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Ideal LIVE is producing live coverage of a series of matches, sometimes concurrent, for the Malaysian Football League (MFL) 2020 season from several stadiums across Malaysia, and handling the content production tasks in the cloud. To do this, the Ideal LIVE team needs to achieve and maintain robust connectivity that will maintain the quality of their live coverage and allow them to keep to schedule.

Operating as the live broadcast and production division of Ideal Systems, Ideal LIVE is using Dejero EnGo mobile transmitters to establish connectivity between their equipment and the cloud. Dejero develops the proprietary system, Smart Blending Technology, used in EnGo to simultaneously aggregate diverse wired and wireless IP connections from multiple sources. The aggregation forms a virtual network of networks that helps increase the reliability of the connection paths, expanding coverage and increasing bandwidth.

Flyaway Kits

“Dejero’s EnGo is not only suitable for news broadcasters and first responders. It is also a viable alternative for satellite connections or as a reliable system for broadcast-scale national sports coverage,” Updesh Singh said, director of technology, South East Asia, at Ideal Systems Group. “With our implementation at the MFL and other live events, we have achieved the stream quality and resilience needed for most types of remote production. It also operates with more flexibility than traditional set-ups.”

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To cover the matches, Ideal Systems sends lightweight flyaway kits to MFL stadiums. The kits can be set up and are ready to broadcast within 90 minutes. For each match, up to six fixed cameras are positioned around the pitch to cover goal shots, wide, crowd and beauty shots, along with cameras for talent conducting interviews in and around the stadiums.

Dejero EnGo is the data transfer component of the typical Ideal Live kit. The EnGo mobile transmitters are used to set up the multi-cam environment, and to send low latency video to the cloud by combining multiple network connections in real-time. It has a quick start-up time and a simple user interface, and encodes using HEVC compression at bitrates up to 20 Mb/s at 1080p 50/60. The settings are automated – EnGo’s hybrid hardware-software encoding adapts in real-time to the complexity of the video being captured and the network throughput.

At Home in the Cloud

“We have been using Dejero’s system for the MFL coverage for the last two years, and for other live events before that,” said Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO of Ideal Systems South East Asia. “Some companies have taken up cloud initiatives recently in response to the pandemic, but we have been implementing cloud-based remote production and other disruptive industry upgrades for some time, mainly for efficiency and to help customers achieve what they need within their budgets.”

Ideal Systems write their own software and operate their own Ideal Cloud division, which means that as well as integrating cloud hardware and software, they can also apply their understanding of enterprise media systems when designing a project based on cloud infrastructure. Such projects may include hybrid cloud approaches, and remain agnostic to the client’s cloud service providers and vendors. In the case of MFL, the team has virtualised capabilities for graphics, replays and encoding in the cloud and uses Dejero EnGo to deliver content from the matches.

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EnGo transmitters integrate global modems, global roaming connectivity services and interchangeable SIM modules that are internally, plus their own batteries, so that Ideal LIVE can work independently of a venue’s internet or power supply, and don’t have to rely entirely on satellite or fibre connectivity.

Independent Networking

“We can use the EnGo to access up to six different networks to make sure we have reliable connectivity,” Updesh said. “In a rural stadium cell networks can be patchy, and in Kuala Lumpur local networks can become heavily congested when tens of thousands of fans are using their smartphones during a match, so that depending on any single type of connectivity is not practical. The EnGo also has the resilience to perform as normal in the monsoonal rain and very high temperatures and humidity that we experience in Asia.”

Sofiyant Neo, head of Ideal LIVE and the director of media and creative content at Ideal Systems, said that equipment and innovations like the systems Dejero develops have helped them change the focus of companies that, earlier on, would have felt safer relying on traditional methods.

“For example, by using Dejero’s Smart Blending, we have reduced production costs and resources for clients by no longer having to hire a DSNG truck, large production crews or depend on a particular venue’s internet for connectivity,” he said. “We have gradually taken 70 to 80 percent of our workflow into the cloud and proven that the same high level of quality live broadcasting can be achieved remotely from anywhere.”