Deltatre and Elemental Target Multi-Screen Sports Delivery

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As the balance of viewing of international sports events shifts inexorably from linear TV to multi-screen consumption, comes announcement of a significant technology pact which looks set to dominate the production and distribution of online video around global spectaculars like the FIFA World Cup and 2014 Winter Olympics.

Video processing specialist Elemental Technologies has combined with IT and streaming video group Deltatre to deliver what the pair describe as a “turnkey digital video solution for sports rights-holders and broadcasters.”

Specifically, the solution will see Elemental video processing systems Elemental Live and Elemental Server paired with Diva (Data Integrated Video Application), Deltatre's white label digital video platform.

The companies previously combined forces for the 2012 Olympic Games, where deltatre supplied Olympic data and/or multilateral video services and/or mobile applications to the BBC and NBCUniversal Media at, France Télévisions, and RTVE Spain as well as to organising committee LOGOC, among other broadcast clients and media organisations. Deltatre has a nine-year deal (until 2020) to provide the BBC with an internal scheduling system for sports events.

Deltatre employed Elemental systems at broadcaster facilities, providing an on-premise adaptive bit rate encoding workflow. The solution also enables on-boarding of third-party technologies such as content delivery and ad insertion solutions.

Diva unites real-time data with PVR-style functionality and was originally tested during the 2008 Beijing Games. The Turin, Italy-based firm adapted the platform for the BBC, NBC, CTV, and NRK's coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and for Sky Sports Champions League coverage in 2010-2011. It was also used by UEFA during the Euro 2012 Championships and by French broadcaster TF1 for its coverage of the Rugby World Cup 2011.

“Digital video consumption is growing dramatically on all devices: laptops, tablets, and smartphones. We need to provide the best possible quality on all screens with an optimized workflow,” commented Carlo De Marchis, chief product officer at Deltatre. “The selection of Elemental as our preferred video processing partner reflects the importance of both quality and flexibility.

“Together, we will increase the overall quality, consistency, and service level for our joint customers but also we will enable new user experiences to become reality.”

For many customers like France Télévisions, Diva was used during the Olympics to combine rights holding broadcasters' own linear channels with up to 24 multilateral online streams and live sports data. Deltatre took the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) provided video and audio IP feeds, encoded them using Elemental's encoders and integrated them with data collected by ATOS Origin and Omega on behalf of OBS.

“Normally you are guided by the integrated feed provided by a broadcaster, which is fine, but consumers today want the ability to dive deeper into their favourite sport and to keep abreast of events as they happen,” explained Delatre's strategic business development director Ciaran Quinn. “Watching sports via digital devices is not about just streaming video; it’s about giving fans a complete experience bringing together photos, articles, interactive schedules, and detailed, interactive results, as well as social aspects and a feeling of community.”

Online delivery of live action to multiple screens are expected to be a fixture of sports events coverage from now on, with FIFA already planning to disseminate record volumes of video to rights holders feeding mobile devices next year.

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