NAB 2019: MediaKind Launches Cloud-Based Live 360º Video-as-a-Service

MediaKind (Booth SU720), a global media-technology leader, has launched its Cygnus 360º-as-a-Service (360aaS) solution for live events. As part of the Cygnus Solution, the offering provides a cloud-based workflow for processing live 360º video and a multiplatform publishing service that enables consumers to become fully immersed and engaged in their favorite live content. This can be achieved through enhanced 360º video coverage, either directly via a head-mounted device or viewed on a multiscreen device as a companion to existing HD/UHD broadcast or streamed services.

MediaKind’s Angel Ruiz: “We are [providing] TV operators and content owner/originators with the confidence to open up a new world of immersive viewing.”

With MediaKind’s Cygnus 360aaS solution, operators and content owners can efficiently capture and process high-quality live 360º video at up to 8K resolution and deliver immersive content to the consumer with delivery bitrates of 10 15 Mbps. From a single high-quality contribution source, live 360º video is processed and delivered into suitable resolutions and formats for simultaneous live publishing to an operator’s app over public CDN, as well as via social-media platforms. A core part of the service is MediaKind’s technical support and monitoring throughout the staging and broadcasting of the event, reducing delivery risk and the need for operators or service providers to place skilled staff on-site.

Says MediaKind CEO Angel Ruiz, “As consumers look to be even further immersed and engaged in their favorite live content, today’s media players are continually looking for innovations and formats to increase subscriber engagement with premium, pay-per-view events and new avenues to experience ‘being there.’ Through our new live 360º as a service (360aaS) solution, we are combining industry-leading and award-winning video-processing technology alongside our technical-support expertise and workflow monitoring to provide TV operators and content owner/originators with the confidence to open up a new world of immersive viewing. We are providing the tools to put fans of live sports, esports, and music in the producer’s seat, with the opportunity to self-curate and become more engaged in their favorite content in a way they never have before.”

With viewport-adaptive tile-based 360º video, live capture can be increased beyond 4K resolution, typically used in live 360º events over the past year, without requiring the consumer display device to have a matching capability for full-resolution decode. Although this increases image quality, it also results in lower delivery bitrates and associated CDN costs compared with previous methods of 360º processing and delivery. For higher consumer reach, the Cygnus 360aaS solution also offers resolution conversion, processing, and publishing to social-media platforms and for legacy device support.

A further benefit to Cygnus 360aaS lies in minimizing costs and risks associated with covering live events in 360º video instead of, or alongside, current TV production. This new solution enables broadcasters and operators with content rights, especially in premium sports and esports content, to access new monetization opportunities and reduce churn, giving viewers and subscribers better value for money by watching an event on a pay-per-view basis or via advertising.

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