Aspera partners with EVS and Elemental to bring second-screen video to sports

IBM announced that Aspera, an IBM company, together with EVS and Elemental, deployed the first large-scale system for high-resolution live video streaming via the cloud to enable viewers to watch live HD media and sporting events from their connected devices.

Demand for coverage of international sporting events continues to increase, with more and more viewers turning to the Internet for live match streaming. The challenge for many broadcasters is the ability to quickly transfer and distribute match content across smartphones, tablets, laptops and connected TVs. To support this growing online fan base, EVS integrated Aspera FASP high-speed transfer and Elemental video processing technologies to create a revolutionary cloud-based content delivery workflowthat scales to stream the world’s most watched sporting events to a global fan base.

The collaboration resulted in a unique end-to-end production system that is capable of near-live distribution of live action sporting events to streaming networks. This provides regional broadcasters with access to all live camera feeds directly from sporting venues rather than from a single central live stream feed, giving them far greater speed and flexibility in the content they distribute:

  • Through its C-Cast technology at the heart of the workflow, EVS captures video of multiple cameras angles from on-location live production feeds.
  • Embedded Aspera FASP high-speed transfer software is used to transfer the video feeds in real-time across continents from sports venues directly to an Aspera On Demand server software running in the cloud. The new Aspera Auto-Scale platform manages transfer server instances to meet demand when workloads spike.
  • Elemental Cloud video processing ingests the mezzanine format, converting it into the multiple bit rates, resolutions and streaming protocols required to serve a full range of fan devices.
  • The final output of high-quality, high-resolution live content is delivered to regional broadcasters and streamed to online viewers across the globe.

“On the world’s biggest stages, Aspera’s high-speed file transfer technology helps to push the boundaries of content streaming to sports fans worldwide,” said Michelle Munson, CEO of Aspera. “The close collaboration with EVS and Elemental gives sports broadcasters and content delivery networks the freedom to reimagine how to broadcast events in radically new ways. This is only the beginning.”

“Just like on the field, it takes the best players to come together in a team effort to broadcast a  premier international sporting event, which is why we collaborated with world-class partners like Aspera and Elemental,” said Joop Janssen, CEO of EVS. ”With Aspera’s industry-leading high-speed file transfer software and Elemental’s industry-leading video processing solutions, we were able to create an innovative service that surpassed the expectations of the broadcast industry.”

“Elemental is thrilled to partner with Aspera and EVS to enable broadcasters to offer a complete range of multimedia and interactive services and provide entirely new perspectives on sports action,” said Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer for Elemental. “The power and elasticity of this architecture enables EVS to deliver premium video content that would otherwise not be available to broadcast to viewers.”

The complete end-to-end platform has been proven to deliver hundreds of concurrent video streams transferred over the wide area network in real time directly to cloud infrastructure. This has been achieved with an effective transfer rate as fast as the live video capture rate at sports venues in spite of heavy round-trip latency and packet loss (over 200 milliseconds and 10 percent peak packet loss over the WAN). The result is a consistent high-performance delivery of live feeds and near live broadcast quality video.

Aspera will be showcasing its suite of high-speed transfer software and services at IBC 2014 at the RAI in Amsterdam in Hall 7, Stand G30 on September 12-16. EVS will demonstrate its media production and broadcast systems in Hall 8, Stand B90.Elemental will feature its full suite of software-defined video solutions in Hall 4, Stand 4.B75 at the RAI.

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