LAS VEGAS—Live X is a streaming production company that provides live streaming services to promoting companies, live shows and major events. For CES 2017, we needed a bonding device with automatic failover that could confidently keep our stream up.
STARTING THE SHOW
We were the technical production team tasked with providing all of the live web streams for The Vergecast Live. The show was to be streamed exclusively on Twitter live player, a rare occasion because Twitter has no public API for normal broadcasting. The pressure was on to maintain a healthy stream with no drops in connectivity and provide quality streams that The Verge expects.
We needed a full-proof way to bring video feeds from video camera/switcher to Twitter with maximum redundancy. We also needed the video to be visually superior. As a longtime Teradek user, I chose Teradek’s Bond Pro for the job.
The Bond Pro is an H.264 encoder that has six built-in USB ports to bond multiple cellular connections together, as well as an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi capabilities. Streaming up to 10 Mbps at 1080p, its superior video quality and bonded cellular connections made it reliable for our fallback needs.
The set of Live X’s streaming efforts at CES 2017, which were aided by the use of Teradek’s Bond Pro system.
BONDING THE CONNECTIONS
We had two separate Bond Pros on the set. The first Bond Pro we equipped with six 4G modems: two AT&T, two Verizon, and two T-Mobile USB modems. Because USB modem connections often fluctuate between providers, the diversity of three carriers allows for utilizing the maximum bandwidth available in the Bond Pro, at the same time providing automatic failover should one carrier’s connection drop.
We connected the first Bond Pro to a Ross Carbonite Solo switcher, which sent 1080p/29.97 fps feeds via HD-SDI from two Sony FS5s and three Panasonic AWHE130s. We then added our own Live X custom GFX system based on The Verge’s After Effects artwork to this feed as well. After, we configured the Bond Pro to transcode the signal to 720p/59.94 fps, maximizing visibility of the stream for The Verge’s audience. This feed was sent directly from Bond Pro to Twitter live player via RTMP format.
We equipped the second Bond Pro with six USB modems and Ethernet to stream directly to Teradek’s CORE service. CORE is an IP-based management system that can route the Bond Pro feed (and other Teradek encoders) to unlimited RTMP destinations, while monitoring stream upkeep.
From CORE, the second feed was distributed to two destinations: Twitter live player and SnappyTV, a Twitter subsidiary. These were backup streams if the direct RTMP failed. It was not necessary.
The bonded cellular connection we broadcasted with allowed us to stream the entire show in professional-grade 720p/59.94fps for transmission at four Mbps. This allowed the majority of our viewers to watch the stream seamlessly.
The peace of mind that the Bond Pro provides my team is priceless. It allows me to keep my streams up so that my team and I can focus on other responsibilities on set. With this device in my arsenal, I know I can always stream with confidence.
Corey Behnke is founder and president of Live X. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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