Gerald Wong (Senior Vice President, Caton Technology) recently sat down with the IABM to discuss the CatonNet Video Platform and how easy it is for broadcasters to utilise the platform if they have cloud hosted services. Gerald also explains how Caton is working to build on device development and applications that will enable broadcasters out in the field to become more agile in delivering content with speed and efficiency.
The appetite for live, premium content is not going away. There are multiple channels dedicated to sport, and the major events – like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup – attract huge audiences.
Live broadcasting means getting the content from the location to the broadcast centre. Today, we expect multiple contribution feeds, with the ultimate goal of true remote production with only the cameras and microphones on site and all switching, replays and graphics back at base.
There simply is not enough satellite capacity to meet this requirement today, and the situation will only get worse as the spectrum for C-band satellites is transferred to 5G and future cellular communications.
Dedicated, point-to-point fibre is available in some locations, although not necessarily with enough bandwidth for large numbers of feeds. Installing this connectivity means extended planning and disruptive installation. In turn, this means that for a carrier to make this investment, they will want a long-term contract (measured in years rather than weeks), so the broadcaster or production company is paying a lot when the circuits are not being used.
There is a solution which is perhaps surprising: the public internet. Most sports venues are in metropolitan areas, where there is likely to be plenty of dark fibre connectivity available. The live production simply camps onto this capacity as it is needed, with little set-up time required and paying only for the time and capacity actually used.
The counter-argument, of course, is that bandwidth on the internet is non-deterministic. How can you guarantee the service level you need for your content, given that in live events a second take is not an option?
The answer is that there must be a transport layer to guarantee high quality and low latency. This is not a simple task when handling live video streaming, which is extremely demanding.
Caton Transport Protocols (CTP) is a standards-based framework, which ensures that it is perfectly plug-and-play. But contained within it are more than 30 algorithms, implementing machine and deep learning approaches to smooth and mitigate network challenges. Coupled with Caton’s dynamic error correction, it ensures the highest possible quality from any IP circuit – including the internet.
Busy production companies have their work cut out planning, managing and delivering excellent, immersive coverage. Rather than get involved in the details of internet connectivity, we offer CatonNet Video Platform (CVP), a turnkey service from door to door. It can be implemented on your premises, in the cloud, or as a service from Caton.
CVP can use CTP, or it can send and receive using a broad range of industry standard protocols like SRT, HLS, TCP and UDP. It has points of presence in more than 60 countries worldwide, making it very widely available for location events. It is specifically designed with remote production in mind, supporting NDI for multiple feeds in a constrained bandwidth.
The system can be tuned to your preference in balancing error correction and latency, with guaranteed service levels up to 99.999% stream availability.
This fully managed service is already in regular use by major content creators, broadcasters and service providers globally. We are making secure, reliable IP contribution over the internet a daily occurrence.
We'd love to chat about your video and data IP transmission needs and discover how Caton can add value to your organization. To contact us or schedule a meeting with a member of the team, click the button below to access our regional contact information.