M3U.com's satellite connectivity is behind the new Virgin Media Fan Van. M3U.com encodes and transmits the content over its secure, rapid satellite broadband internet connection from Virgin Media's new mobile TV studio to Virgin Media's own internal network.
John Riordan, M3U.com's managing director said: "Traditional, fully functional outside TV broadcast units are extremely expensive. The lack of affordable alternatives has meant that the TV industry only addressed large live events that could draw correspondingly large TV audiences. Broadband, affordable IP VSAT satellite connectivity and the falling costs of production equipment have changed things radically, and now virtually any live event is a potential candidate for our services. Smaller niche events can now afford to broadcast live with M3U.com's dedicated outside broadcasting unit."
By visiting Virgin Media's sports portal (www.virginmedia.com/sport) on Saturdays, sports fans are able to immerse themselves in near live content including interviews, commentary, fans' views, comedy from Terry Alderton and other fan-related footage. The content is also archived on the site so it can be streamed for viewing at anytime.
The Fan Van is on the road at sporting fixtures across the country, including following the ups and down of the Premier League season, equipped with M3U.com's outside broadcasting unit. The broadcasting unit carries encoding and production facilities that enables Virgin to go live at any time. Chris Bunyan, Virgin Media's director of portal said: "M3U.com impressed us with their track record of securing satellite uplinks in complex broadcast environments and their 100% record of no 'dead air' during live broadcasts."
M3U.com is providing the Virgin Media Fan Van with a symmetrical 1024Kbps satellite broadband internet connection. Large content files can be rapidly uploaded to the Virgin Media network and either streamed live, known as webcasting, or saved for later online streaming. M3U.com was the first company to build an outside broadcasting unit dedicated to providing a professionally managed, cost effective live webcasting service.
Bunyan added: "Sport is all about the fans and the internet is the perfect medium for bringing the beautiful game to life. But no matter what the sport, fans will find www.virginmedia.com/sport the best place to get their daily dose of what's going on."