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the connected world supplement special report

transcode source streams from most encoders capable of RTMP output (including Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder). In the cloud, KulaByte software transcodes the source stream into the multiple formats and bitrates needed for the required delivery platforms. The transcoded streams are then directed to the customers’ CDN. The audience then tunes to the programme on any device that has been provisioned for, including desktop and laptop computers running Flash, Android mobile devices, Apple iPhones and iPads, and set-top boxes such as the Roku streaming player. This type of solution is now

streams may be needed for each device. To best serve the viewing audience, a fully configured transcoder might output up to 20 renditions of the same source.

Streaming in the cloud

Transcoders take a single input stream and create many different output streams, requiring the combination of significant computing power and network bandwidth. If the event location does not have sufficient uplink bandwidth, it is impossible to send all of the necessary renditions out for delivery to the audience with on-site resources alone. Transcoding today is often

performed within cloud computing environments to take advantage of the abundance of network capacity and computing power combined with a pay-per-use model. Only software- based transcoders, such as Haivision’s KulaByte, can effectively be deployed in the cloud because they are not restricted by special hardware requirements. Here’s a typical workflow: at the

event location, a source encoder is used to encode video at the highest possible quality given the available bandwidth. The encoded video is then delivered as a single high quality stream over the IP uplink to a real- time cloud transcoder like Haivision’s HyperStream Live transcoding service or KulaByte transcoder. Both HyperStream Live and KulaByte can

Streaming large- scale sporting events like the Olympics onto different viewer devices doesn’t need to involve complex, costly solutions. As we’ve seen from the Go- Live package available from Haivision and iStreamPlanet, leveraging today’s best practices for live event

webcasting can be both easy and cost- effective.

commonly used for large-scale live sporting events such as NFL football games, PGA golf tournaments, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In sum, cloud-based live transcoding gives content publishers an economical approach to ABR, multi-platform live video delivery without the need to invest in multiple expensive dedicated hardware encoders and significant uplink bandwidth.


Aside from infrastructure, there are other issues to consider when streaming large-scale sporting events. One of them is geo-blocking - a technique used for ensuring that only viewers within a certain geographical area can access online content such as video streams. The technique attempts to reconcile the global reach of today’s online media with commercial content licensing. For example, when the International Olympic Committee sells the Summer Olympics’ television and digital streaming rights to broadcasters, it becomes the broadcaster’s responsibility to ensure the content cannot be viewed outside of the broadcaster’s territory, and that includes ensuring their streams don’t leak into other areas. To accomplish this, broadcasters often use software that identifies visitor Internet Protocol addresses, which ultimately tie viewers to a certain geographical location. The user is then granted or denied access to the content in question. Geo-blocking also ensures that advertisements are geared toward audiences initially targeted by broadcasters.

An Olympics-scaled solution

Just in time for the planet’s biggest sporting event, Haivison, a global

S34 l ibe l the connected world supplement september/october 2012 l

leader in advanced networking and IP video solutions, joined forces with iStreamPlanet, the leader in live, Internet-managed broadcasting, to provide a live streaming and cross platform video playback solution for 2012 Olympic Games rights-holding broadcasters (RHBs). By applying the methods outlined above, Haivision and iStreamPlanet collaborated to produce ‘Go-Live’ - a package to simultaneously stream up to 12 live events for all 18 days of the Games. Here’s how it worked: from its

London Broadcast Operations Centre, iStreamPlanet powered a live Internet video workflow using Haivision’s KulaByte encoding and multistream player environment. This ensured that each HD feed was encoded to very high quality HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) up to 720p and Dynamic Flash ABR streams. The solution included acquisition of real- time feeds via satellite downlink and turnkey multistream players. It also provided geo-blocking and encrypted stream delivery that adhered to Olympic broadcast committee content use and DRM rules, using CDN services via the Akamai Secure HD Network. The end-to-end solution was

designed to give RHBs a fast, easy, and cost-effective way to deliver streaming of the games. On the user side, viewers were

treated to a premium HD video experience on the screen of their choice. The turnkey player solution included a custom-branded, high- performance multistream player driven by a customised content management platform that supported a complete channel listing and event guide, active DVR playback and controls for VoD content, as well as pre-roll, post-roll, and banner advertising.


Streaming large-scale sporting events like the Olympics onto different viewer devices doesn’t need to involve complex, costly solutions. As we’ve seen from the Go-Live package available from Haivision and iStreamPlanet, leveraging today’s best practices for live event webcasting can be both easy and cost-effective. By taking advantage of live cloud transcoding and first-class content management, sports fans are left with only one thing to do: charge up their devices, then sit back and enjoy the action.

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