartlaan 25-U
In 1217 CM Hilversum
Netherlands

From this location can we serve our customers even better by a good accessibility and very fast internet, in a natural and quiet environment. Visit us for a cup of coffee to take look at our new media-studio.

Sincerely

René Schaap and Michiel Overeem

Lithurgy of the Hours webcast

Sometimes, our productions bring us to special places and with special people. In 2003 we were contacted by the internet department of Dutch broadcaster KRO/RKK to talk about webcasting the ”Lithurgy of the Hours” for the Trappistines of Abdij Koningsoord in Berkel-Enschot. Monkhood was something a little known to us, because for several years we have been webcasting and recording for the Trappists of Abdij Maria Toevlucht in Zundert. It was a special experience for us computer-nerds, walking around in a monastery. You feel your equipment is a little out-of-place there, feeling as if you’re going back 100 years… Let alone walking around with your mobile phone, and a green Apple Clamshell laptop.

webcast ob-van with us and the brothers

KRO/RKK asked us, to develop a live-webcasting solution, making the Lithurgy of the Hours available to the world, six times a day. It should be portable to be able to move the set to other events and locations too. The live-stream should be small, for listeners using telephone lines to connect to the internet. It demanded from us to think well about this solution, because it would be custom work, as it did not exist commercially (and still doesn’t) and we could not ask the nuns to start-up the encoder by typing in some UNIX commands in a Terminal.

The result was a 1-meter high flight case with audio mixer and Compressor Gate. With this we could control the sound and volume. The signal was then sent to an audio encoder. A computer with the Linux operating system that generated the mp3 audio-stream, small enough for all listeners but with enough quality to enjoy the prayers, hymns and psalms. There was also a no-break, preventing the set to cease working after a power failure. Furthermore we used a second hard-drive raid system for extra protection.

Starting and stopping the stream, was another story. We developed a small box with a start and stop button and a light. The box was in the church up on the wall. One of the nuns would press this one button, the light started blinking and the stream was running. It looked simple from the outside, but within this box, was a little server sending signals to our audio encoder. Pressing the button would make some scripts start on the encoder, call into the streaming server via ISDN, and start streaming. After a few years, the availability of ADSL in the monastery made us change some things again and also install a video-encoder. With this it was now possible to listed and view the Lithurgy of the Hours live. We controlled the video encoder remotely to keep the peace in the monastery.

start/stop box .. webcast set

In 2009, the whole monastery moved, form Berkel-Enschot to Oosterbeek near Arnhem. KRO/RKK asked us to move the whole setup and install a new installation there. We used the opportunity to improve it all, place new microphones more suitable to the acoustics of the new church. And a CMS system was developed, now making it possible for the nuns to program the start-and-stop times of the broadcast themselves in a user-friendly way.

new webcast set + new location

We are now 12 years ahead., and have replaced the old encoder for a new one. This time a new energy-saving encoder was built. Again it was a custom-made job because the solution did not exist. We did this together with the server experts of Warpnet in Groningen. Ready for the next 12 years, and the monastery also for the special Christmas broadcasts the coming days. If you would like to listen, please visit the website of the Trappistines via this link:

link: Lithurgy of the Hours

Michiel Overeem - managing director Connecting Media Netherlands

The start.

A new website of Connecting Media, and with it, we introduce a blog about our company and about us. Just to explain and share, what is behind our productions and adventures, to keep a close connection with those who know us or want to learn to know us.

About 20 years ago a client ask me, "Can you make a website?". I asked him, „What's that?". He explained.... " It is something with a computer". I answered , "Than we can help you".

I contacted my friend Michiel who studied 'Interaction Design' at the Utrecht School or Arts at that time. He told me had had some lessons on school in this web-thing called HTML.

That's how Michiel and I started our company Connecting Media. From that day on, we made a lot websites, video’s music productions and online solutions, and we started to run our own server at an Internet xchange.

Since then, we rolled into other specific types of productions, close connected to our core. Music, Video and technology. Connecting Media has always been a real Cross-media company. We even started some offices in Brazil over the past years. I am proud of what we all achieved since that first question, but we’re never satisfied!

Let's go for another 15 years.

René Schaap - Managing director Connecting Media Brasil