Delivering video requires a combination of flexibility, functionality, proper encoding and smart workflows, and new technology developments are allowing users to provide an ever-increasing level of quality. Today, video consumption is growing at an astonishing rate, particularly as key factors in delivery continue to be addressed—including improved quality of experience, innovations in bandwidth optimization and lower latency.
Creating dynamic, inclusive content is crucial in the world of sports. No longer strictly subject to broadcaster scheduling, sport organizations are leading the charge to extend viewing experiences. Tennis Australia is proving itself in this game, streaming live broadcasts as well as replays, post-match speeches, behind-the-scenes moments, press conferences and more. The 2017 Australian Open in May proved a significant test for Tennis Australia's content strategy and delivery, with published content attracting 3 million live views and more than 8 million views for video on demand (VOD) during the tournament.
AWS Elemental workflow for the 2017 NAB Show live stream from the International Space Station
Brightcove's Video Cloud platform, in partnership with Akamai Technologies, powered Tennis Australia's content streaming during the tournament, ensuring tennis fans had a seamless online viewing experience. During the tournament, Brightcove Video Cloud enabled Tennis Australia to upload, transcode and publish hundreds of video clips daily. Coupled with Akamai's next-generation content delivery network, Tennis Australia was able to deliver a better-than-broadcast-quality online experience at scale to all manner of connected devices. Using Brightcove Live, Tennis Australia was able to expand brand awareness and reach new audiences in the moment through a bespoke live channel, streaming up to 16 courts and behind-the-scenes content simultaneously.
One of the biggest tests of the viability of live streaming didn't even take place on this planet. With a 4K transmission workflow designed by AWS Elemental, NASA on April 26 delivered the first live 4K video stream from space. In the live feed—encoded by AWS Elemental software on board the International Space Station (ISS) 250 miles above the Earth and on the ground at Johnson Space Center in Houston—NASA astronauts Dr. Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer on the ISS conversed live with AWS Elemental CEO Sam Blackman at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event took place at the 2017 NAB Show.
- Reaching for the Stars: How AWS Elemental and NASA Delivered a Live 4K Video Feed from Space, by Katie Makal, Digital Video, June 2017
The real growth that's occurring from the live streaming market comes from the tools enabling these events.
Video in and from the Field
Among its mobile live broadcast offerings, Soliton Systems' Smart-Telecaster Zao-S is a small H.265 HEVC hardware encoder that enables HD video transmission of live events over 3G and 4G cellular networks from challenging remote locations. The unit weighs 350 grams and is about the size of a smartphone. It attaches to a camera via HD-SDI or HDMI to power live streaming and video contribution applications. Zao-S connects up to six SIM cards via external dongles that can be bonded together to form a single connection via 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi. RASCOW technology monitors the changing mobile signal strength in real time and adapts the optimum bonded combination of the 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. Zao-S latency is typically half a second but can be as low as 240 ms.
With Teradek Core, users can route, record, transcode, archive and publish live video feeds to multiple destinations at the same time.
VITEC's recently updated MGW Ace H.265/H.264 hardware encoder makes it more efficient than ever to deliver high-quality IPTV streams over satellite links, private networks and over the internet. MGW Ace offers inputs including HD-SDI, SDI, HDMI, DVI and composite, and intuitive web management software with full control of all H.265 compression settings. A secondary MPEG-4-H.264 chip lets users stream H.264 video in parallel to the network-efficient HEVC to support legacy systems. Its portable, low-power hardware design is optimized for field use and for vehicles (28V DC power input).
Teradek's line of Cube encoders was recently updated to include both HEVC (H.265) and AVC (H.264) compression, and support for HD (1080) and UHD (4K) resolutions. To complement these new systems, a series of companion decoders is available for both 1080 and UHD HEVC/AVC models. Another addition is Teradek's Bond module, which turns Cube 655 or HEVC Cube encoders into cellular bonding devices, allowing users to stream over up to five 3G/4G/LTE modems, Ethernet or Wi-Fi. With Teradek Core, a cloud management platform, users can route, record, transcode, archive and publish live video feeds to multiple destinations at the same time.
Dejero LIVE+ Gateway solution
With an eye on remote broadcasting and fast data transfer over IP, Dejero's Gateway solution provides reliable, secure access to the public internet and private networks for newsgathering and live production crews working in remote locations, who can use it to send and receive large files or access newsroom systems. Using the high-speed blended network created by Gateway, field crews can complete stories while working remotely, accelerating the production workflow. The Dejero Gateway solution includes the Gateway router with network blending software, cellular connectivity services, access to the blended network, cloud-based management from LIVE+ Control, and technical support.
Also from Dejero, the EnGo Vehicle Mount Kit allows a LIVE+ EnGo mobile transmitter to be mounted inside newsgathering or production vehicles and connected to an array of roof-mounted high-gain antennas to enhance its RF performance while driving, or in locations where cellular connectivity may be challenging. According to Bogdan Frusina, founder and CTO of Dejero, "EnGo can now be used like a rack-mounted encoder/transmitter in a cellular, satellite or hybrid vehicle, and then can quickly be disconnected and placed in a backpack, a sling bag, or mounted directly on a camera to give crews maximum mobility when on the scene of breaking news and live events."
From DVEO, the single-channel Ministreamer HDMI/IP and Mini D-Streamer IP/HDMI are miniature, low-latency H.264 HDMI encoders and decoders. When used together, the Ministreamer HDMI/IP and Mini D-Streamer IP/HDMI have an end-to-end latency of 400 milliseconds and weigh only 1.6 pounds, which makes them a good option for mobile and event streaming. For point-to-point or point-to-multipoint applications, DVEO's DOZER ARQ (Automatic Repeat Request) Automated Packet Recovery protocol can be added to the encoder and decoder, ensuring packet loss-free real-time video delivery over IP networks.
Vislink newsnet from xG Technology
A new product from DVEO, Tablet Streamer is a live streaming H.264 encoder with built-in front and back cameras that includes DOZER technology. Tablet Streamer is designed for mobile live streaming of events by journalists and other professionals needing a small field unit compatible with industry-standard receivers. It connects via Wi-Fi to MiFi cellular gateways or via a built-in SIM.
In April, xG Technology's Vislink and IMT business units unveiled HCAM, an HEVC 4K UHD camera transmitter that supports applications including ENG and sports broadcasts. The unit can be mounted to broadcast cameras, ENG cameras and even prosumer cameras to broaden the market reach. HCAM features interchangeable, future-proof dual SFP modules supporting quad 3G/6G/12G SDI/HDMI/fiber optic/SMPTE 2022-6 HD-SDI over IP interfaces.
JVC ProHD Bridge
xG Technology also has newsnet, an ecosystem that establishes a bidirectional IP network for ENG use, which company CEO George Schmitt says "has the potential to be a key tool in broadcasters' arsenals for maximizing their coverage of the news as well as fully leveraging their studio assets."The trend of ENG becoming more reliant on the internet means broadcasters must depend heavily on unsecured and at-will, unmanaged broadband infrastructures as the main corridor connecting field and studio. newsnet is an alternative IP-centric technology that preserves the security of the licensed BAS 2 GHz frequency band while maximizing spectrum usage.
JVC has its eye on the streaming market with the PB-CELL200 ProHD Portable Bridge, a robust bonded LTE hotspot that streams signals from multiple ProHD, 4KCAM and JVC PTZ streaming camera models for live broadcasts or webcasts. Using the same SpeedFusion VPN Bonding technology as the ProHD Wireless Bridge, a car-mounted system JVC introduced last year, the new ProHD Portable Bridge is a self-contained remote broadcasting hub powered by AC or attached Anton/Bauer battery. Developed by Peplink, SpeedFusion combines multiple cellular, wired and Wi-Fi connections to create an unbreakable backbone for the ProHD Portable Bridge. The ProHD Portable Bridge allows live streaming from multiple cameras to HD-SDI decoders or servers at a central location, as well as CDNs like JVC VIDEOCLOUD and Facebook Live.
Streambox Cloud is a secure live video production infrastructure for video contribution, acquisition and delivery for broadcasts and streaming.
In Streambox's line of products for newsgathering, cloud-based video contribution and streaming, the Avenir Mini-4 is a camera-mountable bonded cellular mobile encoder powered by Qualcomm mobile hardware. Equipped with five 3G/4G/LTE modems with integrated Wi-Fi for streaming, Mini-4 provides high-quality, low-latency HD video streaming. Streambox also offers Streambox Cloud, a secure live video production infrastructure for video contribution, acquisition and delivery for broadcasts and streaming. Streambox Cloud provides an end-to-end service including free software encoders, mobile and rackmount hardware encoder and decoder, live video routing, archiving, transcoding, and management of videos for broadcasts, streaming, live production and playout to web video channels.
Streaming is getting a 4K boost from BoxCast after the company introduced 4K live streaming to its BoxCast Platform via BoxCaster Pro, which will ship this summer. BoxCaster Pro encodes up to 4K60 HDR video in HEVC, allowing users to stream events live without requiring large amounts of network bandwidth.
Panasonic released a free firmware upgrade for its AVC-Ultra camcorders (AJ-PX5000G, AJ-PX800, AJ-PX380 and AJ-PX270) that supports IP connectivity to a TVU Networks bonded cellular camera-side device, which aggregates multiple data connections including cellular for remote streaming and file transfer workflows. The TVU Router portable field access point can provide over 200 Mb/s of internet connectivity from the field as well as act as a network accelerator. It aggregates multiple IP links such as cellular 3G, 4G and LTE to create a high-speed broadband connection.
The AVC-Ultra camcorders, featuring a dual-encoding platform, will be able to transfer streamed video (live) or file-based video (near live) over IP connections. Panasonic's live streaming protocol offers a quality of service (QoS) layer that dynamically adjusts the bit rate of the streaming signal to optimize the transmission speed as bandwidth of the cellular network changes. Streamed video can be sent via the TVU Router to Panasonic's P2 Streaming Server (P2SS). File-based proxies can be sent using TVU Router as a connectivity path "near-live" to the P2 Cast server or to the client's own FTP engine.
Sony is expanding its cloud offerings, under its Media Cloud Services (MCS) platform. This includes applications and services running on AWS and supporting the entire media lifecycle—from acquisition with XDCAM Air to creation with Ci through OTT distribution with Ven.ue.
XDCAM Air is a cloud-based workflow service that acts as a bridge between field-based camcorders and studio infrastructure, orchestrating the seamless exchange of live video, media files and project metadata. The service supports Sony camcorders with built-in wireless capabilities or those outfitted with CBK-WA100 and WA101 wireless adapters. XDCAM Air automatically uploads proxy footage to the cloud from multiple camera operators in the field, so editing can start immediately. Uploaded content can be accessed securely from any location. News teams can even start logging clips while shooting is still going on, saving valuable time when a story is breaking. Sony is currently testing XDCAM Air with broadcast customers; the solution is expected to be available by the end of the year.
A wireless technology for UAV operators, the CONNEX Fusion receiver fromAmimon enables connectivity to both the full-size CONNEX transmitter and the agile CONNEX Mini transmitter. The UAV operator is therefore able to choose the solution that best meets his requirements, whether it is the smaller/lighter CONNEX Mini or the improved multisystem capabilities of the standard CONNEX transmitter. Both options offer zero-latency, real-time wireless video transmission up to 3,300 feet at a resolution up to 1080p60.
AVIWEST has upgraded its DMNG PRO video uplink series with the addition of the PRO180+, which supports most of the cellular networks deployed in the world. The versatility gives broadcasters and video professionals the flexibility to travel anywhere in the world with a single unit without needing to replace its internal or external cellular modems. In addition to eight universal cellular modems, the PRO180+ features an internal high-efficiency custom antenna array, built-in Wi-Fi modem and two video encoders, enabling broadcasters to stream live HD video to receivers with minimal delay.
At IBC in September, AVIWEST will showcase its transition to the HEVC video compression standard. AVIWEST will showcase AIR300 and AIR320, the two first products in its AIR series of ultra-lightweight video uplink systems. Integrating H.265/HEVC hardware encoders, the series enables flawless HD and SD encoding. Featuring up to four cellular connections, an internal Wi-Fi modem, internal battery and AVIWEST's SafeStreams technology, the AIR series allows broadcasters to stream live videos and store and forward recorded content even with unpredictable and unmanaged network conditions.
The extended capabilities of AVIWEST's cloud solution will also be showcased in Amsterdam. AVIWEST's live IP contribution system includes the StreamHub transceiver and Manager management system. By supporting both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint distribution scenarios, the platform offers broadcasters the flexibility they need to stream live video content to any CDN and streaming platform, such as Facebook Live or YouTube.
Joining Haivision's Makito X series is the Makito X HEVC Encoder, which enables end-to-end transport of secure, high-quality live HEVC/H.265 and AVC/H.264 video over any network at low bit rates. Available as a single- or dual-channel appliance, the Makito X HEVC Decoder delivers HD digital video to 3G-SDI and HDMI interfaces, supporting all HD standards up to 1080p60. The Makito X HEVC decoder complements the Makito X HEVC encoder; together they deliver HEVC or H.264 1080p60 video with an extremely low end-to-end latency. Makito X HEVC encoders and decoders are powered by Haivision's SRT protocol, bringing secure 128/256 AES encryption, resiliency and dynamic endpoint adjustment based on real-time network conditions.
In other Haivision news, the high-performance video streaming company announced that its KB Series HEVC/H.264 live video encoders are qualified for use with Akamai Media Services Live for low-latency live and linear online video delivery. KB Series encoders are used by live event producers to deliver adaptive bit rate HEVC or H.264 cascades to the cloud for distribution to audiences watching over the public internet. Through the combination of the KB encoders and Akamai Media Services Live, event producers have a solution for live event streaming that is suitable for low-latency, broadcast-quality streaming experiences to viewers wherever they may be watching.
The TVU Router portable field access point can provide over 200 Mb/s of internet connectivity from the field.
Tools from Mobile Viewpoint that enable IP-based remote production include the WMT Multicam bonded transmitter, WMT AirLink H.265-enabled encoder, and QuaddroLink, a low-cost and low-weight solution for live streaming that also supports interlaced video. WMT Multicam is a bonded transmitter capable of encoding four individual streams simultaneously. This transmitter brings additional cost savings and flexibility to remote production as it can handle multicamera shoots without the need for an outside broadcast truck on site.
WMT AirLink is a miniature H.265-enabled encoder from Mobile Viewpoint capable of streaming direct to social media channels. It features two video inputs and is capable of encoding both video feeds using the H.265 codec. With eight modems operating over 4G connections, it ensures a reliable, high-performance experience for users. WMT AirLink also enables users to stream video feeds directly from the source to multiple social media channels simultaneously.
TVU Networks' Remote Production System (RPS) allows broadcasters to execute multicamera live remote productions without the costs associated with expensive dedicated fiber link, dedicated transmission equipment and large on-site production crews. With TVU RPS, broadcasters are able to leverage their existing studio control room staff and equipment and a public internet connection from the field for remote production. TVU RPS comprises a 1.5 RU transmitter for encoding and a receiver for decoding, combined with a web interface for monitoring and controlling the transmission. A single RPS transmitter can encode up to six synchronized camera feeds and transmit high-quality IP video to the TVU receiver using public internet.
SlingStudio in the field with a news crew
TVU's solution for web-based live production is called TVU Producer. Running on an existing TVU transceiver, TVU Producer enables broadcasters to deliver live content to social media. Featuring a web interface and support for Facebook API, TVU Producer makes it possible for a station's digital producer to work within the same broadcast workflow as the traditional TV producer. Users can switch between incoming TVU transmitter sources, SDI inputs and uploaded video slate sources, add a graphic overlay, and stream the produced content to social media sites.
Sling Media is meeting multicamera and live video production needs with SlingStudio, a wireless, portable multicamera production solution that lets users record, monitor and edit four HD video inputs from up to 10 connected cameras and smartphones, and then output live video to streaming services. From there it can simultaneously record to a USB hard drive, USB SSD or SD card for postproduction. The SlingStudio system requires the SlingStudio hub and Console app for iPad. Optional accessories include the CameraLink wireless adapter, which plugs into an HDMI port on the camera and wirelessly transmits up to 1080p60 video to the SlingStudio hub from up to 300 feet away.
A typical workflow with AJA’s HELO H.264 streaming, encoding and recording device
"Where Facebook and YouTube have democratized live streaming, [we need technology] that is democratizing the gear that directors need to make those streams great," says Vivek Khemka, DISH chief technology officer. (Sling Media is a subsidiary of DISH.) "With its accessible price and easy-to-use apps, SlingStudio changes how content creators can think about producing video."
AJA Video Systems is focused on flexibility in the recent updates to its HELO standalone H.264 streaming, encoding and recording device. Combining 3G-SDI and HDMI I/O in a portable form factor, HELO allows users to stream out to a CDN while simultaneously encoding and recording H.264 files to SD cards, USB storage or network-based storage. Tapping into the need to simplify live production workflows, the v1.0.1 update added support for Facebook Live and for up to five RTSP connections. The v1.1 update includes a scheduler that triggers pre-planned start and stop of recording and streaming media.
Comrex LiveShot Portable front and back
Used by TV stations, networks, sports franchises and government organizations, Comrex’s LiveShot is ideal for streaming low-latency broadcast-quality audio and video from anywhere internet is available. LiveShot Portable, designed for the most demanding field broadcasts, delivers live, two-way HD video and audio over a range of IP networks at latencies as low as 200 milliseconds. LiveShot encodes and decodes video to the H.264 codec standard. For optimal video quality, LiveShot encodes with H.264 HIGH profile.
Utilizing CrossLock VPN technology, LiveShot is able to make use of even the most challenging 3G/4G, Wi-Fi and satellite networks to maintain a secure and stable connection. CrossLock adds intrusion protection, encryption, and forward error correction.
LiveShot Portable is compact and lightweight. Supplied with Anton/Bauer Gold mounts, and modifiable with a V-mount plate, LiveShot is designed to sandwich between a professional video camera and a battery, though it can be hooked up to any camera with an HDMI port. Powered from the battery or by an external AC power supply, LiveShot weighs 3 pounds and consumes 8 watts of power.
LiveShot offers connections to wireless modems via two USB ports, which can be used simultaneously to increase the bandwidth of connections. This feature allows users to choose their 3G/4G data carrier and/or Wi-Fi modem, depending on their circumstances. Additionally, when the LiveShot Hub is connected, two more USB ports are available (four in total). Along with USB modem compatibility, LiveShot is equipped with a built-in Ethernet port, which can be used to connect to wired broadband IP networks, and Inmarsat BGAN and VSAT terminals.
With the recent introduction of LiveShot firmware 1.4.1, LiveShot is able to intelligently quarantine underperforming modems. Because bonded cellular systems are designed to adjust streaming speeds to accommodate the slowest modem, a sudden loss of connectivity to a modem can increase latency and drag a broadcast down. With firmware 1.4.1, LiveShot can detect when a modem is abnormally slow, and adjust streaming speeds to match the capacity of higher performing modems, without interrupting or affecting the broadcast.
From Matrox, Monarch HD is a video streaming and recording appliance designed for video producers who need to simultaneously stream a live event and record the master-quality version for post-event editing. Monarch HD supports CDNs including YouTube Live, Facebook Live and Ustream. From any HDMI input source such as a camera or switcher, Matrox Monarch HD generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocols. While encoding the video at bit rates suitable for live streaming, Matrox Monarch HD simultaneously records a high-quality MP4 or MOV file to an SD card, USB drive or a network-mapped drive. Matrox Monarch HD is remotely controlled using any computer or mobile device with a web browser.
NewTek TriCaster TC1
Production Switchers and Systems
Other technology tools are enabling streaming by addressing everything from latency to sync issues.
With the goal of creating an affordable end-to-end 4K IP video production system, NewTek introduced 4K-capable TriCaster TC1 and IP Series systems. NewTek TriCaster TC1 represents the culmination of more than a decade of IP video experience for live production, with support for 4K UHD switching, live streaming, recording, data-driven graphics, virtual sets, social media publishing and more. TriCaster TC1 supports 16 external inputs of up to 4K UHD 60p resolution without sacrificing functionality. Powered by NewTek's NDI technology for IP-based workflows, TriCaster TC1 also offers multiple studio-grade Skype TX channels for adding remote video guests to live shows.
"Working with IP video makes you feel like you are living in the future, today," says Dr. Andrew Cross, NewTek's president and CTO. "Once you have it, you can't imagine going back. It enables so many new ways of working and greatly simplifies infrastructure. It also makes things like live streaming even easier. I can't imagine anyone buying a product today that isn't capable of delivering content to all of the places the viewers want to watch."
Wowza and NewTek collaborated on MediaDS, a real-time media encoding and live streaming video delivery system. MediaDS is a hardware and software solution merging NewTek's live production technology with Wowza streaming software in a 1RU footprint. The result is an end-to-end streaming solution that allows producers to launch multichannel content networks from their production site and deliver a live video stream directly to viewers.
Panasonic AV-HLC100 Live Production Center
"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for video producers to deliver content to their audience, whether that is within the walls of a building, across a campus or around the world," explains NewTek's Cross. "Our partnership with Wowza means that not only do you have a solution that can encode video, but MediaDS allows you to distribute that content as well, either to local viewers or globally."
Panasonic recently announced the AV-HLC100 Live Production Center, which combines a 1 ME switcher, remote camera controller and audio mixer functions, facilitating video and audio creation in situations where a limited number of operators are available. The HLC100 Center works directly with Panasonic PTZ and system cameras, discovering and deploying them automatically using IP video transport, although SDI may be used as well. It will also work with all NDI-capable video sources. In addition to NDI input/output IP transmission protocol technology, RTSP input (direct input of the IP video of Panasonic PTZ cameras) and the RTMP network protocol (direct transmission to live streaming services such as Facebook or YouTube Live) are supported.
"The Live Production Center is a further demonstration of Panasonic's commitment with NewTek to define revolutionary IP strategy and video distribution with the NDI protocol, while at the same time making it accessible to people using today's gigabit network technology, says Delix Alex, product manager at Panasonic Media Entertainment Company. The AV-HLC100 is expected to be available this summer.
Users looking for complete production systems often look at Blackmagic Design, which recently introduced Web Presenter, a solution that allows customers to use their professional SDI and HDMI video sources with streaming software and services such as YouTube Live and Facebook Live.
Akamai’s Media Services Live is designed to deliver 24/7 live/linear online video capabilities to support OTT video service providers, broadcasters and telcos that are operating or launching full-time television channels online.
A particular focus for Telestream this year has been live video streaming: users are achieving enterprise-class live capture and content streaming with its Lightspeed Live Stream and Lightspeed Live Capture applications. Live Stream solves the problem of preparing real-time content for adaptive bit rate live event and live linear streaming; Live Capture is able to independently ingest multiple channels of SD or HD or a single channel of UHD. Lightspeed Live Stream can also support a seamless live-to-VOD workflow when combined with Lightspeed Live Capture and Vantage Media Processing Platform.
Streamstar added new features to its live streaming and production software, SW 4.0, which is designed to offer faster and more efficient operation for sports streaming. The new version offers a redesigned GUI, control of up to six JVC PTZ cameras over IP and the ability to simultaneous stream to multiple destinations.
Designed for organizations that use a single encoder in narrowcasting scenarios, such as corporate communications departments and houses of worship, Osprey Video's Talon G2 encoder offers professional-level features in a device that's easy enough for novice users to run. Talon G2 includes an SDI input that allows it to connect to broadcast-grade cameras, but with a touchscreen LCD display and a simple start/stop feature that require little to no broadcast knowledge to use. Talon G2 integrates with the Wowza Streaming Cloud service and YouTube, in addition to new integrations with the Zixi Platform and others.
Verizon Digital Media Services Live Streaming Solution
Moving Media to Multiple Screens
For Akamai, the priority is to bridge the gap that exists between live streaming and broadcast television. The company recently released the next generation of its Media Services Live system, which is designed to deliver 24/7 live/linear online video capabilities to support OTT video service providers, broadcasters and telcos that are operating or launching full-time television channels online. The newest version adds four new components, together known as liveOrigin, that operate concurrently to support high-quality linear video streaming.
Verizon Digital Media Services'Live Streaming Solution features a cloud-based scheduler and an operator dashboard for provisioning encoders, managing live feeds and inserting ad breaks in the Verizon Uplynk video streaming service. To simplify the syndication of content to internal or third-party content management systems and apps, the technology allows users to publish a single live-stream URL that transitions between pre-event, live, post-event and video-on-demand content.
Broadpeak’s nanoCDN multicast adaptive bitrate (ABR) 2.0 makes live HTTP video delivery to any device truly scalable.
Tackling one of the biggest issues facing streamers, Broadpeak's nanoCDN multicast adaptive bitrate (ABR) 2.0 makes live HTTP video delivery to any device truly scalable by turning millions of broadband gateways, cable modems, Wi-Fi routers or set-top boxes into active components of an operator's content delivery infrastructure. A variety of advanced features have been added to the product, including low latency for live video streaming and live HTTP TV service delivery via satellite.
Taking on the need for dynamic ad insertion for OTT streaming, Ericsson introduced MediaFirst Stream Personalization, a solution that enables broadcasters and service providers to personalize and monetize multiscreen video services. MediaFirst provides content that can work across multiple formats and with any player, offering the capability to insert ads in HLS, Smooth Streaming and MPEG-DASH.
An Aspera FASPStream workflow
Streaming across all platforms is the name of the game for Aspera, an IBM company. At the NAB Show in April, Aspera previewed a streaming platform service with new technology that can support any streaming provider (live video or data from TCP as well as UDP sources) without modification, and across a variety of clients (browser, mobile and desktop) using Aspera Files and Aspera Transfer Service SaaS platforms. This builds on the Aspera FASPStream technology introduced last year and used for transporting live broadcast-quality video and data feeds with guaranteed delivery rates independent of network round-trip time and packet loss, opening the possibility of streaming over global, commodity internet paths with extraordinary quality.
Wowza Media Systems' Wowza Streaming Cloud offers monitoring and resiliency improvements that can scale, according to Mike Talvensaari, vice president of product at Wowza. "With these new capabilities, your entire streaming workflow can be managed and monitored in one place, which offers more resiliency and scalability with powerful CDN options."
In particular, the system addresses the challenges that have come from delivering multiple simultaneous streams to the Facebook Live API. The enhanced optimization provides greater stability and control to deliver multiple live streams through a single instance of Wowza Streaming Engine, making it ideal for broadcasters and news organizations covering multiple worldwide events who wish to extend their coverage to Facebook audiences.
Wowza Streaming Cloud
Technologies are also allowing users to better manage video production and delivery workflow. For example, the HarmonicVOS Cloud solution enables content and service providers to manage the video production and delivery workflow for broadcast and OTT on public or private cloud infrastructure. "[These] cloud-native solutions ... are making a huge impact on the way operators create and deliver video," says Bart Spriester, senior vice president of video products at Harmonic.
Harmonic is also developing technologies to improve the quality of experience (QoE) for viewers of streamed media. Through innovations in OTT bandwidth optimization, latency and packaging technologies, Harmonic is helping operators deliver pristine SD, HD and Ultra HD video at low bit rates for a variety of services, including live streaming, VOD and time-shift TV.
"Low latency for OTT is extremely important, especially for the delivery of live sporting events," says Darryl Jefferson, vice president of postproduction operations at NBC Sports Group. "Any lag time that exists between what's happening in real time and being viewed on screen is truly unacceptable to viewers nowadays. We're excited about the developments that Harmonic is making in the area of reduced latency for OTT video, and expect it to be a game-changer for broadcasters and other content providers as they strive to deliver the best possible quality across all devices."