How Media Links delivered transport technology for FIFA World Cup in Russia
Media Links Media over IP technology including the MD8000 and MDP3000 products were used to transport UHD and 3G content from all stadiums to the IBC and around the world during the FIFA World Cup.
Camera signals from each stadium in Russia were encapsulated in compressed video formats over IP and transported over redundant fibre paths back to the IBC. For enhanced resiliency, the majority of video and data circuits were delivered over hitless transport services. For some matches, a major international broadcaster based in Japan, used ASI streams for 8K transmission back to the IBC. Additionally, Media Links equipment connected Red Square in Moscow to the IBC for various TV interviews and imagery.
The IBC served as the technical nerve center for all the international media broadcasters covering this sporting event. It is the place where all the direct stadium broadcast feeds from the Media Links MD8000 and MDP3000 equipment for all 64 matches were sent before final TV, Internet, mobile device and radio distribution all around the world.
Media links technology also played a role in a key innovation in Russia; the video assistant referee (VAR) system. This innovative new approach was designed to improve the accuracy of referee’s calls and remove the subjectivity from key play fouls and penalties. Using Media Links equipment, all relevant camera feeds from 12 stadiums were sent to a centralized video operations room where the referees officiating in the stadium communicate with the VAR team to make sure their calls were as accurate as possible. All by way of slow-motion video replay.
The Media Links ProMD EMS management system software was used to setup, monitor/view the status of all media feeds from each stadium to the IBC, manage as well as troubleshoot all IP transport hardware, services and trunks in the IP network.
Media Links worked closely with its strategic partner, European systems integrator Vidi, to implement this largescale technology infrastructure.
Research company GlobalWebIndex forecast total viewership of 3.4 billion, or nearly half the total world population of 7.6 billion, for the entire tournament.