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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MX1 and Minerva Networks Power Next-Generation OTT TV Services

MX1 announced a partnership with Minerva Networks, a leading online video platform (OVP) provider, to offer turnkey, subscription-based and ad-funded over-the-top (OTT) video services. The integration of Minerva’s market leading platform with MX1’s proven content management services and global delivery infrastructure will enable media companies, broadcasters, mobile service providers, ISPs, and pay TV operators worldwide to launch robust, flexible, and scalable OTT video services quickly and cost effectively.

“In partnership with MX1, we are redefining the way large-scale OTT video services can be efficiently created, launched, and operated,” said Mauro Bonomi, CEO of Minerva Networks. “The combination of our management platform with MX1’s proven media processing services and delivery infrastructure provides a comprehensive solution for the delivery of engaging entertainment experiences on a variety of connected devices.”

Minerva’s OVP supports a broad set of video services including live TV, video-on-demand, personal video recording, catch-up TV, pause of live TV, and restart TV. Minerva’s platform also provides a rich set of analytics data that enable operators to optimize their video services in order to increase user engagement and retention. MX1 will manage all aspects of the OTT content workflow and service delivery, including operations and 24/7 monitoring.

“Consumers are looking for compelling services that allow them to enjoy a variety of live, time-shifted, and on-demand video content anywhere and on any screen. In partnership with Minerva, we have assembled a best-of-breed turnkey solution for operators to quickly and cost-effectively deploy next-generation multiscreen services,” said Daniel Kiessling, senior product manager at MX1. “Our global OTT TV Cloud Service will enable broadcasters, media companies, and operators worldwide to better monetize their content.”

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MX1 at the 2019 NAB Show

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, MX1 is a trusted partner for broadcasters, content owners, and TV platform operators, as well as content aggregators for the sports and news industry. MX1 focuses on helping its customers reduce their efforts and costs and increase their ROI by tapping new sources of revenue.

MX1 will highlight a number of solutions at SES’s booth (SU1410) during the 2019 NAB Show, including a demonstration of a new broadcast-scale Online Video Platform (OVP), a powerful new automated targeted ad insertion solution, the company’s OU Flex service, and an enhanced sports and events management tool paired with a new live events booking platform.

Boost OTT Monetisation With MX1’s Fully Managed Online Video Platform (OVP)

At the 2019 NAB Show, MX1 will demonstrate its new fully managed OVP, which provides operators with a complete end-to-end solution, access to the SES and MX1 global contribution and distribution network, and seamless integration with the company’s content processing and management services. Fully integrated into the MX1 360 Unified Media Platform, the solution reduces complexity, provides access to analytics data, and enables easy management across the complete media supply chain — from origination to distribution and monetization — on one single platform. Its cloud-based nature also guarantees seamless scaling, globally, in relation to the number of users, channels, and content delivered.

Increase Revenue With Automated Targeted Ad Insertion

As the advertising industry increasingly pivots towards targeted advertising, broadcasters and operators need a valuable solution to implement an offering that further drives monetisation and ROI for both linear and on-demand content. MX1 now features an innovative new solution that provides near-plug-and-play automated dynamic ad insertion capabilities. Integrated with MX1’s broadcast and online streaming infrastructure, the solution enables content providers to remove and replace adverts reliably at a frame-accurate, broadcast-grade level. In addition, its integration with connected advertising sales platforms, such as SpotX and Google Ad Manager, allows replacement ads to be targeted to specific segments of the audience.

Broadcast Live Events Via IP With OU Flex

MX1’s OU Flex service enables sports and live events to be broadcast reliably and without interruption, providing the next-generation connectivity required by news organisations and anyone in the business of broadcasting live events, particularly from remote locations. Offering the best of the video and data worlds, the OU Flex solution combines traditional DVB links with full-service IP connections and offers rock-solid connectivity at bandwidths high enough to support HD and UHD, even in congested network spots and in areas with low-connectivity bandwidth. Seamless, high-quality live broadcasts are enhanced with IP data connections for both production coordination and content streaming, allowing broadcasters, content creators, and event organizers to focus on growing their business and offering the best possible experience to their viewers — whatever the device.

Enhanced Interfaces Increase Efficiency and Flexibility for Sports and Live Events

At the 2019 NAB Show, MX1 will present its new sports and events management interface for individual matches to team sports with any group of licensees from around the world, aimed at sports and event content owners and distributors. The new interface allows sports and event organizations and rights holders to easily manage and share broadcast-quality media containing matches, clips, and highlights, as well as related images, documents, metadata, and more.

Also on display at the show will be the company’s new live events booking interface, which connects MX1’s sports and events customers with its 24/7 live events booking team, simplifying the planning, monitoring, and coordination of live-event content distribution. The live booking interface features one-click sharing of live events with licensees from around the world, who receive real- time notifications and access to mission-critical distribution details. The integrated solution can be used both for single live event management and more complex sports tournaments with multiple concurrent live events.

As with all MX1 products, any new services launched by the company are managed through the MX1 360 unified media platform.

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Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) acquires Freecaster

BCE today announced that it has fully acquired Freecaster, an online video service provider specialised in production and streaming of high-quality content. The transaction closed on 1 January 2019 with Raymond Dulieu remaining the CEO of Freecaster.

With this acquisition, BCE strengthens its production capabilities and furthermore expands its footprint in the live and on-demand streaming of content.

Frédéric Lemaire, Chief Executive Officer of BCE, says: “At BCE we have already developed advanced online video solutions for the market. These will be complemented by the know-how and recent developments of Freecaster which allow us to strengthen our offers and accelerate the development of our non-linear portfolio. Since May 2018, BCE has successfully collaborated with Freecaster in live-streaming of events such as The Spot (the international sport innovations event) and the Montreux Volley Masters. I am looking forward to taking our collaboration to the next level and offering even more targeted and high-tech solutions to our clients.”

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Tomorrowland

Raymond Dulieu, Chief Executive Officer of Freecaster, adds: “Over the past 15 years Freecaster has grown from being the leading global extreme sports video platform to becoming a live 4K video production and streaming service provider to fashion houses, music festivals and broadcasters. Integrating within BCE will reinforce the company from a managerial, financial and technical point of view. It will also allow Freecaster to further offer its customers the high-end support and level of customisation they have enjoyed to date whilst also adding new services as part of BCE’s technical portfolio.”

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FIM Motocross World Championship – MXGP

Freecaster’s services span across the entire video value chain from production to world-wide streaming via a proprietary online video platform. 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.

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Fashion houses (LVMH…)

Among Freecaster’s customers are the Belgian Public Broadcaster RTBF as well fashion houses (LVMH group and others), music festivals (Tomorrowland), international institutions (European Commission, Bundesrat – the German Federal Council) and sports championships (FIM Motocross World Championship – MXGP).

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New Video Innovations from Limelight Networks Deliver Exceptional Online Experiences

By integrating WebRTC streaming support into the Limelight Orchestrate Platform, content distributors will be able to easily implement scalable live video streaming workflows such as sports broadcasting, gambling, gaming and live auctions that require the lowest possible latency.

“Limelight makes it possible for customers to deliver the largest live and video on-demand events at broadcast quality to virtually any device, anywhere,” said Steve Miller-Jones, Senior Director of Product Management at Limelight Networks. “With our WebRTC-based low-latency live streaming, we expect to be first to offer scalable global sub-second live video delivery that is natively supported in all major browsers without the need for additional plug-ins. We’re committed to helping our customers take advantage of new business opportunities by offering innovative and new ultra low-latency streaming experiences.”

Limelight’s Video Delivery Services provide live and video on demand media management, packaging, and delivery of broadcast-quality video through Limelight’s global private fiber backbone CDN to virtually any screen. New capabilities and enhancements include:

Limelight Video Platform (LVP): Limelight’s Online Video Platform (OVP) provides integrated capabilities to manage, publish, syndicate, measure, and monetize online video content with ease. New enhancements include a powerful new user interface that simplifies operation, HTML player customizations, and simplified media management.

Live to VOD Recording: Limelight is introducing the ability to simultaneously stream live video while recording it for subsequent use as Video on Demand (VOD) content. The live video streams are automatically captured and converted to popular VOD formats during later playback.

Limelight Video Acceleration: The company will also be featuring Limelight Video Acceleration, which reduces the delivery latency of standard HLS and MPEG-DASH video streaming formats to as low as three seconds.

Multi-DRM On the Fly: This recently-introduced integrated Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution from Limelight simplifies the encryption and delivery of content in all popular DRM formats. It significantly reduces the costs of managing and storing the encrypted content by encoding and encrypting content “on the fly” to match each viewer’s specific device requirements.

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