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Telestream Tells IBC of Plans to Track Live Stream Latency
With help from Unified Streaming, Telestream has diverted all of its R&D into Project Orchid, which is designed to offer one-click live channel origination that supports real-time self-optimisation

Telestream aims to help solve OTT latency by adding timestamps to streams as part of its cloud-based playout solution Project Orchid. Still in prototype and with proof of concepts in the works, Telestream says it has reduced total channel start-up time from months to minutes.

"Broadcasters can launch on-demand channels with a single click," claimed CEO Scott Puopolo at IBC. "We have diverted all of our R&D into the project and have all the intellectual knowledge for the future of IP delivery."

Orchid integrates live adaptive streaming production with live monitoring and actionable analytics in a completely virtualised deployment. What results is a claimed "one-click live channel origination" that supports real-time self-optimisation.

Telestream is far from the only company targeting the cloud migration space. Cinegy, for example, helped Globecast launch an UHD HDR channel in the UK using its software playout solutions.

According to Stuart Newton, VP strategy & business development, Telestream’s advantage is embedded live stream monitoring.

"As you move to the cloud, monitoring is no longer an option," he said. "With cloud, engineers can no longer simply plug in their test equipment. You need to tap between virtual machines and probe between containers because everything is more dynamic when you are spinning up and down a channel. You have to configure the monitoring system very quickly and take it down in a few days in order to facilitate the growing demand for pay-as-you-go channels."

Live streamed latency is a huge issue impacting the rollout of sports OTT. Telestream is attempting to solve this as part of Orchid.

"Latency is inherent in HLS and DASH-based systems, but the problem is that no one is really sure where in the chain latency comes from," said Newton. "We’ve always wanted to track latency, but it’s extremely hard because you have to track from ingest to encoder and ingest to packager, and at packager output, the CDN, and the origin. What we intend to do as part of Orchid is to timestamp at every point and then monitor at every point along the chain. We want to talk with the industry about adopting this idea more broadly."

Orchid includes Unified Streaming technology for DRM functionality and just-in-time packaging.

At an event hosted by Telestream at IBC, Fox Sports VP Field Operations Engineering Kevin Callahan said the sportscaster was looking to deploy an OTT solution for UHD HDR programming in the U.S. based on the successful OTT UHD HDR live streams from the FIFA World Cup Russia. 

"We’re not yet at a point where we can do this for the NFL in UHD HDR," he said. "Given the sheer number of cameras and the high frame rates of some specialist cameras at these ball games, then streaming at premium quality would tie up too many resources. If we did it it would have to be a significantly reduced or altered show."

He said part of the solution would be a means to be able to preview and switch more feeds without restricting bandwidth within the production facility.

The World Cup solution backhauled the host feed from Moscow to LA using Aspera and Telestream technology with a latency of just 124 milliseconds encoded in HEVC.

"We held all language rights in North America but Telemundo held Spanish language rights. It was point of principle that we beat the competition to air with all important action."

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