Tata demos JPEG-2000, new workflows during Singapore Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel isn’t the only one racing away with the current Formula One season: Tata Communications continues to showcase new and expanded video transport and services capabilities alongside Formula One Management, testing out next-generation capabilities that could transform the way Formula One Management and Tata Communications’ other media clients operate. The most recent advance? A demonstration on a practice day during the Singapore Grand Prix whereby JPEG 2000 compression was used to deliver live video as well as multiple program feeds over fibre from the race circuit to Formula One Management’s Biggin Hill headquarters in the UK.

“One of the things we have looked at with Formula One Management is to see how we can help them do more from their Remote Operations Centre in Biggin Hill and how value can get added from there,” says Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director F1 Business, Tata Communications. Kapadia says the proof of concept showed how well JPEG-2000 could work during dynamic racing conditions. The demonstration involved transporting feeds via Tata Communications’ wholly-owned global fibre network so that at Biggin Hill one could compare signal quality versus satellite delivery. The signals were also made available via Tata Communications’ suite of media management tools so that as part of the proof of concept, one could understand how Tata services can help get content onto tablets and other devices seamlessly.

“The goal is to help with the costs but in a way that isn’t about just saving dollars but doing more with those dollars,” he adds.

For example, by taking advantage not only of Tata Communications’ fibre network but also its 42 data centers that measure more than 1 million square feet combined, live content can be stored and managed via cloud services, and then fed out to multiple devices to meet the F1 fan’s desire to consume content across a wide range of tablets, phones, and computers.

“How do you handle that ability without adding layers of infrastructure but still support multiple devices?,” says Kapadia. “With diversity we can connect from any part of the globe and have a reliable backbone for the storage and manipulation of media at the data centers, including the rendering of content into different formats.”

The age of IP-based transport has transformed companies like Tata Communications, transitioning them from fibre pipe providers to providers of media management, creation, and delivery services.

“We have a very specific focus on the media segment with all the knowledge of infrastructure needed at the backend, the fibre transport, and the data center,” adds Kapadia. “With respect to F1, the use of the Tata Communications’ fibre circuits is about much more than just audio and video as data is a major part of the needs of the F1 teams and drivers. A typical car would have approximately 150 sensors that create thousands of data points. Racing teams have staff back at their team headquarters analyzing that data during the practices and races.

“Everyone is becoming more and more hungry for data,” adds Kapadia.

The move to 4K will only add to that hunger as today’s HD streams will require some sort of a multiple in terms of bandwidth and storage. The use of technologies like JPEG-2000 can make transporting that 4K content easier.

“Things like 4K will be driven by broadcasters if they generate more revenue,” adds Kapadia. “Cost models will always become more efficient and there will always be a new application that will increase the costs. The question is whether somebody will be able to monetize [something like 4K] and get consumers to pay more for it.”

To watch a behind-the-scenes video from the demonstration please click here.

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