New Live Video Cloud features simplify content exchange and production for sports and news organizations

August 16, 2021 by Rick Young, Senior Vice President, Global Products

Sports leagues and news organizations thrive on live video. These organizations spend considerable resources to capture content, but hardware and other practical limitations have made it difficult to scale.

We’ve added two key features and capabilities to enable LTN Live Video Cloud, our video routing platform, to allow efficient content sharing and distribution in a variety of conditions. Customers are telling us they could be game-changers for sports and news organizations.

Conditioning content for sports market expansion

US sports leagues looking for new ways to monetize their live content can tap into regions hungry for it. However, distributing live content to new digital destinations has been a cumbersome process. Distribution destinations have different requirements depending on their language, region, and business rules such as blackouts. Conditioning live video and audio streams for myriad takers involves complex and costly workflows, making it difficult to distribute live content to new markets, especially niche ones.

The new Live Video Cloud stream mapping feature enables organizations to map complex audio requirements and provide different feeds to match geography, language, and business rules. We created this feature for a Tier 1 league that needed to efficiently distribute content to regions with different languages and dialects. They’ve used it to dramatically scale distribution across Europe.

Stream mapping simplifies global sports content distribution

Live content recipients have specific expectations on how they should receive audio and video streams to match their geography, language, dialect, and other market requirements. For example, they might require audio or video on a specific packet identifier (PID). Different stream requirements often lead to mismatches that aren’t immediately obvious to producers or last-minute changes that add complexity and cost.

So far, sports leagues have addressed the challenge of different destination requirements by creating multiple versions of the same feed. This adds a great deal of complexity and cost. Another option was adding additional physical encoders and decoders to carry individual signals, but that meant cost-prohibitive hardware and setup, as well as delays. Adding hardware required a time- and labor-intensive locally deployed workflow with several user interfaces. Engineers had to bring all the feeds in and then manually map the various audio channels to the new feed they streamed out.

Mapping audio feeds became more complex when there were multiple language needs. To complete stream mapping in this way, organizations needed transcoding capacity and routers to isolate audio streams manually as SDI and re-encode back into the new stream for each taker and language.

In addition to the burdensome hardware and bandwidth requirements above, these workflows required deep technical expertise by operations and engineering teams. By managing audio mapping in a straightforward, cloud-hosted interface, complex distribution requirements can be handled by non-technical teams — often editorial or content.

With the audio stream mapping feature, Live Video Cloud becomes the first cloud solution in the market that allows organizations to provide takers with customized streams for single program transport streams (SPTS). These streams include the video and specific language feeds or, for example, the video and an international audio feed with the announcer track removed to allow country-specific language versions. Content owners benefit from flexible cloud-based workflows with just one cloud tool and one UI — Live Video cloud allows multiple outputs and settings that can be customized to match the distribution partners’ requirements.

Stream mapping with Live Video Cloud

The new stream mapping feature delivers:

  • Easy configuration enabling organizations to set up new takers quickly and without additional capex and personnel

  • Real-time changes to audio mapping — even during the live events

  • Transcoding of up to one video and eight audio streams with a single transcoded output

  • Video and audio management on a PES level while running fully in the cloud, a unique capability

Video and international audio streams, including metadata like ad triggers, closed captions, and proprietary data, are captured into Live Video Cloud’s SRT-enabled contribution global ingest network. Live Video Cloud completes stream mapping for each destination before matching the streams to each individual destination. Sports leagues can set up new ad hoc takers with a simple and flexible workflow without worrying about increasing costs.

Content exchange protocols for news organizations: HLS and RTSP protocols

Also in this release, we’ve added HLS and RTSP protocols to help news organizations get the most out of the ever-growing number of live news contribution sources. This means newsroom teams can easily pull live digital feeds or reuse content from partners to reduce production costs and enrich news programs.

And, as with the stream mapping features, we’re putting formerly technical operations and engineering functions in the hands of non-technical teams, empowering content and editorial users to make the right editorial decisions for live news and sports programming.

Ingest live streams from HLS and RTSP sources with Live Video Cloud

The future of global live content distribution made easy

Sports leagues with global aspirations can quickly and efficiently roll out content worldwide and tap into secondary revenue streams through content distribution partners and content licensing. News organizations with national, regional, and local footprints can capture, route, and publish all types of content quickly and efficiently.

Want to learn more about Live Video Cloud? Request a live demo.