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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

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.

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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

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BCE, Take Media To The Next Level

Live stream and manage your OTT platforms

Discover BCE’s online video solutions for both live and on-demand high-quality content serving customers such as TV and radio broadcasters, brands, event organizers and sport and cultural events.

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Live streaming massive events such as Tomorrowland and the fashion weeks, BCE has acquired a leading position on the market with a solid player, multiple features and global delivery.

Thanks to BCE’s Online Video Platform (OVP) and services, the customer can create video platforms (VoD, Replay, PayTV, etc.), manage and distribute its content, monitor and analyze its audience.

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Produce and broadcast with StudioTalk

StudioTalk is an all-in-one solution to produce shows, manage content, add special effects, control sets and broadcast your programs on any existing platform. Experience live production and 360° distribution through an easy touch interface and powerful system.

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StudioTalk touchscreen interface
  • Thanks to an intuitive Graphic User Interface and a touchscreen, the customers are able to control cameras, feeds and studio sets.
  • An automated mode can let StudioTalk work on its own to ensure seamless production and broadcast.
  • An advanced Content Management System is built-in and can easily be connected to your workflow.
  • Encrypt the content with BCE DRM.
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StudioTalk at RTS

Itstored, BCE’s cloud backup and storage solution

With S3 (Simple Storage Service) protocol being a worldwide standard, BCE ensures the protection of the files as well as its immediate availability as itstored is directly connected to the customer workflow.

  • The customer can perform unlimited actions on your content with a single, flat rate
  • Thanks to BCE’s bandwidth, The customer can access your content at any time
  • With more than 22 PB, the customer can backup all its content
  • The content can be stored on two redundant datacenters

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Discover as well BCE’s recent system integration projects for Groupe M6, BNJ, RTS and Antenne Reunion, the remastering of Baywatch for Fremantle, BCE’s DRM services and our 4K Broadcast services of Altice and Luxe.tv.

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Vantec/Danmon’s New Studio2Go Portable 4K-UHD Production System Makes Mobile Video Production and Live Streaming Easier than Ever

“Studio2Go Portable is compact enough to transport as carry-on luggage,” says Vantec/Danmon CEO Alexandre Roriz. “It is so easy to use that a single operator can be ready to shoot a multi-camera production within minutes of arriving on site.”

Available in a wide range of configurations, Studio2Go at its simplest can source from two wirelessly connected smartphones. Fully configured, it can handle up to 32 full studio-quality cameras. A multiview display screen shows each connected video source plus the main video output. Incoming video can be selected within Studio2Go’s integral vision mixer. Incoming audio from multiple microphone or line sources can also be mixed or selected.

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Captured video and audio content can be recorded within Studio2Go for later playout, streamed live, or both. Operators have access to a wide range of creative tools including image editing, colour-layering, border and shadow generation, titling and rolling text generation. Additional production features include colour correction, pan-tilt-zoom camera control, multichannel video recording, live picture-in-picture and 4K-to-HD virtual camera cropping.

Frame-accurate live switching and colour compositing can be performed via a keyboard and an optional control panel with a sliding transition fader.

Studio2Go is a fully professional system providing tally light integration, broadcast quality video output, frame-accurate media playback, real-time format conversion, live ad insertion, NDI protocol support and multi-network bonding. It can be operated locally or under full browser-based IP remote control.

Vantec/Danmon offers Studio2Go in a various models ranging from a basic Ethernet-interfaced portable version to the fully-populated Rack Pro with 16 SDI in/out. All versions operate from standard electric mains.

Studio2Go will be demonstrated on the Danmon Group stand, 8.B51, at IBC2019, Amsterdam, September 13th-17th.

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Interra Systems IBC2019 Show Exhibitor Preview

At IBC2019, Interra Systems will demonstrate how its world-class solutions are driving superior-quality video experiences on multiscreen platforms, an absolutely critical benchmark for success in today’s highly competitive market. Attendees can see Interra Systems’ full range of content quality control (QC), monitoring, analysis, and classification solutions that streamline content management, improve efficiencies, and provide exceptional audio-video quality on every device. Software-driven solutions provide content creators and distributors with the flexibility to deploy in the cloud or on-premises.

Assure Superior-Quality Streaming Media With BATON ABR QC and ORION-OTT

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Interra Systems will demonstrate its BATON ABR QC and ORION-OTT monitoring solutions, which set the industry benchmark for delivering high-quality streamed video. In a streaming media workflow, for large volumes of VOD files encoded at different bit rates, BATON’s comprehensive QC, including ABR-specific checks, ensures that the prepared content meets service provider and end-user quality expectations. ORION-OTT can be used to proactively perform HTTP checks and monitor the quality of each stream.

Boost the Quality of VOD and Live Event Streaming With ORION-OTT

ORION-OTT improves the quality of VOD content and live event streaming with thorough ABR manifest file validation, audio-video checks, and real-time alerts. Support for the latest standards in closed captions and ad insertion offers broadcasters and service providers the necessary tools for compliance and monetization.

In addition, Interra Systems will showcase its ORION real-time content monitoring and video analysis for linear channels. Created for IP-based delivery infrastructures, ORION provides operations groups with a powerful yet economical monitoring and troubleshooting platform that looks at all aspects of video streams, such as QoS, QoE, closed captions, and ad-insertion verification.

New Enhancements in OCM for End-to-End Visibility, Management, and Control of Linear and ABR Services
ORION Central Manager (OCM) provides an aggregated view of linear and OTT services based on monitoring data collected by ORION and ORION-OTT. The result: unprecedented visibility and power for proactive monitoring. Service providers only need to look at one screen for alerts and QoE information on each video, ensuring fast and efficient resolution of issues. Major enhancements for OCM will be shown at IBC2019, including a new architecture that enables near-real-time updates, real-time status of all channels across the network, channel performance trends, and executive reports.

Automate and Simplify Any QC Workflow With BATON

Major new updates to BATON will be shown, including BATON LipSync, an automated tool for lip sync detection and verification of audio with captions, as well as photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) testing and correction. In addition, BATON includes support for the VAST format, HDR quality checks, and setup in Amazon cloud and on-premises, as well as improved audio language and caption detection capabilities.

The latest version of BATON supports integration with WINNOW, the company’s new solution for content classification and identification. Powered by AI/ML technologies, WINNOW can detect and tag content for violence, strong language, alcohol, guns, and more based on user-defined rules. By making it easier to prepare content for different target markets and geographies, WINNOW helps video service providers and increases workflow efficiency.

Assure Standards Compliance, Debugging With World-Class VEGA Media Analyzers

Interra Systems’ VEGA media analyzer is a premier tool for standards compliance, debugging, and in-depth analysis of encoded streams. Recent updates to the VEGA family include support for the AV1 format with buffer analysis, JPEG format, and OGG streams. Using this indispensable tool, video service providers can easily check the quality and integrity of manifest files and variants.

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SES and Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) Partner to Broadcast Asteroid Day 2019 Globally in HD

Viewers around the world will receive a month of programming in celebration of Asteroid Day, the official United Nations day of education and awareness about asteroids, thanks to a partnership between SES and BCE. The broadcast will feature pre-recorded and live High Definition (HD) content from Asteroid Day’s global programmes and events throughout June 2019, building to June 30 with coverage of over 2,000 events occurring in 190 countries.

As partners in the Asteroid Day initiative SES and BCE have teamed up to bring a month-long global broadcast of the related events to audiences around the world. BCE will produce the 6 hour live production out of Cercle Cité in Luxembourg city and provide all the playout services from its media centre in RTL City, for HD distribution over satellite as well as IP networks. The online distribution will be taken care of using BCE’s Freecaster Live Streaming solution, which will enable both live and VOD viewing on social networks and websites. For the satellite distribution, SES will broadcast the programming on five satellites to create a truly global footprint for Asteroid Day, a testament to the reach of SES. In Europe, Africa, and Asia the programming will be delivered Free-to-Air via satellite to Direct-to-Home (DTH) viewers, while in Latin and North America it will be integrated into the packages of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) via satellite.

The programming will culminate on 28 June with Asteroid Day LIVE, a 24-hour live broadcast produced by Asteroid Day and sponsored by SES, BCE and the Government of Luxembourg. The marathon show will be hosted by prominent journalists from the BBC and CNN, who will be joined in studio and around the world by renowned astronauts, expert scientists, technologists, and researchers in planetary science.

“Luxembourg is home to a space industry and satellite telecoms infrastructure connecting Europe and the world,” said Marc Serres, CEO of the Luxembourg Space Agency. “The expertise and valuable support of leading companies such as SES and BCE play a key role in making Asteroid Day an international success and enable all of us to have a truly global conversation about space and asteroids.”

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Asteroid Day 2018

“BCE thrives with innovation and technology,” said Xavier Thillen, Head of Digital Media Operations at BCE. “Information is in our roots; we believe that instructing the world about asteroids has become an imperative. To do so, we are enthusiastic to use our state-of-the-art IP-based playout centre to broadcast this planetary event and reach the world with SES satellites fleet.”

 

“At SES, we value technology as a tool to positively impact and transform lives,” said Ruy Pinto, SES Chief Technology Officer. “We are proud to be a partner in this global awareness campaign to learn about asteroids, both the impact hazards they may pose and the resources they may one day yield. By leveraging multiple satellites, we are using the power of our global reach to deliver this important programming to millions of TV homes.”

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TVU Networks’ Technology Enables TVN to Provide Next-Generation Live IP Streaming Services

TVU Networks, the global technology and innovation leader in live IP video solutions and TVN GROUP, one of Germany’s leading TV, Film and Outside Broadcast production company, today announce that they are working together to provide the German broadcast market with innovative, powerful and flexible IP video transport solutions.

“Our customers are facing growing demand for more news content across more platforms, so we need to help them with new and innovative ways of newsgathering. Deploying the advanced live IP video acquisition solutions from TVU, delivers the flexibility, mobility and reliability needed to tell stories from any location,” said Bernd Dypka, CIO TVN GROUP. “We worked closely with TVU Networks to ensure that our joint solutions enable broadcasters to get the heart of the news and action as it happens – whether in Germany or further afield.”

The first joint projects will see broadcasters deploy the TVU One mobile solutions to ensure that TVN customers can deliver the best possible live streaming video services, with unmatched quality and reliability regardless of location. The collaboration has been facilitated by TVU Networks’ long-term partner QVEST Media.

When discussing the project, Alexander Kritschker, Head of Professional Products, QVEST Media, said: “I’m looking forward to helping deploy the innovative joint TVN and TVU live video solutions so that the German broadcast market can more efficiently acquire, transport, share and re-use video to get on air first and enhance storytelling together with viewer engagement.”

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TVU One mobile IP transmitter in action

David Jorba, EVP and Managing Director at TVU Europe added: “As the German market leader in broadcast facilities and newsgathering services, TVN Group has established a reputation for always being at the cutting edge. We are excited by the development of joint TVN and TVU solutions and look forward to ensuring that TVN continues to lead the way in providing innovative solutions that meet their customers requirement to tell stories better while increasing flexibility and efficiency.”