CERN Shares its Work With the World Using Wowza Technology

Case Study Snapshot




Wowza Streaming Engine™

Use Case
Research and collaboration; live event broadcasting


Tens of thousands of scientists and engineers from hundreds of research facilities and universities collaborate on experiments hosted at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). When the sophisticated broadcast system CERN operates to share its work with the world was due for an upgrade, Wowza Streaming Engine™ software was the solution.


CERN Seeks Reliable, Global Streaming

CERN needed a media-streaming solution on par with its research capabilities to meet its internal requirements as well as the public’s expectations. To accommodate the growing number of viewers on a wide range of devices, CERN began investigating solutions with three key requirements:

  • The capacity to handle global delivery to any device, anytime.
  • Exceptional reliability.
  • Easy deployment and management with minimal infrastructure configuration.


Breakthrough Moments Shared With the World Through Wowza

Powering an expanded streaming program with Wowza Streaming Engine™ was the solution. Wowza Streaming Engine helped power the global broadcast of one of the most monumental discoveries in CERN history—a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson, an elemental particle that is fundamental to virtually all matter. With Wowza™ software in place, CERN is able to achieve the following:

  • Engaging content delivery: For the Higgs boson announcement, CERN streamed two simultaneous feeds—one of the speaker and one of the slideshow presentation—giving viewers a more complete and engaging experience.
  • Streamlined delivery to any device: Wowza Streaming Engine’s built-in transcoding capability transforms live streams for global delivery across a wide array of network conditions and devices, which is vital for engaging CERN’s audiences around the world.
  • Social media outreach: “We were surprised by the high number of connections from mobile devices [on the day of the Higgs boson announcement]: many people saw the webcast link in social media on their smartphones and clicked on it to watch it directly that way,” explains Marek Domaracky, webcast manager, CERN.


Simple, Scalable Streaming

Wowza technology enables CERN to offer more frequent and more robust live-streamed events than were possible before. Since adopting Wowza Streaming Engine software, CERN has streamed many important announcements, drawing thousands of concurrent viewers. Benefits of working with Wowza include:

  • Global broadcasting with confidence: Wowza technology allowed CERN to stream the Higgs boson event at 5Gbps over more than 5,000 simultaneous connections, including a live feed to hundreds in attendance at the world’s biggest particle-physics conference.
  • More events with less effort: “We organize around 300 [events] per year now because we can do it with greater efficiency and larger capacity,” says Domaracky.
  • Exceptional scalability: The first-ever TEDxCERN event drew more than 10,870 unique viewers to the live simulcast, including viewing parties held at 27 institutions around the world. Domaracky recognizes, “With Wowza, we now have the capacity to support 6,000+ concurrent connections, and can scale larger if needed.”

“Switching to Wowza allowed us to significantly increase our
number of webcasts…We don’t have to worry about the number of connections or viewers. We’re confident the infrastructure will support the load.” —Marek Domaracky, webcast manager, CERN

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