SIS LIVE in RF epic for EDF music gigs

Broadcast expert SIS LIVE has worked with the Red Bull Music Academy, Channel 4 and YouTube to deliver an ambitious project which saw 30 music gigs from the EDF Energy London Eye broadcast live and streamed online.

On the 14 November 30 of the London Eye capsules played host to 30 club nights, and over 100 DJs and artists, in a celebration of UK club culture.

Having been heavily involved in Red Bull’s previous Revolutions in Sound event in 2011 SIS LIVE had a detailed understanding of the logistical challenges of this event and developed robust systems to ensure its safe delivery. Live, multi-camera feeds were produced from all 31 moving capsules broadcast in real-time on in the UK and via YouTube for the rest of the world.

Thirty SIS LIVE RouteCaseâ systems were used in the capsules to produce the video and audio feeds which were then transmitted to the production unit. RouteCase, designed, manufactured and sold by SIS LIVE, is a portable and affordable HD live production studio featuring a 4 input vision mixer and 10 channel audio mixer, making it ideal for this kind of project where space was at a premium. In addition to the 31 feeds from the pods there was also a bespoke Channel 4 live webcast featuring presenters captured by 2 RF cameras, mixed with the best of the action from the capsules, helicopter cameras and beauty shots.

As each of the sources was constantly on the move it was impossible to use fibre to transfer the signals, which meant that a comprehensive RF network had to be employed, as Pat Blackburn, lead RF Communications Supervisor, explains: “This was the most RF-intensive programme we, or probably anyone, has attempted at a single venue, having 30 sources from The London Eye pods, Heli-tele and a further four RF cameras simultaneously linked live into our RF hub vehicle. With the current squeeze on suitable RF frequencies available to broadcasters it has been a challenge to fit everything in, however JFMG and OFCOM have been extremely helpful throughout and have managed to temporarily release some additional bandwidth for us. Our good relationships with these governing bodies and our expertise in spectrum management have helped make this event possible.”

Thirty-one streams were encoded onsite by eight servers installed in SIS LIVE’s MPV1 vehicle and delivered by a SIS LIVE fibre for online streaming. SIS LIVE devised a system which minimised the risk of disruption to the broadcast, with all equipment UPS-powered, each server with built-in redundancy and incoming feeds monitored closely. A 400MB pipe was used to deliver the streams in full 1080 HD format, for file upload and provision of on-site internet connectivity. This was the first time that 31 simultaneous live HD streams had been broadcast through YouTube/Channel 4 from a single event and was the successful culmination of a period of detailed planning and testing by SIS LIVE and the many project stakeholders.

David Meynell, managing director, SIS LIVE, says: “SIS LIVE has the unique ability to deliver complex RF and special cameras solutions to produce live coverage from technically demanding events such as this. We are pleased to continue our relationship with the Red Bull moving image department to pull off this ambitious production which demonstrated not only the expertise of SIS LIVE’s operational team, but also the innovation and reliability of our award winning product range. The planning and preparation for this event was meticulous, particularly owing to the tight turnaround and intensive RF and IP requirements. Being central to the delivery of such a high profile event, and working with multiple parties is what SIS LIVE does best and we are proud to have delivered this exciting and elaborate show so successfully.”

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