Eurovision Services carried out a successful test of cloud-based remote production at January’s IBU biathlon World Cup event in Antholz, Italy. And Mavis Broadcast launched its cloud-based broadcast platform, Mavis Live, to enhance Eurovision Sport’s coverage of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, in early March.
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 and the results 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. The trial was set up in collaboration with the EBU, Italian broadcaster RAI, Finnish broadcaster YLE, as well as technology providers Grass Valley, 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.”
Mavis Goes Live in Poland for European Athletics
Mavis Broadcast made a successful launch of its cloud-based live broadcast platform, Mavis Live, to boost Eurovision Sport’s coverage of the European Athletics Indoor Championships 2021 in Poland,
Spanning four days of events, Mavis Live allowed a number of broadcasters to produce unilateral programming to complement the integrated feed. To do this, the Eurovision Sport team presented multiple isolated feeds from the venue through an SRT hybrid cloud platform to a number of Mavis Live instances in the cloud, giving control to broadcasters to make their own tailored output.
An end-to-end solution, Mavis Live utilizes the power of the cloud to enable remote virtualized live production catering for both progressive and interlaced workflows. Boasting a full broadcast feature set, the inbuilt functionality includes vision and audio mixing, instant replay and talkback. Fanview supported Mavis Broadcast with business development and project delivery services for the Torun event.
Mavis Broadcast was set up with a goal of replacing traditional outside broadcast hardware with a cloud-based solution. Its flagship product, Mavis Live, puts the full broadcast feature set into the cloud: vision mixing, sound desk, DVE, VT, instant replay and talk back. This is supported with an ultra-low-latency protocol, enabling production from anywhere in the world.
Eurovision Services Completes Major Technical Upgrade
In a separate development, Eurovision Services has completed a major technological overhaul of its facilities to equip the broadcast services company for the future as it prepares to manage transmissions for some of the biggest live events of the year.
The project started with new desks being installed inside Eurovision Control (EVC) at the company headquarters in Geneva over the Christmas holidays. These new desks will accommodate completely new individual monitoring stations with state-of-the-art curved screens technology for improved ergonomics.
At the start of 2021, a new ASI-SDI matrix was installed at the EVC in Geneva, with the SDI matrix at the company’s back-up facility in Switzerland replaced shortly afterwards in order to expand capacity further.
More recently, a new L-band matrix has been installed at the EVC in Geneva, to which new integrated receiver-decoders (IRDs) are connected. A new network management system has been deployed and any IRD can now receive any signal.
This complex project was completed without a hitch thanks to careful planning, the choice of a low-traffic period on the Eurovision Global Network for the main installation phases, and the support of the suppliers involved.
“This is a major step in the upgrade of our Geneva Network Operations Centre,” explained Amine Hafnaoui, Head of Operations and Engineering at Eurovision Services, “but it is just the first phase in an ambitious project to equip Eurovision Services for the future. We will continue to invest in upgrading our infrastructure and review our operating model to meet requirements of this new technology.”