Sony Utilizes Wowza Streaming Cloud & SRG Streaming PTZ Camera for NAB 2015June 19, 2015
Case Study Snapshot
Wowza Streaming Cloud™
|Sony SRG-300SE-SDI||Live IP streaming PTZ robotic camera|
|Distribute content worldwide, optimized for different devices/platforms|
Every year, Sony’s press conference at the opening of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas sets the tone for what is the premier venue for professional communication technology. For NAB 2015, Sony’s “Beyond Definition” theme was both captured and demonstrated in a webcast presentation, using a Sony SRG-300SE 3G-SDI and Live IP Streaming PTZ camera to feed video and audio to the Wowza Streaming Cloud service for multi-platform global distribution. Then, throughout the NAB show, the same solution delivered live interviews from the floor to Sony’s worldwide audience.
This simple, single-camera production, run by a one-man operator, produced a broadcast-quality event for a worldwide audience watching on a multitude of devices—including smart TVs, computers and both Android and iOS mobile devices. The SRG-300SE camera synced the full high-definition (HD) image with audio from the event’s mixing board to deliver a bandwidth-efficient H.264 stream live to Wowza Streaming Cloud. From there, visitors to Sony’s website automatically viewed live streams of the event that were not only customized and optimized for their specific device, but also for their available bandwidth. At the same time, the presentation was captured on the portable Sony PMW-RX50 deck via the camera’s 3G-SDI output for archive and playback.
“This demonstration of the power of the SRG-300SE camera delivering content through Wowza Streaming Cloud shows how organizations of any size can reach a global audience with this remarkable, high-quality, high-value and cost-effective joint solution,” said Shinichi Oka, General Manager, Sony Professional Solutions Group. “Our camera makes capturing broadcast-quality HD video easy, while Wowza Streaming Cloud simplifies the streaming process to deliver an extraordinary experience for viewers.”
Oka added that the Sony/Wowza solution is designed for organizations that demand quality, simplicity and value. These include educational organizations, faith-based communities, and a wide range of businesses that seek full professional results despite budgetary constraints.
“Delivering Sony’s NAB 2015 press conference to the world with Wowza Streaming Cloud was the ultimate way to introduce our professional- grade service for live streaming to audiences of any size on any device,” said David Stubenvoll, CEO and co-founder of Wowza Media Systems. “Meeting Sony’s stringent demands for excellence is one thing. But to make it easy, practical, and cost-effective for so many others is the real triumph.”
The Sum of the Parts, Reaching the Whole World
The Sony SRG-300SE PTZ camera is an ideal match for Wowza Streaming Cloud, because it allows advanced capabilities to be operated by simple controls. This gives a single individual with only basic skills the ability to produce professional-quality results. At the NAB conference, this ease of operation was also crucial because of time constraints; the project commenced just weeks before the event.
“Our camera makes capturing broadcast-quality HD video easy, while Wowza Streaming Cloud simplifies the streaming process to deliver an extraordinary experience for viewers.”— Shinichi Oka, General Manager, Sony Professional Solutions Group
For the actual set-up, the most challenging task was placing the camera in an ideal location to capture the presenters as well as presentation materials. Sony’s RM-IP10 remote controller was also used to program presets to point to several places on stage. While the camera operator could have relied on the joystick controller to follow the action, programming preset locations ensured greater consistency. These presets allowed the operator to “find” the podium and other places where presenters would appear with a push of a button. Likewise, when the lights dimmed to project content on a large screen, all the operator had to do was hit the preset to frame it precisely.
A more advanced broadcast, using a professional production switcher, would typically go from the camera feed to the original content appearing on screen. The SRG-300SE captured the content directly from the screen, reflecting the versatility of the Sony/Wowza solution. Sony’s industry-leading View-DR dynamic range expansion technology, incorporated in the SRG-300SE, flawlessly managed the switch from well-lit presenters to the on-screen materials, with varying degrees of lighting and resolution. The camera’s automatic functions managed the focus, exposure control and white balance. The audio output from the mixing board plugged directly into the camera. And the SRG-300SE audio inputs include a mini jack 3.5 mm MIC and RCA Line In.
“While a full, professional production will always have its place, the power and intelligence we have been able to build into the SRG-300SE enables non-professionals to create amazing content,” said Oka.
Connecting the SRG-300SE to the Wowza Streaming Cloud service, too, was largely automatic. Simply plugging the camera into a network connection and making a few selections from a menu screen completes the process. Wowza’s robust and extensible technology is preconfigured to automatically transcode the feed into different streams for different devices and bandwidths for typical-use cases. The simplicity does not restrict more advanced users, however. Preconfigured settings allow both new and experienced users to set up in minutes. In addition, customized APIs and advanced options allow for full control, customization and flexibility.
Another key Wowza Streaming Cloud feature allowed Sony’s website team to incorporate the video stream into their company website seamlessly by providing an embedded player. Online visitors to Sony’s NAB site only saw Sony branding.
“Combined with the excellent imaging from the SRG-300SE, the Wowza solution delivers the power and ‘look’ of a costly, customized streaming implementation with a very different value/cost equation,” said Oka. “This opens the door for many who have wanted to maintain the brand integrity on their websites, but have had to allow third-party logos from streaming providers to contain costs.”