The challenge of simulcasting global, high-profile events

The challenge of simulcasting global, high-profile events

  • Posted by Clevercast
  • On 12/04/2019
  • Comments

In recent years, the live streaming of high quality online video has become much easier, among other thanks to a range of affordable devices that support high-quality encoding and broadcasting. Therefore, it is no surprise that the number of social live stream channels is constantly increasing. These days, YouTube is not only getting competition from Facebook but also from Twitter, LinkedIn… and from platforms that target a specific group, such as Twitch and Caffeine.

To reach their audience, event organizers nowadays need to broadcast to multiple channels. Our Clevercast SaaS platform makes this easy by supporting simulcasts. A broadcaster only has to broadcast a single stream to Clevercast and use our event manager to determine which resolutions should be relayed to which channels. Clevercast will automatically transcode the incoming stream to the necessary resolutions and transmit each resolution to the right channels.

This will often suffice for smaller events. But it may not for high-profile events with global audiences. In that case different channels may require different streams, for example because there is audio in multiple languages or because a platform requires different encoding settings (e.g. Twitch viewers expect video with 60 frames per second, while Facebook Live only supports 30 frames per second).

Moreover, broadcasting rights for different countries or regions may have been granted to certain media companies or TV stations which must be able to convert the broadcast to their preferred signal. To ensure a stable and high-quality transmission, it is also required that the live stream is relayed to a proxy server nearby the rights holder’s location. And of course the setup must be completely redundant for every stream and location, so that the transmission does not stop if an encoder breaks down or if network problems occur somewhere along the way.

All this quickly leads to a complex setup, which is hard to control for the broadcaster at the event location. To address such situations, we have added failsafe simulcasting to our list of services. First we will, in consultation with the broadcast company, design a simulcast configuration for all necessary streams, channels and locations. We’ll also organize test sessions for the different parties involved, during which we’ll provide the necessary support. If tests show that additional streams or locations are required, we’ll extend or adjust our simulcast setup. During the event itself, our engineers will be monitoring the streams and help all parties involved solve a potential issue or initiate failover to a backup stream.

Are you interested in this service or one of our other solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us!