Net Insight Helps Deliver 4K Coverage of Euro 2016 Football Championships

Eurovision, the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) network, has turned to Sweden’s Net Insight for contribution and primary distribution of its UEFA European football championships coverage. The video will be distributed to the EBU’s 73 member broadcasters spanning 56 countries, including the BBC, France Television and ARD in Germany, over Net Insight’s global fibre network.

Eurovision says this cements a 10 year long partnership with Net Insight which will continue for the foreseeable future. “Television audiences today demand best-in-class live services when tuning in to watch live coverage of games during showpiece occasions, such as the European Championships,” said Graham Warren, Director of Network at Eurovision.

Net Insight owes its original adoption by Eurovision partly to an early focus on video transport over IP. The company realised that IP routers required enhancement to enable QoS for video over an end to end IP network without expensive over provisioning of bandwidth. It developed its Nimbra platform incorporating what it called MSR (Media Switch Router) functionality taking account of QoS information to ensure timely delivery of associated packets. So under the banner of “media aware” transport, Net Insight MSR routers take action at each hop to ensure that relevant packets are forwarded at the right time. It also employs forward error correction (FEC) to reduce packet losses between Nimbra MSRs, as well as traffic shaping to allocate resources more efficiently. Then what it calls SLA (Service Level agreement) ensurance is performed across the IP network with resynchronization in each MSR, to reduce end-to-end jitter.

Net Insight has more recently applied its media transport technology to online distribution with its package dubbed True Live OTT launched in November 2015. This was developed to synchronize online streams with broadcast transmissions and enable operators to end the time lag between playback on primary and second screens. While it also employs various techniques to accelerate online traffic it does not at a stroke solve the streaming latency problem which continues to bug live OTT services and means that users often view actions like goals only 30 seconds to a minute after they have occurred. The objective is to get that streaming latency closer to typical values for legacy broadcast services, typically around 7 seconds although often slightly longer for satellite TV. Delays are also added by home networks relaying signals from a set top box to connected devices.

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