Viasat Sport: Broadcasting with GigaContent
Denmark's largest producer of live sports programming is on the air with GigaContent. Viasat Sport broadcasts live from all ALKA League (Danish premier league) football games on GigaContent's network. This means that all the best in Danish sports action is delivered securely and in high quality directly into Danish living rooms across the country. Viasat is delighted about GigaContent's solution.
Viasat Sport was the first of the dominant Danish broadcasters to see a big opportunity in employing GigaContent's solutions. Viasat Sport today uses GigaContent's network to broadcast directly from the football games of the ALKA League, and the management is delighted to have received a unique and effective professional solution. GigaContent has given Viasat Sport technical benefits that have not been seen before, says Johnny Sørensen, Technical Manager of Viasat Sport.
- GigaContent provides us with a fast and secure connection with large bandwidth to all of the stadiums of the ALKA League. This means that we are able to broadcast direct ALKA League football without being forced to use several satellite connections and SNG vehicles, and this has simplified our production a lot, says Johnny Sørensen.
No more satellites and SNG
Before GigaContent Viasat Sport was forced to use conventional connections via satellite in order to achieve sufficient security for the transmission. Today Viasat Sport uses two of GigaContents super fast 1G bit connections to transfer SD and HD signals from every ALKA League stadium and back to the control room in Amager, south of Copenhagen. Viasat Sport also uses cross connects to other stadiums, where other matches are underway, and this has opened up for entirely new production opportunities.
- Today the production team in the OB vehicle is able to add live HD signals from parallel games to our main programming stream via GigaContent. This gives additional creative flexibility when we put together our program. It is also possible to download archived footage very quickly, because the connection to our main facility is much faster than before, says Johnny Sørensen.
Perfect sound and pictures with HD and Dolby 5.1
Viasat Sport is also very satisfied with the fact that GigaContent's network is highly future proof. This is due to the fact that all connections are secure and provide gigabits of data speed. The high speeds ensure that Viasat is ready to launch channels in full HD as soon as the need arises, and also full Dolby 5.1 digital surround sound is well on its way into Danish living rooms.
- GigaContents services mean that we are read to send Dolby 5.1 to our viewers already today. Dolby 5.1 employs all of 6 speakers to create a new and much bigger entertainment experience. Particularly the impressive sound creates an effective setting for video on super sharp HD quality, says Johnny Sørensen.
In addition to unlimited access to the GigaContent network Viasat Sport has received a complete set of hardware, including coders, decoders and switches. These units transform the stream of content from Viasat Sport to signals that can be transmitted across GigaContents optical network. Equipment and channels for so-called intercom - meaning internal communications for the production team - also form a part of the total solution.
The future looks bright
Next step for Viasat is to gain super fast access to the most exciting indoor sports events in the country. GigaContent is continuously expanding its coverage and number of points-of-events - meaning locations offering attractive content - and this will soon give Viasat Sport access to among others the most important handball and ice hockey arenas. The goal is to offer direct connections to more than 70 of the most attractive points-of-events in the country.
But Viasat Sport would also be keen to see GigaContent offer even faster services to the stadiums of the ALKA League in order to render the production of direct sports programming easier and more effective.
- If we look further into the future it would be optimal to introduce 13 separate gigabit-speed connections to each stadium corresponding to one connection to each HD camera on site. This would mean that we no longer would need an OB vehicle and local production facilities, and instead could produce the broadcast from our studios in Amager, says Johnny Sørensen.