HEVC Boosts News And Sports Streaming

Users demonstrate why LiveU’s 2019 ‘State of Live’ Report shows continued strong growth in Live IP broadcasting with HEVC encoding.

LiveU recently unveiled its annual ‘State of Live’ report, based on data gathered from its global customer base of thousands of users. It shows a year-to-year increase in HEVC adoption with a 65% growth in HEVC unit deployment worldwide, and over 400% growth in HEVC-based sessions.

HEVC continues to play a key role for live sports productions because of the higher quality video and bandwidth efficiency enabled by HEVC technology. Nearly half the field units used to stream sports are HEVC-based, and almost 80% of sports sessions are transmitted in HD. The company also reports a 50% increase in the number of LiveU units used to stream live events in 2019.

Evidence of the increasing deployment of cellular bonding technology for live sports coverage is worldwide. Following the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, Kevin Callahan, VP, Field Operations & Engineering, Fox Sports said, “We always get energized if there is a huge buzz at home and this World Cup surpassed all our expectations with the success of the US Women’s soccer team."

He continued "LiveU’s LU600 HEVC portable transmission unit provided the backbone for our ENG shoots that were not at the stadium, enabling us to increase the number of live feeds. We also sent content to multiple locations simultaneously using LiveU’s Matrix IP cloud video management platform, making the content available to Fox TV stations that wanted to integrate live shots into their newscasts.”

REMI Live Sports

LiveU’s State of Live report also shows a significant increase in use of the Remote Integration Model (REMI) from 2018. LiveU brands their complete REMI solution 'Wireless At-Home Production.' By either name, it allows broadcasters and sports organizers to reduce costs by producing live shows from a centralized studio control room instead of on-site production and satellite trucks. LiveU’s REMI production customers reported savings of over 70% on their production costs this year.

The REMI model allowed USA Softball to stream multiple games simultaneously.

The REMI model allowed USA Softball to stream multiple games simultaneously.

For example, Brett Casadonte and the team at GlobeStream Media wanted to show their client USA Softball, the level of production they could achieve using a wireless REMI production model that fits within budget constraints. "They had only ever done single camera streams for all the fields, so when we showed them what could be done affordably with four cameras and remote production, they were amazed,” Casadonte said.

Using the REMI model, GlobeStream Media produced more than 500 hours of live coverage of the Girls 18 and under (18u) and 16 and under (16u) Gold National Championships, originating from the Heritage Yards softball complex in Plano, Texas. USA Softball’s Girls 18 and under (18u) and 16 and under (16u) Gold National Championships featured more than 70 softball teams from around the USA, playing over 245 softball games during the 6-day tournament. All games throughout the tournament were streamed to USA Softball’s website for fans, family, and friends to enjoy.

The REMI model allowed more simultaneous streams with less onsite crew. It saved time and money while producing more revenue generating content. “We wouldn’t have been able to have that kind of success with another solution. It wouldn’t have been feasible or cost-effective to bring all the extra gear such as laptops to every single field to produce onsite,” Casadonte said.

High Marks in the Ivy League

LiveU also has significantly improved TV production and video communications at many high-profile universities and schools. Harvard University, for instance, stays in touch with alumni using LiveU technology to broadcast sporting events such as rowing.

Even out on the water, LiveU cellular bonding provides Harvard with strong field connectivity and the highest quality media streams.

Even out on the water, LiveU cellular bonding provides Harvard with strong field connectivity and the highest quality media streams.

Notre Dame introduced LiveU to their production workflow for live broadcasts at home and away games to save time and money while improving production values. In addition to sports, it also provides the means to live stream other Notre Dame events.

At Auburn University, the mounting costs associated with sending large production crews onsite and the timeliness of getting content back to the home studio were a problem. The LiveU solution upped Auburn’s content game and reduced its field production costs.

The Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN) uses LiveU to broadcast high school state championship coverage on TV, and live stream baseball, football, boys basketball, cheerleading, cross country, track and field, soccer, and wrestling.

Live IP Broadcasting

Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO, noted, “Our annual findings show significant year-on-year growth in live IP broadcasting, boosted by HEVC technology. Now with the rolling out of 5G networks, the potential is even larger. In the same way that 4G transformed the broadcast market, 5G is likely to have an even greater impact across multiple sectors, not least sport, and we believe that 2020 is going to be a milestone year with the Summer Games in Tokyo and UEFA EURO 2020. Adding greater efficiency and reliability, 5G offers exciting new opportunities for live event coverage. We’ve already seen it in our tests around the world covering events such as the NBA Summer League with AT&T and the Berlin Marathon. The combination of 5G and our field-proven HEVC units will result in exceptional video performance, even better than that achieved by traditional transmission methods.”

Wasserman continued, “Remote at-home production will also be facilitated by the emergence of 5G and we’re already seeing a rise in applications using our technology, in line with industry trends.”

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