Freecaster, Fastly and Flowplayer partner for Tomorrowland 2019 live streaming

Celebrating the 15 years of its music festival, Tomorrowland is the world’s biggest electronic dance music event, taking place in Belgium and more recently in the Alps.

Since the Amicorum Spectaculum in 2017, Freecaster has been doing the live streaming of the event. The company managed to deliver high quality video to the world, using its strong platform, a large Content Delivery Network and some innovative features.

For the 2019 edition, The Book of Wisdom – The Return, Tomorrowland asked Freecaster to live stream the event for 72 hours non-stop. To ensure the perfect continuity of the streams as well as offer to the viewers the most immersive experience, Freecaster teamed up with Fastly and Flowplayer.

2019-3
Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

Since its foundation in 2004, Freecaster has developed as a specialist in online video services for both live and on-demand high-quality content serving customers such as TV and radio broadcasters, brands, event organisers and sport and cultural events. Among Freecaster’s customers are the Belgian Public Broadcaster RTBF as well as fashion houses (LVMH group and others), international institutions (European Commission, Bundesrat – the German Federal Council) and sports championships (FIM Motocross World Championship – MXGP). Since 2019, Freecaster is a subsidiary of Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), a European leader in media services, system integration and software development in the areas of television, radio, production and postproduction, telecommunication and IT.

“Innovation has always paved the way of BCE activities. The all-IP infrastructure leaded our company to hybrid and cloud while increasing the distribution of media content on a global scale. The acquisition of Freecaster and its integration in our workflow was a significant move to the non-linear market. Tomorrow, the engineering of new solutions will enhance the development of BCE in the digital media world,” says Frederic Lemaire, CEO at BCE.

Tomorrowland footprint reaches more than 10 million viewers with multiple artists performing at the same time on several locations at the festival. Sharing this fantastic experience with the online community is a complex task and Freecaster has managed to deliver the right solution to meet the organizer needs.

2019-7
Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

“The target for our customer was to expand the festival experience to the electronic community, with the opportunity to follow the main action of the festival live and experience the thrill of Tomorrowland,” explains Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster.

Flowplayer worked hand in hand with the developer team of Freecaster to ensure the perfect implementation of its FP8 – Native, award-winning HTML5 player within the Freecaster’s Online Video Platform (OVP). This dynamic HTML5 video player developed by Flowplayer, has a reduced size ensuring faster loading time and stability. It also features a dynamic DJ line up allowing viewers on web and mobile to switch seamlessly between the different live stages within the same HTML5 video player.

“The new version of our video player, with the multi-stream features, allows live streaming, live switch from one stage to the other and gives a clear view of what is coming next,” adds Ray Dulieu.

Freecaster’s OVP streamed four live stages on Tomorrowland’s website, app and on partner networks as well as five radio feeds for selected internet radio networks. During the two weekends of the festival, the OVP was monitored using Freecaster’s monitoring dashboard. Thanks to data provided by Fastly, Mux and Touchstream, the interface gives a detailed overview of the traffic statistics. Freecaster’s engineers can access to the dashboard remotely, solve issues immediately ensuring the best viewer experience.

2019-4
Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

To deliver the best experience to millions of online viewers, Freecaster teamed up with Fastly. The company edge cloud platform enables the delivery of live video over common HTTP streaming formats, including Apple’s HLS, Microsoft’s HSS, Adobe’s HDS, and MPEG-DASH. For Tomorrowland 2019 it ensured the live stream of 3PB with a 250 Gbps average transfer rate (Freecaster, September 2019). Fastly’s fast and globally distributed network provided the viewers with instant video streams, without buffering nor interference. During the event, Fastly’s Network Operations Centre provided Freecaster with Live Event Monitoring, daily reporting and dedicated on-site support.

“Fastly’s network speed and self-service features helped to considerably improve the performance of our live streams for the largest dance festival in the world. Fastly also provided a dedicated team of network engineers to monitor the event from their Network Operations Centre, ensuring any issue that could arise would be addressed quickly. Offering more than peace of mind, it allowed our teams to focus on other areas of the delivery workflow during the event,” concludes Ray Dulieu.

2019-2
Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

LTN Global Appoints Alan Young CTO and Head of Strategy

LTN® Global, the global leader in broadcast-quality IP video transport solutions, today announced the appointment of Alan Young as the company’s chief technology officer and head of strategy. Young joined LTN following its acquisition of Crystal, where he served as chief operating officer. In his new role with LTN, Young will be responsible for advising the company on all matters relating to media technology and for guiding its growth strategy.

“Alan’s extensive experience in developing and applying new technologies to existing business environments across the media, financial services, and telecom sectors makes him a perfect fit for his new role as our CTO and head of strategy,” said Malik Khan, co-founder and executive chairman at LTN Global. “His impressive technical expertise and proven leadership skills also will be invaluable to LTN as we continue to grow and expand our offerings around end-to-end media production and distribution solutions.”

Before his time at Crystal, Young served in CTO roles at SES Americom, Encompass Digital Media, and e-Citi, and as head of emerging technologies and the strategic vendor partnership program at Citigroup. He earlier served as vice president of engineering for Viacom/MTV Networks. Young began his career in broadcast as a technical manager at British Telecom after earning a master’s degree in electronic systems engineering from the University of York. He is a recognized innovator with four issued patents to his name and a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

“LTN is an exciting company with robust technologies and tremendous potential for further growth,” said Young. “I look forward to working with my colleagues across the company to realize this potential by delivering transformative solutions to LTN customers.”

More info

ChyronHego Announces Key Appointment of Ariel Garcia as CEO

ChyronHego today announced the appointment of Ariel Garcia as CEO, effective today.

Garcia will drive ChyronHego’s expanding focus on product innovation driven by customer requirements. He joined ChyronHego as a board member in 2015, following a strategic investment from Vector Capital, and stepped into the business as president of broadcasting at the end of 2018.

Garcia has a long trajectory of driving growth and operational enhancements for technology companies. Since 2014, he has served as operating partner and head of value creation at Vector Capital. Previously, he was senior principal at The Boston Consulting Group, where he led the company’s technology, media, and telecommunications practices. Garcia holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in computer engineering from the Universidad Católica Argentina.

“I am thrilled to step in as CEO during this exciting growth stage for ChyronHego. Our sports intelligence and broadcasting products are top-notch, and our increasing focus and partnership with our customers will prove critical for future success,” Garcia said. “ChyronHego has a rich history as a technology innovator. With an increasing focus on customer-centricity and investment in key ecosystem partnerships, we are determined to bring the best technology, services, and value to our customers.”

 

“Ariel’s ability to successfully drive growth and change make him the ideal fit to lead ChyronHego’s next era. His deep expertise in applying strategy and operational improvement to boost company performance is a tremendous asset,” said Johan Apel, chairman of the board, ChyronHego. “We welcome Ariel as the head of our senior executive management team as we continue to advance our operations and bolster the ChyronHego brand globally.”

With this announcement, Marco Lopez steps down as ChyronHego’s CEO. Garcia commented: “I want to thank Marco for his leadership and contribution to ChyronHego as CEO. I had the opportunity to closely work with Marco over the past year, and I can attest to his deep understanding of the broadcast industry as well as the great professional and human being that he is. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Both Garcia and Lopez will be attending IBC2019 to discuss the transition and exciting next steps in ChyronHego’s evolution with customers and partners.

More info

EcoDigital to Showcase Updates to DIVA Software Suite at IBC2019

At IBC2019 (Hall 8, Stand B13), software company EcoDigital will exhibit a newly updated version of its DIVA software suite, the world’s leading and most trusted object management system for media. The two major enhancements to DIVA solutions include dynamic support for AWS cloud storage, which makes the software suite cloud-agnostic, and a new partial file restore (PFR) from cloud storage capability. EcoDigital also has created dedicated service and support offerings for the DIVA solutions suite.

“By heavily committing to new R&D, we’re ensuring that the DIVA solutions suite is right where our customers need it to be,” said EcoDigital Chief Technology Officer Geoff Tognetti. “At IBC2019, we will highlight two critical updates that ensure utility across major cloud services and extend valuable partial file restore capabilities to cloud devices. With these and other enhancements, DIVA solutions keep up with — and ahead of — industry trends, particularly in terms of enabling users to leverage their preferred cloud storage more simply and effectively.”

 

“With these recent enhancements now and major developments to the base DIVA products in the future, we will allow our clients to remain agnostic so they can select the cloud environments and on-premises archival storage devices that best meet their needs. DIVA is truly the center of the client ecosystem. When technology changes, proprietary storage products become obsolete, or a change in vendor becomes necessary, DIVA allows you to gain your independence with no interruption to established workflows.”

AWS Cloud Storage Support

In addition to supporting Microsoft and Google cloud offerings, the DIVA solutions suite now also supports the AWS cloud. Because DIVA solutions can now “talk” to any cloud provider anywhere, users are free to work with any system or cloud. Free from any proprietary standards, protocols, or storage types, DIVA will track an object within any cloud service. This flexibility helps to streamline workflows that bridge on-premises and cloud deployments.

PFR On-Cloud and On-Premises Object Storage

PFR has been an integral part of DIVA solutions for a long time, and now users can apply this functionality to many types of cloud and on-premises object storage. As users restore content, PFR allows them to select just a small segment of a video clip rather than the whole file. PFR can translate to significant savings in bandwidth and retrieval costs. By restoring only the video they need, DIVA users can minimize the costs of taking data out of the cloud.

Along with Amazon S3 Glacier cloud storage support and PFR for cloud and on-premises object storage, EcoDigital has introduced expanded support for Linux operating systems, as well as numerous ease-of-use updates for upgrades and new installations. Significant updates to the DIVA solutions suite, V8, will be completed and announced prior to NAB2020. New product lines and applications that are under development will also be announced.

EcoDigital was formed in June 2019 by its executive team to acquire the DIVA software suite and continue ongoing development, sales, and support of DIVA solutions. Since its founding, the company has launched an R&D division in the United States and created a new solutions group dedicated to integrated global support and development. EcoDigital also is expanding its reach into the video surveillance, government, and education markets.

More info

Freecaster extends its Tomorrowland live streaming with new partners in 2019

Tomorrowland, the world’s biggest electronic dance music festival, has joined forces with Freecaster to deliver high-quality, real-time video of each event, to be enjoyed by a global live audience online. We promise customisation, hands-on support and for our clients to reach unlimited audience worldwide. Since 2017, Tomorrowland enriched the online experience using Freecaster’s multi-channel video player to allow viewers to choose between different stages streamed simultaneously in the same video-responsive multi-bitrate video player.

Freecaster enjoys working for clients such as Tomorrowland who continuously raise the bar. In 2019, Freecaster worked intensively alongside Flowplayer and Fastly to provide a seamless 72-hour, non-stop live streaming service.

“The target for our customer was to expand the festival experience to the electronic community, with the opportunity to follow the main action of the festival live and experience the thrill of Tomorrowland.” Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster.

Seamless multi-channel streaming

Tomorrowland is a massive event, a world of different experiences with multiple acts performing live at the same time. It was essential for Freecaster to convey this experience and choice online by offering multi-channel live streaming. We received four video feeds onsite at the festival, as well as a dynamic DJ line up allowing viewers on web and mobile a seamless switch between the different live stages within the same HTML5 video player. Freecaster’s Online Video Platform streamed live on Tomorrowland’s website, app and on partner networks. We also delivered five radio feeds for selected internet radio networks.

The platform was supervised throughout the two weekends of the festival using Freecaster’s monitoring dashboard fed by data from Fastly, Mux and Touchstream. The interface gives a precise overview for the monitoring engineers, shows traffic stats (impressions, unique visitors, countries, and more) and can be accessed by Freecaster remotely anywhere in the world. This close monitoring and flexibility ensures the platform is stable and any issues can be promptly addressed, resulting in a seamless customer experience.

“The new version of our video player, with the multi-stream features, allows live streaming, live switch from one stage to the other and gives a clear view of what is coming next.” Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster.

Advanced live video player

Freecaster selected Flowplayer to provide a unique experience for Tomorrowland’s live streaming audience. Flowplayer worked using FP8 – Native, its award-winning HTML5 player. Building the player completely from scratch, Flowplayer has succeeded in adapting to the HTML5 world of today’s web. The player size is reduced to a minimum, significantly enhancing stability. The small codebase results in faster load-time and fewer possibilities of errors.

BCE-Freecaster_Tomorrowland2019

Flowplayer worked in close collaboration with the developer unit at Freecaster, implementing FP8 together with the Freecaster platform. Deep shared understanding provided the basis for a joint roadmap to meet the high standards of Tomorrowland festival and deliver the best possible performance and user experience. Together we reached more than 10 million music fans, live streaming worldwide.

Global delivery

CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) helps Freecaster multiply traffic for live streaming events. Freecaster joined forces with Fastly to deliver global live streaming of Tomorrowland 2019, and used Fastly’s edge cloud platform to live stream 3PB with 250 Gbps average transfer rate (reported by Freecaster, as of September 2019). Fastly’s fast and globally distributed network ensured all video streams played instantly, without buffering or interference, while independent, real-time functionality meant that Freecaster had control over configurations.

In the build-up to the event, the Fastly and Freecaster technical teams collaborated over a dedicated Slack channel and numerous scoping calls. During the event, Fastly’s Network Operations Centre provided Freecaster with Live Event Monitoring, daily reporting and dedicated on-site support.

“Fastly’s network speed and self-service features helped to considerably improve the performance of our live streams for the largest dance festival in the world. Fastly also provided a dedicated team of network engineers to monitor the event from their Network Operations Centre, ensuring any issue that could arise would be addressed quickly. Offering more than peace of mind, it allowed our teams to focus on other areas of the delivery workflow during the event.” Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster

More info

MultiDyne Acquires Census Digital

MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions has acquired Toronto-based Census Digital, a specialist in professionally-engineered signal processing, distribution, conversion and monitoring gear. The acquisition strengthens MultiDyne’s value proposition for professional audio monitoring and processing applications in broadcast, live production and commercial AV. MultiDyne will also take ownership of Census Digital’s existing fiber transport solutions, including an array of rackmount and openGear modular solutions that complement MultiDyne’s vast fiber-optic product line.

MultiDyne_CEO_Frank_Jachetta“MultiDyne and Census Digital are known worldwide as problem-solvers in their areas of specialty: fiber transport and signal monitoring,” said Frank Jachetta, CEO, MultiDyne. “There is no question that the two areas are complementary for broadcasters and content producers working across a variety of live production environments, and Census Digital’s audio innovations add substantial power to our value proposition. This acquisition empowers us to innovate and deliver more complete solutions to our customers that leverage the strongest technical capacities of both companies.”

The Census Digital acquisition comes at a time of robust multi-year growth for MultiDyne. The company has grown exponentially since 2010, and has pursued aggressive international growth in 2019. This includes the appointment of business development leaders in the EMEA and APAC regions, while continuing to add resources in North America.

Bob McAlpine, President of Black Pearl Management Group and a special advisor to MultiDyne, helped facilitate the acquisition and consulted with both companies throughout the process.

“Census Digital has developed a strong reputation as an innovator over the past 10 years, and we recognized common synergies with MultiDyne from a product development and business perspective,” said McAlpine.

The Census Digital acquisition adds valuable engineering talent and strengthens MultiDyne’s presence in Canada, as MultiDyne will retain Census Digital’s Toronto headquarters. Jachetta will oversee the combined operations, bringing MultiDyne and Census Digital engineers together on new product development initiatives and integration of existing product lines. MultiDyne will also publicly retain the Census Digital brand in product branding and other communications for a period to be determined.

“While we anticipate new product lines that merge our combined strengths, we see many opportunities to build transport capability into existing Census Digital products, notably the C-SERIES of embedded audio monitors and openGear audio conversion and distribution modules,” said Jachetta. “Known for its engineering prowess, Census Digital brings exceptional value and synergy to our market-leading fiber-optic systems. This is the right acquisition at the right time as we continue to diversify and expand.”

 

“The opportunity to become an integral part of MultiDyne’s global growth adds incredible strength and resources for our sales and engineering talent,” said Census Digital Co-Founders Douglas Bascombe and Michael Jordan. “We look forward to continued innovation and growth as an important and strategic brand within the MultiDyne family.”

Radio France transforms Maison de la Radio with next generation IP technology with Orange Business Services and BCE

Following a public tender, this project was entrusted to Orange Business Services, a global digital services operator and integrator, and to BCE, a European expert in media services, and is the largest of its kind in the European media sector to date. The migration to the latest generation of IP infrastructure is key to facilitate the development of audiovisual broadcasting and production tools. This project is part of Radio France’s ambition to invest heavily to modernize its production and broadcasting tools for all radio and radio-related content by 2022.

The transformation program led by Orange Business Services and BCE involves the infrastructure of all Maison de la Radio’s studios. The new audiovisual production facilities will rely on a robust, next generation IP infrastructure based on Cisco technology for the transport and broadcast of voice and video.

“The combined expertise of Orange Business Services and BCE, complemented by the professionalism of Maison de la Radio’s project teams, will allow us to innovate and facilitate the production and broadcast of programs while meeting the highest standards required by the media sector,” comments Patrick Fasso, Technical and Information Systems Director at Radio France.

To ensure perfect convergence of the IT and media broadcast worlds, Radio France’s project teams are supported by Orange Business Services, the market leader for solution integration. Orange Business Services will ensure that all of Radio France’s needs are met, including mastering its next generation tools. The SMPTE 2110 standard, a specific protocol for the media industry, has been retained.

BCE-Orange-RadioFrance-Banner
Radio France / Christophe Abramowitz

Radio France’s teams are supported by BCE France because of its recognized expertise in the customized integration of media ecosystems, apparent at many European radio and television stations. BCE has in-depth knowledge of the sector and the needs of the media, and is a master of IP workflow infrastructures which it has demonstrated to Radio France in the past, for example, during the transition of France Info to the Maison de la Radio premises.

More info