The Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards are held live in Nashville, but the spiritual home of country music looks a little different in 2020, and the awards have also taken on a different complexion to reflect the ongoing pandemic. While the awards ceremony took place in Nashville on September 16th, some of the broadcast was coordinated 2,300 miles away in Oakland, California.
Hugh Grew, a man whose broadcasting and production credentials include the biggest and most high-profile awards ceremonies on the planet, was in charge of coordinating the broadcast. Ian Kennedy from mDots/Fontastics and Tim Harbaugh from Production Networking also managed the project and the technical elements of the show.
Along with mDots and Production Networking, a key component for Hugh Grew and the graphics portion of the production was the XPression real-time graphics platform from Ross Video. The team used two XPression engines for this broadcast – one as the primary and one as backup. Everything on the primary engine was copied to the second machine in case any issues arose, but the team performed many tests in the days leading up to the broadcast and XPression performed exactly as expected. There were no resets, reboots or restarts.
The biggest challenge for Grew was the two and a half seconds of audio and video delay caused by the distance between the venue in Nashville and his base in California. The team had to rely on audio calls to send to air, but they did plenty of rehearsing ahead of time to make sure they were comfortable going into the show. When discussing the broadcast, Grew said “XPression makes graphics fun again and when we’re talking about remote production, XPression is the least of my worries.”
To learn more about the XPression real-time motion graphics engine, click here.