Pixel Tracking


New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Live-Streaming Solution


Covid-19 imposed many challenges for almost all organisations in New Zealand. The main issue was how to communicate and interact with customers and audiences from a distance. For some, the idea of overcoming such a barrier put “business as usual” on hold. For others, outside the box thinking gave light to great and inspiring projects that would not only help during Covid-19 restrictions but add value to their representative organisations and customers in the long term. The team at New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has done just this with a deep dive into Live Streaming. The Protel team was happy to help out to see it come to fruition.


The challenge was creating a professional solution that would record performances locally as well as broadcast a Live Stream to an audience outside of those able to physically attend concerts at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Although creating such a setup had been in the works for a few years, it was in response to Covid-19 that the project got greenlit. Joel Garman,  Protel's Wellington-based Video Solutions Specialist, worked closely with NZSO during the project to see it come together as quickly as possible. The solution devised was based around Panasonic, Blackmagic and AJA equipment.


With multiple cameras and flexibility in shots being a highly desired feature of the setup, Panasonic was chosen to provide the cameras and camera controls.   Five AW-HE 40 PTZ Cameras were used.  Featuring HD-SDI output, large pan and tilt range and 30x optical zoom - the cameras are able to cover the wide shooting area of the Michael Fowler Centre stage. The accompanying Panasonic AW-RP150 Camera Controller features a zoom/focus rocker on the joystick for pan and tilt operations to ensure accurate and precise command of the PTZ cameras.



Blackmagic devices were chosen to provide switching and recording capability for the setup. This was achieved with the Blackmagic 1 M/E Advanced Panel, Blackmagic 1/ME Production Studio 4K and the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio 12G. The Production Studio 4k can handle up to 10 HD inputs which provided the HD switching of the 5 cameras whilst also giving scope for future growth through the addition of extra cameras. The Advanced Panel provides simplicity to control camera switches and camera transitions by adding hardware controls to the Production Studio. The output from these units can then be sent to the Hyper Deck Studio 12G, which can capture 4K 60p recordings of the performances directly to SSD drives.



Getting a high-quality and reliable stream can be a real challenge in any setup and for NZSO we wanted to ensure they got a consistent and dependable stream every time. The AJA Helo was chosen for its reliability as a streamer and encoder; its 1080p encoding capability means the streaming quality will be first-rate. 


Altogether the solution has been seen as a success. High-quality live streams and footage of NZSO performances can be found on their website and are accessible to the world. NZSO is looking to expand their live streaming solution in the future with extra cameras which will easily fit into their existing workflow. We would like to thank NZSO for their business during this project and look forward to working together in the future.


Product list:

• Panasonic AW-HE40S PTZ Camera with HD-SDI Output

• Panasonic AW-RP150GJ Touchscreen Remote Camera Controller

• Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K

• Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel

• Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio 12G

• AJA Helo H.264 Stream/Record - Hardware Encoder

• Blackmagic SmartView Duo Rackmountable Dual 8" LCD Monitors

• Blackmagic Teranex Mini Rack Shelf

• Blackmagic converters