Live Performance of The Australian Ballet Broadcast over 5G to Cinemas
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital used their Cinema Direct 5G content delivery system for the live performance
SYDNEY—Telstra and media asset management specialists Silver Trak Digital have announced that they used their 5G Cinema Direct content delivery service to deliver the first ever live event for The Australian Ballet to select cinemas over 5G.
The March 24 broadcast over 5G allowed audiences in select cinemas to see the live performance from Melbourne of Don Quixote.
The performance was managed over Telstra’s Internet Delivery Network (IDN) using Telstra's best of breed 5G technology to deliver the content to cinemas from Telstra partner 5Stream Streaming Solutions.
“Telstra and The Australian Ballet have had a close relationship for over 30 years,” Silver Trak CEO, Tim Creswell, explained. “The Australian Ballet have been keen to take their live events to audiences in shared spaces such as movie theaters for some time and have now partnered with their long-time distributor Sharmill Films to bring their first truly live event to cinemas across Australia. The enabling technology is Telstra and Silver Trak Digital’s 5G Cinema Direct content delivery service.”
In order to fulfil the content delivery requirements for the event, Silver Trak Digital and Telstra took the live production feed and distributed it to participating cinemas with the Cinema Direct technology installed in real time.
Head of APAC Telstra Broadcast Services, Karen Clark, added Silver Trak are the front-end organizers of the process. Telstra took the feed directly from the production and delivered it to cinemas via “our proprietary IDN and over our 5G wireless network. Delivering live events, in real time, over IDN technology and using a 5G wireless network to do this is truly ground-breaking,” he said.
This unique live broadcast event was first envisaged shortly after the launch of Cinema Direct at an industry summit hosted by Telstra where partners 5Stream, Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS) and Silver Trak Digital proved that it was now possible to get professional grade content of both niche and major events into any and all cinemas regardless of location over 5G.
For this particular event The Australian Ballet and Sharmill Films required Telstra, TBS, Silver Trak Digital and Cinema Direct to acquire, manage and guarantee delivery of a high definition 1080p / 2k stream (approximately 20 mbps), into multiple cinemas simultaneously, with little to no technical expertise required by the cinemas themselves.
Sharmill Films CEO, Katharine Thornton explained that “Having shown delayed dance events for some time, they don’t have the same impact as the experience of live dance events. The Cinema Direct solution is exciting in that it gives access to people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to view the performance collectively. Thus, for people in rural Australia this solution now connects them to the very best arts content. Live dance is designed to be viewed collectively as the performance has been created for a shared audience. By watching it in this way the cinema audience will also be embracing the true excitement and complete experience of watching The Australian Ballet. In terms of cost effectiveness, by using Cinema Direct, we also have no need to book expensive satellite time.”
“Silver Trak will orchestrate the content partnerships in line with our vast breadth of contacts, through our bookings portal,” Creswell added. “Telstra Broadcast Services, who have specialist 24x7 broadcast master control teams in Australia and around the world, will handle the booking and the live stream, keeping it on their network and guaranteeing it the entire way. They will do this by targeting the cinemas using their industry-grade IDN broadcast interchange platform and delivering the content using a specialist configuration of 5G cellular running on high grade modems and antennas.”
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.