Virtual reality is bringing music fans from around the globe to today’s most exciting concerts. September offered a live VR video concert by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Berlin. Last month, legendary electronic musician and composer Jean-Michel Jarre delivered a rare performance, which was made available to worldwide fans via live VR video from Paris.
The climax of Jarre’s two-month long European tour, Electronica, occurred at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. It included live performances of his most famous work, the Oxygène Trilogy, and his latest composition, Oxygène 3. Fans unable to attend any of more than three dozen concerts did not have to miss out.
The Paris concert was streamed live using a Nokia OZO camera, allowing music lovers beyond the arena and across the continent the opportunity to experience the performance in stunning 360-degree full spherical imagery. Key to making this happen was an Elemental Live 4K video encoder that received output from the Nokia OZO camera’s eight lenses as four SDI feeds, and encoded them into a single 4Kp30 stream for delivery for real-time playback on the Jean-Michel Jarre YouTube channel. Fans were able to watch live concert footage with a VR headset, or on a smartphone or computer, and the image supported viewers with a full 360-degree panorama.
OZO Live delivers scalable flexibility, fitting into any broadcast workflow with full support up to premium 3D 360 audio and video output. OZO Live has been used along with Elemental Live for professional real-time VR streaming at some of the world’s largest events; from a mass with Pope Francis to the Austin City Limits music festival, the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Berlin, a Pink performance at the red carpet premiere of “Alice Through The Looking Glass” and now the Jean-Michel concert in Paris.
The video game industry recognizes outstanding artistic, technical and gameplay achievements in the much-anticipated annual ceremony for The Game Awards 2016. The event, hosted in Los Angeles, was shown live on every gaming screen and in virtual reality, and for the first time in 4K. Promotional materials contend that this is a new breed of awards show, built exclusively for global digital and streaming platforms. Since the show aired live on YouTube, it has garnered more than 1.5 million views. Live viewership increased 65 percent in 2016 over the prior year.
For the live and video-on-demand broadcasts, fans streamed regular and 360-degree video in ultra-high definition at up to 60 frames per second. Viewers watched the prestigious Game of the Year honor awarded to Blizzard Entertainment for Overwatch, among others, on YouTube apps for smart TVs, desktop PCs and dedicated 4K streaming devices.
The event was filmed and produced by Gameslice under the leadership of executive producers Geoff Keighley and Hyunjoo Kim, with Michael Fellner, Technical Advisor. All Mobile Video (AMV), a full-service production company, was responsible for the video processing and delivery of the live streaming broadcast. The newest addition to the AMV fleet, a 53-foot double-expando mobile production unit named Zurich, is the company’s largest and most powerful high-dynamic range and 4K production truck. The truck was on site for the production and broadcast of The Game Awards. AMV Digital Media operations have standardized on Elemental video processing for its 4K glass-to-glass workflow, which includes Elemental Live video encoders.
MegaFon, a leading telco and mobile operator in Russia, has recently experienced a staggering 140-fold increase in users for its over-the-top (OTT) TV service MegaFon.TV. Since its launch, the service has seen users grow from approximately 10,000 to more than 1.4 million. Video solutions from Elemental have helped make that growth possible.
The second largest mobile phone and telco operator by number of subscribers in Russia, MegaFon was the first company in Russia to launch a 3G cellular service, and first in the world with a commercial LTE-Advanced (4G) service. The company has a goal to be the leading OTT video service in Russia. This was a driver behind the company’s decision to evaluate its technology platform.
MegaFon moved into the OTT market with MegaFon.TV in 2012. Since then, it has built a video infrastructure that includes encoders and transcoders from a variety of vendors, along with some ad hoc management tools and processes. To meet its goals and to serve the ever-growing number of connected devices and formats on the market, Megafon leaders recognized that they needed a more sophisticated video platform.
The company talked to a number of vendors, but only Elemental was able to address better ways of working and an integrated solution. MegaFon recognized the need to support large numbers of end-user devices, with better quality and more content. The company also needed to add catch-up TV and start-over TV services to launch its video-on-demand (VOD) offering and the ability to increase revenues through enhanced advertising.
The MegaFon.TV workflow includes a suite of Elemental video processing and delivery solutions. Elemental Delta just-in-time packaging brings content together at the point of request and ensures maximum efficiency of content servers and content delivery network. Elemental Live is gradually replacing existing transcoders as they become life-expired, resulting in improved image quality while future-proofing the MegaFon infrastructure to accommodate new formats and technological advancements, such as high-efficiency video coding (HEVC/H.265). Elemental Server efficiently transcodes VOD content to rapidly expand the MegaFon.TV video library.
The Elemental solution meets MegaFon’s goal of a single solution that is cross-platform, scalable and reliable. It also provides better functionality and a more efficient workflow than legacy solutions. During major seasonal promotions which generated a huge increase in simultaneous connections for MegaFon.TV, Elemental video processing and delivery supported a significant growth in the number of paid subscriptions, all the while providing subscribers with consistent premium quality streaming video.