Ronen Artman, VP of marketing at LiveU talks to TVBEurope about the company’s technology deployment in Qatar.
What is your company’s role?
With a record number of bookings from global broadcasters, LiveU has the largest deployment of live video solutions on-site in Qatar with an over 100 per cent increase in units from 2018. With fans eager to see every aspect of the tournament, LiveU’s IP bonding technology enables broadcasters and sports organisations to deliver the highest-quality, reliable live video coverage. Broadcasters are using LiveU’s solution for main feeds from the stadiums with the official CRA (Communications Regulatory Authority) tags as well as capturing all the atmosphere and action around the games.
LiveU is everywhere in Qatar! ENG crews can be seen with their LiveU units, alongside reporters and commentator teams, transmitting high-quality live feeds daily to their viewers on linear and digital platforms, including popular social media channels.
LiveU’s crew is on-site to support customers and engage with the technical aspects directly involved in the broadcast of the games, using its innovative technology. LiveU is also transmitting from the fan zones, enabling creative fan engagement for millions of sports fans all over the world.
How many people will be involved in the operation – remote vs on site
LiveU’s service hub in central Doha is providing round-the-clock support and rental units with unlimited data plans, together with LiveU’s local partner, Resolution Hire. With a multinational support team, LiveU is providing on-site local support in multiple languages and across all competition venues.
Tens of people are involved in the operation, on-site and remotely ensuring the highest quality live coverage for the game.
In Qatar, these include technical people serving LiveU’s international customers, managers for accounts involved in the tournament, project managers, the overall director of services and our partner’s local team. In LiveU’s global offices, operations teams are providing remote support. There’s the legal department who ensured compliance with the CRA regulations before the tournament and then sales, marketing, and many others. All company functions have been, or are involved, encompassing the whole media supply chain.
What technology are you deploying on the project?
LiveU is providing hundreds of 5G/4G field units for 4K 10-bit HDR//HD quality live coverage of the tournament with the official CRA authorisation, including our multi-cam LU800 5G production-level field unit and new LU300S compact 5G field unit for live transmission on-the-go.
Our cloud-based services are also playing a key role in the production workflows. These include LiveU Matrix for IP video distribution of live feeds to global takers, replacing satellite and fibre with cost-effective distribution over the public internet; and LiveU’s latest cloud Ingest for automatic recording and story metadata tagging.
LiveU’s remote production (REMI) workflows are also being deployed, enabling customers to produce reliable high-quality live coverage from a centralised studio control room instead of via costly on-site production and/or satellite trucks.
In addition, LiveU is providing the latest intelligent data solutions, including billing data, providing peace of mind to customers with hassle-free data plan management. This service is fully managed by LiveU experts with 24/7 support.
Is any of it new?
LU300S is our newest portable field unit, offering the most powerful small-sized portable 5G video transmission solution for live coverage on-the-go. Featuring the latest bonded encoding technology, the LU300S reliably transmits up to 4K 10-bit HDR high-quality video over 5G networks for a superior viewing experience, while keeping production costs low. Launched in April 2022, the LU300S is already being used worldwide for dynamic live sports coverage.
LiveU Matrix is being used with our new Dynamic Share service, enabling users to easily define their ad hoc live feeds’ destination via the Global Directory with access to over 5,000 global LiveU customers. This expands distribution options at a click of a button.
Also launched in April this year, the LiveU Ingest cloud solution being used in Qatar increases production efficiency and accelerates the time-to-air and conversion of assets into digital media. LiveU Ingest automatically records every piece of live content while applying the respective metadata generated by the NRCS (Newsroom Computer System).
What are the stand-out USPs of your company’s role in terms of sustainability, cloud usage, remote production?
LiveU is the inventor of cellular bonding technology and leading the move to cloud-based remote production workflows with a range of cloud-based solutions. These include LiveU Matrix and LiveU Ingest (mentioned above), and Air Control, a broadcast orchestration cloud solution.
The company’s portable 5G 4K transmission units have largely replaced SNG/OB trucks for live news and sports coverage with proven reliability and cost savings. Our LRT (LiveU Reliable Transport) protocol, the power behind all LiveU solutions, ensures rock-solid reliability over cellular and other IP networks.
LiveU’s IP technology is inherently suited for sustainable remote productions (REMI), reducing carbon footprints and production costs. LiveU’s REMI solutions reduce the number of people required to travel to the site and the size and weight of the video equipment being shipped. The REMI model offers another key benefit for news, sports and live productions in general: with the team working back at the studio or from home, there’s a significant improvement to staff welfare. LiveU was also the first company to offer a native 5G production-level field unit with multi-camera capabilities (the LU800). Multi-camera events can be delivered using the LU800 with up to four high-res, fully frame-synced feeds and reliable IP bonding of up to 14 connections from a single portable unit.
In addition, LiveU has multiple partnerships with other powerful industry players – including Avid, Blackbird, Grass Valley and Vizrt, with all these still highly active collaborations. In May 2022 announced the acquisition of cloud-based video production provider easylive.io. easylive.io’s all-in-one live streaming production studio is now being seamlessly integrated into LiveU’s end-to-end cloud-based workflow for live contribution, management, orchestration, ingest and distribution.
Anything else you want to tell us?
We’ve been covering major international events since the Beijing Summer Games in 2008. The world football tournament in Qatar exemplifies how cellular bonding technology, pioneered by LiveU, continues to disrupt the industry in so many ways together with new end-to-end cloud workflows, bringing top international sporting events live to viewers all over the world.
We’ve seen unprecedented demand for our solutions in the run-up to the tournament, most notably from the football-loving nations of Latin America, as well as from elsewhere around the world. Our goal is to give customers peace of mind with the most reliable, highest quality and flexible broadcast solutions so that they can deliver the best viewing experience to their viewers.
For Qatar and all international events, we are committed to offer our customers best-in-class solutions and peace of mind in an all-inclusive package, as part of the evolution towards an end-to-end media chain. Solving any challenges and coming with a cost-effective solution for all live productions.