EURO 2012 Digital Video Service Relied on Aspera Technology

UEFA integrated the Aspera platform with the LIVEX On Demand service for video content contribution, publishing, and distribution to broadcast partners around the world, as well as end-to-end workflow orchestration throughout the entire Euro 2012 tournament.

The LIVEX On-Demand digital video service relied on Aspera technology to deliver over 3,000 near-live in-match and post-match video clips, amounting to nearly 27 terabytes of full HD content to official partners around the world for broadcast to their subscribers.

To provide high-speed upload of content from remote stadiums across Poland and the Ukraine to the UEFA International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Warsaw, Aspera Point-to-point clients were installed at Digital Media Lounges at each sports venue and the Aspera Enterprise Server at the central facility. This allowed ENG (Electronic News Gathering) crews to send time-critical video content to the IBC at maximum speed using Aspera’s patented fasp transport technology.

Once received, all content and associated metadata went through a series of automated processing and publishing tasks centrally managed by Aspera’s workflow orchestration platform, Aspera Orchestrator, which also handled all progress notifications and necessary real-time alerts to UEFA staff.

The final steps in making the content available to broadcast partners involved automatically transferring hi-res content to cloud storage and publishing low-res proxy versions to an ordering portal, and digitally delivering the final video product direct to the broadcaster.

Using the Aspera Enterprise Server at the IBC, hi-res content was transferred directly to Amazon S3 storage using Aspera On Demand running in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. The corresponding low-res proxy version was concurrently sent via Aspera fasp for immediate publishing to the UEFA broadcaster dedicated portal, where broadcast partners were able to browse and select the content they needed to acquire. Once selected, the final content and associated metadata was delivered to the broadcast partners around the globe using Aspera’s faspex On Demand solution running in the AWS cloud, with the available option for automatic download straight to a computer at the partner’s facility, equipped with the Aspera Cargo Downloader, fasp technology helped to ensure that high round-trip times, packet loss and network congestion did not impede transfer speed or predictability.

Finally, to ensure smooth operation for the entire system, UEFA staff, as well as the Aspera 24×7 support team, relied on Aspera Console – Aspera’s centralized, web-based management interface for real-time monitoring and management of all transfer activity, and post-hoc reporting.

Olivier Gaches, UEFA digital media manager commented, “The Aspera fasp transfer performance and predictability enabled us to rapidly make content available to our broadcast partners with confidence. Orchestrator’s power and flexibility proved itself by letting us easily create and manage new workflows throughout the tournament.”

This complex content delivery workflow relied on Aspera software from start to finish, with on-premise software deployments to power contribution, file-based workflow orchestration and overall management. Combining on-demand, cloud-based infrastructure with Aspera solutions provided complete flexibility and scalability in handling publishing and delivery for large volumes of digital content with hard-to-predict spikes in activity, and was tailored to a time-limited event, for which the investment in on-premise resources would have been cost-prohibitive.

“We are extremely pleased that UEFA put their trust in Aspera to provide them with a solution so vital to the success of LIVEX On-Demand,” said Steve Pollini, vice president of technology Solutions for Aspera. “This is a great hybrid computing example where enterprise and cloud components are used together enabling high-quality content to be served highly efficiently even at global distances, in support of large-scale events.”

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