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KIT picks KulaByte to stream Nautilus Live

The recent ocean exploration project, Nautilus Live, streamed HD pictures from the sea floor to multiple platforms using Haivision’s KulaByte live internet encoders, writes David Fox.

The recent ocean exploration project, Nautilus Live, streamed HD pictures from the sea floor to multiple platforms using Haivision’s KulaByte live internet encoders, writes David Fox. As part of a complete media system provided by KIT digital, the KulaByte H.264 encoder received the raw HD video signal from the Nautilus vessel and converted it into multiple H.264 IP streams in the formats required for delivery to the Nautilus Live Roku channel, website, iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. “Reaching the target audience across a wide array of platforms was critical to the educational mission of Nautilus Live, and KulaByte was an essential component in that effort,” said KIT digital solutions specialist, Jesse Francis. “This implementation was completed prior to the release of the KIT Video Platform, and so KIT digital worked with KulaByte to convert a single video stream to multiple high-quality formats with minimal latency. We were also impressed with its internet streaming capabilities, which were able to detect outbound network congestion and automatically adjust the stream bit rates to deliver the best-quality output.” The research vessel is currently docked in Turkey, having just completed a four-month field expedition in the Black and Mediterranean Seas and the Atlantic Ocean. Nautilus Live is a project of Dr Robert Ballard, the oceanographer and explorer, and an international team of scientists and engineers, who conducted a range of activities such as mapping the sea floor, studying underwater volcanoes, and investigating aquatic life forms. Throughout the expedition, viewers could participate through the 24/7 live video feeds delivered from the ship via KulaByte and the KIT digital system. The video feeds are an important component of The JASON Project, a partnership between the National Geographic Society and Sea Research Foundation that delivered programmes to classrooms. During its voyage, the Nautilus transmitted via satellite video feeds originating from the ship as well as its companion remotely operated vehicles that explored the depths. The feeds were received at the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island, where the KulaByte encoder converted them to the formats required for multiplatform delivery — including Dynamic Flash for the Nautilus Live website, and Adaptive HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) for mobile devices and tablets. KulaByte also provided an HLS stream for Roku set-top streaming devices that were installed at Nautilus Live Exploration Command Centers at museums, aquariums, and schools. KIT digital’s system employed Akamai’s content delivery network to distribute streams to end-user devices. “The Nautilus Live and JASON Project programs are truly ground breaking in their efforts to give viewers the experience of being aboard the Nautilus ship, sharing discoveries in real time as they watched live ocean exploration and shipboard activities. And, thanks to KulaByte, they could participate using the platform or device of their choice,” said Peter Forman, vice president, internet media division at Haivision Network Video. “Nautilus Live is precisely the type of use case for which KulaByte was designed: a far-reaching programme that relied on live HD video streamed over the internet to provide a valuable learning experience for many types of viewers.”