Eurovision Services carried out a successful test of cloud-based remote production at an IBU biathlon World Cup event.
Remote production and the cloud have been two of the hottest topics in live event broadcasting ever since the Covid-19 pandemic shook up the world of live sports events early last year. Yet. amid all the talk, there have been few real-world applications of end-to-end solutions for major live sports events. Eurovision Services tested its own set-up at the IBU biathlon World Cup event in Antholz, Italy, earlier this year and the results far exceeded the company’s expectations.
In particular, Eurovision Services was able to activate the appropriate infrastructure throughout the value chain to allow all suppliers involved to deploy their technology seamlessly. The trial was set up in collaboration with the EBU, Italian broadcaster RAI, Finnish broadcaster YLE, as well as technology providers Grass Valley with GV AMPP, Simplylive, Spalk and AWS.
The full contribution workflow was delivered from Antholz to the cloud and all feeds were monitored in parallel to the live production of the event. The operation involved contributing three video feeds (the international feed, enhanced feed and shooting range feed) plus the shooting range audio feed, a feed from remote cameras on the shooting range and mixed zone, as well as an audio over IP feed from the mixed zone into the cloud using ultra-low latency encoders.
The contribution into the cloud used Eurovision Services’ own SRT gateways to ensure maximum security and reliability. Using the high-performance Eurovision Global Network, the average round trip time between Antholz and Eurovision Control (EVC) in Geneva was just 33 milliseconds and the full contribution process (using a medium latency profile) including encoding, decoding, wrapping, unwrapping and timestamping for SRT, took an average of 1.56 seconds. The service used a 1 Gbps pipe to connect to the AWS Elemental Media Connect service, where the remote production and remote commentary teams were able to access the feeds to produce their programmes.
“This proof of concept surpassed our expectations and showed that, with a few minor adjustments, our technology stack is ready to accommodate remote production applications in the cloud,” said Michele Gosetti, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Eurovision Services. “We have already used our audio over IP solution successfully and we will very soon be offering a range of solutions for IP delivery using our two SRT gateways for optimum security and redundancy.”