Haivision sports upgrades for live streaming

Haivision has introduced simplified live internet streaming, supplied a low-latency IP system that enables live multilingual commentary for ESPN Star Sports, and upgraded its KulaByte Live Transcoder to deliver 30% performance gains with cloud transcoding, writes David Fox.
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Haivision has introduced simplified live internet streaming, supplied a low-latency IP system that enables live multilingual commentary for ESPN Star Sports, and upgraded its KulaByte Live Transcoder to deliver 30% performance gains with cloud transcoding, writes David Fox.

Haivision has introduced simplified live internet streaming, supplied a low-latency IP system that enables live multilingual commentary for ESPN Star Sports, and upgraded its KulaByte Live Transcoder to deliver 30% performance gains with cloud transcoding, writes David Fox. It has introduced internet streaming upgrades for all of its Makito and Barracuda H.264 encoders, Furnace IP video systems, and Viper stream and record appliances, as well as adding a single-click connect feature to its HyperStream cloud-transcoding and CDN connectivity service. HyperStream unifies, simplifies, and automates cloud-based transcoding on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) with connectivity to the Akamai HD network for global content delivery. Its products will now be able to connect directly to HyperStream Live, Haivision's new software as a service (SaaS), or fully managed service, for internet media delivery. HyperStream will allow users to take advantage of cloud transcoding to use uplink bandwidth more efficiently, delivering the highest quality RTMP Dynamic Streaming for Flash video and Adaptive HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) for iOS devices. HyperStream Live is a pay-per-use live cloud transcoding SaaS, which enables simplified, adaptive delivery of source video content to desktop and mobile devices over the internet. HyperStream Concierge is its fully managed service for media delivery, including cloud transcoding, CDN distribution, video player configuration, event setup and management, and on-site support as needed. HyperStream allows users to readily establish live transcoding and stream management instances automatically within any or all of Amazon's eight EC2 regions worldwide. Initiating multiple instances simultaneously can deliver higher regional quality of service and greater resiliency. Available by the hour, HyperStream allows users to reserve and initiate transcoding services within minutes. "HyperStream provides an easy-to-use layer on top of cloud transcoding and video CDN services for our users," said Peter Maag, Haivision's chief marketing officer. "It not only simplifies and automates complex technical setups and processes, but also streamlines the associated business relationships. As a single point of contact for our clients, HyperStream combines live video encoding, cloud transcoding, and distribution into a unified, managed environment. We are adding HyperStream connectivity to our products to drive over-the-top media adoption throughout our user base." "The benefits of transcoding and encoding content in the cloud are clear," added Brad Rinklin, chief marketing officer at Akamai. "Moving these complex transactions to the cloud, especially for live, global events online, translates to lower costs and higher bandwidth availability. Combined with the delivery, security, and analytic features in Akamai's SOLA Media Solution portfolio, HyperStream adds new capabilities to the live video streaming ecosystem for our valued customers." Cloud-based transcoding has two important benefits for live video. Adaptive and dynamic streaming techniques require many streams of different bitrates for different users. Cloud transcoding allows operators to minimize onsite encoding hardware and maximize available uplink bandwidth from event locations by sending a single high-bandwidth stream to a live transcoder. Then HyperStream uses the cloud's ample bandwidth and computing capacity to replicate that stream into the many required formats. "With the acquisition of the KulaByte technology, Haivision's expertise and commitment to internet streaming is strengthened by enabling OTT capabilities across our product line," said Mirko Wicha, president and CEO of Haivision Network Video. "We are giving our installed base over-the-top capabilities through a series of product upgrades, while enabling cloud transcoding and CDN connectivity with the launch of HyperStream internet media services. This is certainly the largest single increase in Internet video capabilities the streaming media industry has ever seen,” he claimed. Its Makito encoder is claimed to be the world's most popular HD H.264 video streaming appliance, widely deployed within education, enterprise, medical, sports, entertainment, and federal markets, with more than 10,000 systems deployed. The encoder offers low latency, a compact form factor and density, and performance handling up to 1080p60 HD. The free upgrade will give it RTMP and HyperStream Live connect capabilities, enabling thousands of new internet broadcasters. Haivision is also offering OTT upgrades to its Barracuda, Furnace, and Viper. Sports Star Asia's No. 1 sports content provider, ESPN Star Sports, is using Haivision's Barracuda H.264 encoder and Makito decoder at its Singapore and Taiwan facilities to support live sports commentary in multiple languages. The system’s low latency enables ESS to adopt a fast, cost-effective model for delivering quality HD content in which commentary is closely synchronized with the video. "The remarkably low latency of Haivision's Makito and Barracuda systems is critical to our live multilingual commentary model," said Colin Sherriff, vice president of operations and technology at ESPN Star Sports. "In providing sub-second round-trip latency, the Haivision systems enable us to improve the quality of commentary by using local voiceover talent. We've also been able to eliminate our reliance on costly ISDN links and therefore realize a very quick return on our investment." Within ESS's new video workflow, live HD programming coming into the ESS Singapore facility is downconverted to SD and — using the Makito/Barracuda systems' lowest latency settings — it is sent across an IP link to the Taiwan office. A commentator in Taiwan then provides a Mandarin voiceover for the live video, which is delivered back to Singapore across the IP link using an audio IP codec. In Singapore, the voice is inserted into the incoming signal, adding Mandarin commentary prior to routing the video to studios and transmission suites. The latency of the Haivision systems is so low that ESS doesn't need to delay the main incoming HD video feed to ensure that the commentary is synchronized with the video. Given the success of the Haivision system over its first four months of daily usage, ESS is expanding its utilization in Taiwan with a second channel for additional commentary and is in the process of investigating deployments in other countries and regions in the Asia/Pacific region. The Barracuda and Makito high-performance encoder and decoder were delivered by local systems integrator Techtel. KulaByte 4.0 KulaByte is a software-based live H.264 video transcoder that, with version 4 is now available for both Linux and Windows. By migrating the transcoding engine to Linux, it can simplify deployment of the software within cloud computing environments, improve long-term performance and reliability, and take advantage of lower-cost cloud instances. KulaByte 4.0 Linux-support combines a 30% performance gain and a 30 to 40% cost reduction when deployed in cloud environments, such as Amazon's EC2. The transcoder also now has a simplified user interface and support for closed captioning, ad insertion, and ingestion of H.264 in MPEG-2 Transport Stream encapsulation. "KulaByte is cornerstone technology in the over-the-top video streaming segment," said Maag. "Migrating KulaByte to Linux was only natural. Linux is the foundation for almost all of Haivision's systems and appliances. Now, KulaByte will benefit from true carrier-grade performance, both within the server systems and in the cloud." KulaByte cloud transcoding technology is used extensively by Haivision clients and within HyperStream, enabling major streaming events such as South by Southwest (SXSW), the NASCAR Sprint Series, and the Masters Golf Tournament. www.espnstar.comwww.haivision.comwww.hyperstreamlive.com