Long Beach Yacht Club Premieres 360-Degree VR Livestream of 2018 Congressional Cup

Sailing fans all over the world viewed last month’s 2018 Congressional Cup regatta as it has never been seen before, courtesy of a partnership between the Long Beach Yacht Club’s (LBYC) media team and several technology firms, including TVU Networks, Samsung Electronics America, Telstra Broadcast Services, BOXX.TV, broadcast integration and project manager Suitelife Systems and wireless innovation house Ocon Solutions Company (OSC).

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In its 54th consecutive year the Congressional Cup is known in sailing circles as the ‘gateway to the America’s Cup, as it features the who’s who of match racing sailors. On two boats off Long Beach Veterans Memorial Pier, two TVU Routers served as sea-bound hot spots, sending 360-degree, live VR footage from two Samsung 360 Round VR cameras – one on a sports fishing boat and one on the anchored MV LOYNES LBYC race committee boat.LBYC_TVU_2

The TVU Routers provided the high-bandwidth IP connectivity necessary to send moving, high-data VR images from the water to the pier for VR post-production stitching and VR IP network distribution.

Two TVU Routers supplied the connection needed for the 360 Round VR cameras to provide live distribution to the Samsung VR Video website, https://samsungvr.com. The live video was also linked to the Congressional Cup web site, www.thecongressionalcup.com, and to the Tribeca Film Festival’s website.

TVU Router uses multiple data communication links simultaneously such as cellular 4G/LTE, Cable, DSL, Satellite, or WiFi to deliver a highly reliable broadband connection up to 200Mbps remotely. TVU Router can dynamically aggregate up to a dozen different data connections for maximum flexibility.

It supports multiple 4G/LTE connections from different cellular providers to power even the most demanding and data-intensive applications anywhere.

“The VR wireless connectivity from the water back to the pier and the network streaming set up performed flawlessly thanks in large part to TVU Router,” said Geoffrey Talbot, Executive Producer of the five day live streaming TV production. “Integrating 360-degree footage requires an enormous amount of bandwidth. We couldn’t have done it without the rock-solid connectivity of our TVU Router, which performed above and beyond expectations from stationary and moving boats.

“We were excited to embrace the ground-breaking VR production values with our HD live streaming production, knowing it would generate enthusiasm with younger viewers around the world. Truly, the backbone of this endeavor is stable, high-bandwidth connectivity from moving vehicles in literally any location,” said Talbot. “We believe that adding high-quality VR coverage and making that video accessible online will bring new generations to the sport. We have to be able to transport all of this data-intensive video live and untethered.”

The Long Beach Yacht Club Media team produced five days of live broadcast quality coverage of the regatta including a Video over IP direct feed to the New York Yacht Club and worldwide distribution over social media. Ocon Solutions oversaw the wireless technical and production preparations for the 2018 Congressional Cup.

“VR footage requires extensive bandwidth to view the images properly,” said Jim Ocon, President, OSC. “With the lack of infrastructure on site, multiple sources of 360-degree VR coverage, and movement, this set up stretches the limits of high-bandwidth connectivity in a live, real-world environment. I knew if any technology was up to the feat, it would be TVU Router. It was designed specifically to address this type of application. We were particularly eager to show how the high-bandwidth IP connectivity of the TVU Router helped deliver Samsung 360 Round’s stunning VR imagery of the event. The end result was simply spectacular.”

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“The producers of this event are merging the best of technology with the best of sports to bring sailing to viewers in a way they’ve never seen it before,” said Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “We couldn’t be happier to be part of such a forward-thinking production.”

TVU Networks has over 2,500 customers in more than 85 countries. The TVU Networks family of IP transmission and live production solutions gives broadcasters and organizations a powerful and reliable workflow to distribute live video content to broadcast, online and mobile platforms. TVU has become a critical part of the operations of many major media companies. The TVU Networks suite of solutions has been used to acquire, transmit, produce, manage and distribute professional-quality live IP HD footage as an integral part of news, sports and major global events.

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Vietnam Television Corporation (VTC) launched OTT service with Anevia

The new TV service is using Anevia’s cloud DVR solution, NEA-DVR with EDS, a hyper-convergent storage system specifically designed for video.

The Hanoi-based broadcaster is the first in APAC region to implement the EDS solution. This win confirms Anevia’s growing operations in the region.

NEA- DVR provides viewers with unlimited recording on every screen, with no need to buy a set top box. It also reduces operational costs through its Infinite Buffer which streamlines asset and storage management. It only keeps content that viewers have effectively recorded, so optimizing storage and gaining operators four times more capacity in its infrastructure.

Anevia’s EDS system simplifies the integration between streaming and storage by embedding storage on servers. This cuts considerably the number of physical rack units needed – a big consideration in a growing broadcast facility.

Throughout the project, Anevia has worked closely with local partner BMTS Media Technology and with Brightcove, a US-based video cloud provider, to offer VTC a mixed cloud-based service platform with an on-premise storage platform for streaming.

“Our priority at VTC is to offer the best experience to our subscribers and today this includes providing our new OTT service. We have been very impressed with the way the Anevia solution enables us to do this while giving us the flexibility to offer compelling new pricing models,” said Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, VTC Now project manager.

 

Anevia-Gregory_Samson“We are delighted to make this contribution to VTC’s new OTT project and to work with Brightcove on the integration of NEA-DVR and EDS within the wider system. A few years ago, we made the strategic decision to address the APAC market and this latest prestigious win further builds our momentum in the region,” adds Grégory Samson, executive VP of worldwide sales Telco & Media, Anevia.

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City of Fort Myers Celebrates Meeting Coverage Success with Broadcast Pix

“This has been a big success for the city,” said Richard Calkins, technology director for Fort Myers.

He estimated CFM-TV covers up to 30 meetings per month in the chambers, between the city council and various advisory boards, and production is usually handled by one employee.

CFM-TV’s upgrades included closed captioning systems for its Comcast channel and live web feed, new cameras and microphones in the chambers, and an HD feed for the web. The Mica replaced aging Datavideo and Compix hardware, which helped reduce the amount of equipment in the small CFM-TV control room that is next to the council chambers. Encore Broadcast Solutions in Tampa handled the integration.

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John Downey (standing) and Christian Gempesaw show the new Broadcast Pix Mica 1000 integrated production switcher for CFM-TV, the government channel for the City of Fort Myers, Fla. Installed in January, the system is used to produce coverage of up to 30 meetings per month. (Photo by Eloise Pennington)

In addition to a new ELMO document camera, there are five Sony PTZ cameras installed in the chambers. Three cameras are positioned at the back of the room for coverage of the seven council members on the dais. The fourth provides a view of the podium from the front of the room for citizen comments, while the fifth provides coverage of the city manager and city attorney. The Mica also receives a feed from a PC input at the podium for PowerPoint presentations.

John Downey, IT network technician, praised the flexibility of the Mica, including the customizable multi-view and the choice of control surfaces. CFM-TV has a traditional control panel, but meetings are often switched using a keyboard and mouse. The station does not use many lower-thirds because of the captioning, but Downey hopes to add more graphics and macros as the team becomes more familiar with the Mica.

CFM-TV is “just scratching the surface” of the Mica’s capabilities, according to Downey, but initial viewer reactions have been very positive.

“It looks a lot better,” he added. “People have definitely noticed the difference.”

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MultiDyne Strengthens Fiber Transmission Architecture for CP Communications

In an effort to reduce configuration headaches and strengthen connections for fiber-optic transport in live event production, CP Communications has purchased and installed multiple VF-9000 bulk fiber transport systems from MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions.

Installed in their flagship HD-11 and HD-21 RF production trucks, the VF-9000s solve the per-show scalability, performance and technical limitations of their previous fiber solutions.

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VF-9000 CP Comm crew

The VF-9000 enables a host of new technical services for CP Communications, including support for native 3Gb/s signal transport on HD-11 and HD-21. 3Gb/s transport is a requirement for the high-profile sports productions that CP Communications routinely handles for FOX, NBC and The Golf Channel. The VF-9000 allows CP Communications to natively accept 3Gb/s camera feeds over RF into its fiber transmission infrastructure, and is downward compatible for standard HD feeds.

Operationally, the VF-9000 outperforms their previous fiber transmission platforms in several important ways. This includes the flexibility to hot-swap, add or reduce SFPs to meet specific production requirements – a limitation of the previous system, which required connecting drop-down units, including external multiplexers, to the main frame.

The VF-9000’s value proposition is extended through automatic recognition of SFP module connections as inputs or outputs, as well as by format and application. The flexible architecture allows CP Communications to have an imbalance of input and outputs based on the needs of each production, instead of being limited to a certain number of each. In addition to video and Ethernet SFPs, the VF-9000 allows their production teams to transport MADI audio as part of the video feeds. Following automatic recognition, the VF-9000 then transitions to the proper setup upon coming online, eliminating additional configuration steps.

“There is enormous value in not having to manually communicate what is an input versus an output during configuration,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “Live production moves very fast, and the VF-9000s automatic recognition features remove what was often a very time-consuming process. Before, the process required adding an SFP and assigning it to the corresponding BNC, and then programming the connection as an input or an output. In addition, my cable lengths are now shorter, and there is no need to re-patch the entire system from show to show.”

The VF-9000’s scalable flexibility complements its unmatched signal density. The compact units deliver robust multiplexer features, effortlessly combining up to 18 signals over one single-mode fiber for efficient, high-density signal transport. At just 1RU, the VF-9000 returns valuable two rack unit spaces that the previous systems absorbed in each truck, freeing more space for additional RF gear.

In both trucks, the VF-9000 seamlessly integrates within the complete RF infrastructure, which includes a high-density routing system, mesh technology, and wireless cameras and microphones. The VF-9000 also seamlessly connects to signal monitoring systems on both trucks, allowing operators to keep an eye on the health and performance of each feed and connection.

“MultiDyne has simplified our entire fiber operation, and has done so at a very attractive price point,” said Heitmann. “They are clearly a very service-oriented company, with the robust performance and high product quality to match.”

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