Vislink’s Mobile Viewpoint Handles Large-Scale Live Streaming During 2020 Tokyo Olympics
A quick survey of Mobile Viewpoint’s broadcast and sport production customers that were live streaming content from this year’s Tokyo Olympics, it was ascertained that between them they took with them over 70 WMT cellular encoders for their outside broadcast needs. However, given the magnitude of this event, it was not enough to meet demand, so Mobile Viewpoint initiated a localized rental service to fulfill the short term needs of their broadcast customers. An additional 40 units were sent to Tokyo and rented out over the duration of the Olympics. As well as enterprise encoders being made available, there was also the new all-in-one TrollyLive making its debut at an Olympics game.
But as with any major sporting event, availability and rental of the hardware is one part of the equation, the other being an emphasis on providing local service. Mobile Viewpoint had 3 support people sent on location to Japan to provide instant support with all units fully tested and operational before the rented units were handed over to the end users in Tokyo. The support team were then available for the duration of the Olympics for any additional service and advice issues before returning to their HQ in the Netherlands at the end of a successful games.
Mobile Viewpoint, who were recently acquired by Vislink, is a major global developer in live streaming solutions for outside broadcast (OB) for video contribution over the public internet and/or cellular network. The cellular encoder products that connect directly to the broadcast camera, are fully portable either in a backpack or on the camera itself. Mobile Viewpoint prides itself on new innovations in an evolving world such as supporting multiple 5G networks, support for 4K resolution, IP Hotspots, and the ability to have a multi-camera production on a single encoder. This means their encoder technology is ideally placed to enable sports broadcasters with their remote production (REMI) needs providing highly reliable and broadcast quality feeds from many of the remote locations that were hosting the many Olympic disciplines in Japan. They also provide rack encoders for OB trucks or for broadcasters needing to live stream from studio-to-studio over the public internet utilizing robust streaming protocols.
Mobile Viewpoint had over 100 of their enterprise encoder products being utilized for the duration of the Olympics in Japan. Some were live streaming locally, but many were live streaming internationally back to the broadcaster’s country of origin that highlighted the new features of the encoders when utilized in a REMI remote production set-up. From a local perspective, it was important that the units could multi-cast meaning many of the broadcast right holders could pick up the content simultaneously.
However, there was another new product that really stole the show and captured the imagination of many of the people using it, and this was the TrollyLive. It was no secret that the Olympics was highly controlled by Covid restrictions, meaning many camera and production personnel were not allowed into various locations. This included the Olympic village where many athletes were staying, and admission was strictly controlled and off limits to the broadcasters. The problem was how could the broadcasters perform interviews with athletes inside the Olympic village? And the answer was the TrollyLive product from Mobile Viewpoint.
TrollyLive is a self-contained mini-studio in a portable and light weight fold-out box. It contains everything needed for remote broadcast including a broadcast PTZ camera, a return video screen that can be used for return video or as a telecast, a standard external microphone is easily connected, and a cellular/Wi-Fi encoder is embedded for connection and live streaming, meaning that no additional network cabling is needed. It can literally be placed anywhere and can live stream to anywhere using bonded cellular connections. But of course, the athletes are non-technical. One of the major features of TrollyLive is that the whole broadcast can be remotely controlled and managed. This includes control of the PTZ camera with its pan, tilt and zoom features, and return audio and video allows the athletes to hear and see the presenter in real time. The whole production can be controlled by a technical team back at the originating broadcaster, wherever they may be located. Once set-up on a Tripod and switched on, the TrollyLive can be left on location for use as and when needed without any physical interference.
Given the enormity of the challenges of the Olympics caused not only by Covid, but by the new technologies and innovation that such a major sporting event demands, Mobile Viewpoint was ideally positioned to have a major involvement in many of the Outside Broadcast needs for many of their enterprise customers. With their recent acquisition by Vislink, who are major developers of short-range RF live streaming solutions that is very complementary to the Mobile Viewpoint products, their goal is to provide a major crossover in both short range and long-distance live streaming. They are set to become a powerhouse of networking in the live broadcast world for sports where 5G, AI, AR, VR, enhanced fan engagement and second screening, to name but a few that will become the de facto in compelling sports viewing, all powered by Vislink and Mobile Viewpoint contribution technology.