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Dubai Live Video from DJI Drone using Streambox’s Avenir Drone

By | Avenir, Cloud, Apps & Software, Drone Encoder, Public Safety, Success Stories | No Comments

Dubai Police Department streamed live video from their DJI drone using the Streambox AVENIRDrone Mobile Encoder over bonded cellular networks to the Streambox Cloud where the video was routed and streamed for low latency playout and viewing. The ability to use a Streambox Drone Encoder to stream live video cut costs and gave remote situational awareness for general surveillance.

The video above was captured using the Streambox AVENIRDrone Encoder. The AVENIRDrone is a lightweight mobile video encoder that can fit in the palm of your hand. Using Streambox technology, the AVENIRDrone is able to stream live HD video using a bonded mobile network. An optional Embedded Modem Module, that supports 3G/4G/LTE, was used for IP connectivity.

The AVENIRDrone is part of the Streambox AVENIR family. The encoder supports HD-SDI and HDMI video capture and streams in HD video at 2.5 Mbps over multiple cellular data connections to Streambox Cloud. From the Cloud, the video is routed to playout destinations that include live publishing to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and even your own website.

Live video, with the option to be encrypted, is sent to the Streambox Cloud where it can be securely viewed by authorized users or routed to other destinations. The durability and ease of use of the AVENIRDrone make it an ideal product for public safety and security. To learn more about the AVENIRDrone and Streambox Cloud click the buttons below.

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King County Sheriffs Live Helicopter Footage with Streambox

By | Avenir, Avenir Micro, Avenir Mini, Broadcast, Cloud, Apps & Software, Public Safety, Streambox Platform Solutions, Success Stories | No Comments

Streambox Partners with King County Sheriffs Department in Seattle to stream live video from a patrolling helicopter. The footage captured was a demo of Streambox Technology and how it can be used in emergency situations.

Using a FLIR camera to capture video, the helicopter footage was then streamed live over 2 AT&T and 2 Verizon modems to Streambox Cloud using an AVENIRMicro.

A sample of the demo footage can be found below. For more information on this story, or if you want to learn more about Streambox Services, please contact our sales team at: sales@streambox.com

Streambox Cloud is a secure live video management system that allows its users to have full control of their video streams from their web browser. The Cloud provides live video routing, archiving, transcoding, and management of videos for broadcasts, streaming, and live production. Compatible software encoders and mobile apps are free with the purchase of a Cloud Package making it an end to end service. Lastly video playout can be sent to multiple web video channels, including social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter/Periscope.

AVENIRMicro is a lightweight mobile broadcasting and live video encoder. The encoder provides enhanced bonded connectivity capabilities with significantly more efficient encoding for HD and SD broadcasting. Designed for easy integration and outstanding quality, the miniature, low-power device can be used with broadcast cameras, satellite terminals, medical imaging, corporate media systems and various other video systems.

Facebook

Publishers Clearing House uses Streambox for Facebook Streams

By | Avenir, Avenir Mini, Cloud, Apps & Software, Press Release, Streambox Platform Solutions, Success Stories | No Comments

Publishers Clearing House is an American interactive media company best known for its Prize Patrol. The famous Prize Patrol began surprising winners with oversized checks on live TV in 1988. The memorable, real-life reactions of stunned sweepstakes winners became a cultural phenomenon, entertaining audiences and spawning a number of good-natured skits on such TV shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show. With individual sweepstakes winners taking home up to $10 million, Publishers Clearing House has awarded over $315 million in total prize money and was looking to give out even more using Facebook Live.

Streambox “enabled us to go live on Facebook, adding credibility to our process. There are still some who doubt whether we are really giving away money or not and this was a big part of helping confirm our legitimacy.”

Publishers Clearing House needed to be able to stream broadcast quality video live to its Facebook page using professional HD-SDI cameras and could not worry about having available WiFi or ethernet networks. Production trucks are one way to deliver live video without WiFi or ethernet, but can cost over a million dollars each and these production costs stopped Publishers Clearing House from doing live Prize Patrol feeds for several decades. In 2016, Publishers Clearing House purchased a Streambox Avenir Mini 3, a mobile bonded cellular encoder with five embedded 3G/4G/LTE  modems, and a Streambox Cloud subscription because of Streambox’s unbeatable reliability and cost to own and operate. With its new Streambox equipment the Prize Patrol resumed its professional quality live productions and now Publishers Clearing House does about ten livestreamed awards a year and that number will likely increase in the near future.

Prior to Streambox Publishers Clearing House would record and run back to the hotel to edit and deliver through a web transfer to headquarters for posting on social media. Kenny Ringgold, Senior Manager of Video and Photography at Publishers Clearing House said that Streambox, “enabled us to go live on Facebook, adding credibility to our process. There are still some who doubt whether we are really giving away money or not and this was a big part of helping confirm our legitimacy.”

Publishers Clearing House films with one of its Canon C300 or Sony FS7 cameras connected to Avenir Mini 3. Avenir Mini 3 encodes the video into Streambox’s ACT-L3 format for reliable video transport via five embedded cellular modems to Streambox Cloud. From Streambox Cloud the video is transcoded and sent live to Facebook.

The Avenir Mini 3 is designed for maximum portability with broadcasters’ needs in mind. It has a small form factor, weighs only 3.6 lbs, has a 1-2 hr battery life (depending on battery type), attaches to many cameras, and holds 5 embedded 3G/4G/LTE modems (expandable to 15 total by adding a Streambox Signal Extender module) that are all be bonded using Streambox technology.

“There has been nothing but positive reaction to our live feeds, the quality of the audio and the video is a huge step up from what we were doing before.”

Workflow

Streaming to Facebook Live using only cellular networks is critical to Publishers Clearing House’s workflow. Publishers Clearing House works in demanding production conditions without the luxury of pre-production testing. Its various remote and untested locations are not even determined until two days before shooting and are not available to test until literally minutes before going live (the genuine surprise of the winner is essential and bandwidth testing would betray the secret). Facebook advises users to only use WiFi when streaming live as a 3G/4G/LTE connection will not offer enough bandwidth to deliver quality video without buffering, but that would be impossible for Publishers Clearing House and its production demands if not for Streambox. Streambox untethers Publishers Clearing House from the WiFi restriction by bonding multiple networks (including 3G/4G/WiFi/internet) to build enough bandwidth to stream high-quality, uninterrupted video.

Avenir Mini 3 compresses video from Publishers Clearing House’s cameras using Streambox’s Advanced Compression Technology – Level 3 (ACT-L3) codec, optimized for efficiency, low bandwidth, and high video fidelity. ACT-L3 works in conjunction with Low Delay Multi-Path technology (LDMP) for seamless video delivery. LDMP automatically bonds all available networks and maintains the best possible bandwidth, latency, and resolution over the networks. LDMP works with 3G/4G/LTE, WiFi, BGAN and other IP networks, but Publishers Clearing House needs to be fully mobile so it uses 2 Verizon modems, 2 AT&T, and a T-Mobile modem. LDMP automatically selects the best network path for Publishers Clearing House’s stream. If one modem/carrier has connectivity issues, has its network bogged down, or drops out altogether LDMP will adjust in real time to move the delivery to the other modems/carriers and adjust latency or quality if necessary to ensure that the video is delivered to Streambox Cloud. LDMP assures Publishers Clearing House does not have to worry about a congested cell tower eating into its available bandwidth while live on air and interrupting its stream.

“Streambox has given us the ability to broadcast our winning moments to our more than 2 million Facebook fans live!”

The video captured by Avenir Mini 3 is sent to Streambox Cloud where it is archived, transcoded, and played out in real time on Facebook Live. Streambox Cloud’s transcoding enables multiple viewings at once without losing video quality or delivery speed. Along with feed management, security, and delivery reliability, Streambox provides the ability to add post-production effects with live team contribution via third party software. Without Streambox, Facebook Live is a mobile app limited by a phone’s camera and connectivity, but as part of a Streambox Solution, Facebook Live is the publishing platform of a professional quality production with broadcast cameras and not bound by a single cellular network or WiFi connection. “There has been nothing but positive reaction to our live feeds, the quality of the audio and the video is a huge step up from what we were doing before,” said Ringgold.

Using its Streambox solution has given Publishers Clearing House the ability to implement reliable remote streaming for its live events which has positively impacted its social media views and brand credibility all for a reasonable price. Ringgold said, “Streambox has given us the ability to broadcast our winning moments to our more than 2 million Facebook fans live! This has a tremendous impact on our brand credibility, and helps people see that Publishers Clearing House really does give away millions of dollars.”

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City of Seattle Live Streams with Streambox

By | 9200 Rackmount, Avenir, Avenir Micro, Broadcast, Cloud, Apps & Software, Live Events, Streambox Cloud Services, Success Stories | No Comments

On Monday, September 26, 2016, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray used Streambox to livestream his 2017 city budget proposal to YouTube, Facebook, and the city’s websites.

While Mayor Murray gave his speech from City Hall, Seattle Channel, Seattle’s government access TV station, had a Streambox 9200 rackmount at its broadcast center receiving video from the HD video cameras. The 9200 encoded and sent the live video stream to Streambox Cloud for transcoding and delivery.

For redundancy Seattle Channel had a backup system of a ProRes camera connected to a Streambox Avenir Micro mobile encoder in City Hall Chambers. The Avenir Micro bonds all available wired and wireless networks for reliable streaming even in areas where one network would not suffice. Although the backup unit was not needed, having it available provided comfort for the staff concerned with reliability given previous streaming failures.

Seattle Channel used Streambox Cloud for distribution to Facebook, YouTube, and Seattle Channel’s website, as well as using Streambox’s embedded plugin for the City of Seattle website. Streambox provides multi bitrate streaming which matches the best possible resolution and bitrate with the viewer’s bandwidth, giving them the best video their internet speed will allow.

City of Seattle’s CTO, Michael Mattmiller, watched the feed on multiple devices to oversee reliability due to the fact that Seattle Channel’s previous solutions had not been able to achieve sustained reliability. Streambox performed perfectly on not only one, but four sites at once so Seattle Channel now has a clear and reliable solution for the future.

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Bon Air Baptist Church Case Study

By | Avenir Micro, Streambox Cloud Services, Streambox Rackmounts, Success Stories | No Comments

Point-to-Multi-Point House of Worship Solution

Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia is “one church, multiple locations” but needed a more efficient way to connect those locations. It wanted to move from physically driving the pastor’s message on hard drives to its satellite campuses to streaming the message to those campuses in HD. Bon Air Baptist bought new video equipment and chose Streambox as its video streaming solution for Streambox’s video quality, reliability, stability, and ease of time-shifting.

Before implementing its Streambox solution, Bon Air Baptist would record Senior Pastor Tom Stocks’ message in SD to two hard drives. The production team would check the files to make sure nothing had been corrupted then hand the hard drive to a driver ready to go to his designated campus 15 minutes away, leaving little cushion for errors (or traffic).

In addition to connecting The Village and James River campuses with Pastor Tom’s messages, the members of Bon Air Baptist wanted high-quality, no fail video. The media team modeled itself after broadcast producers and demanded broadcast quality.

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As part of the bigger audio-visual upgrade and streaming implementation, Bon Air Baptist purchased new cameras, controllers, and mixers to replace its analog SD equipment, and used Streambox AVENIRMicro mobile encoder, Streambox Cloud, and Streambox 9200 rackmounts for its point-to-multipoint streaming solution.

Bon Air Baptist’s new Panasonic AW HE130 remotely controlled PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras feed into a Roland VR-50HD Multi-Format AV Mixer for live camera switching. All the camera feeds are recorded with Atomos Ninja 2 recorders, giving Bon Air Baptist a file library of all its messages. The produced video feed then goes to a Streambox AVENIRMicro mobile encoder for encoding and delivery. The AVENIRMicro was originally intended as a mobile unit, but the small form factor with all the rackmount encoder capabilities is perfect for Bon Air Baptist. It has all the power in a tidy package. One of the key reasons that Bon Air Baptist chose Streambox is the quality and reliability of Advanced Compression Technology – Level 3 (ACT-L3).  ACT-L3 is Streambox’s proprietary codec optimized for efficiency and low bandwidth use. Since video quality was paramount for Bon Air Baptist it needed compression that would ensure the integrity of the video through the encoding, delivery, and decoding process and Streambox’s ACT-L3 delivered.

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The Streambox AVENIRMicro sends the encoded video to Streambox Cloud which features a robust and easy to use video management system. Using automated metadata-based routing and advanced user and group policies give Bon Air Baptist secure, authenticated, worry-free video contribution, distribution, and playout. Bon Air Baptist currently only streams to locations around the Richmond, Virginia area, but Streambox’s global network of servers is ready for fast and efficient streaming, routing, and video archiving whenever it is needed.

Time-shifting was another key selling point for Bon Air Baptist so Pastor Tom’s messages are routed automatically from Streambox Cloud to Streambox 9200 rackmounts, set to decode (the 9200 can also work as an encoder), at each satellite campus. From the 9200 the video feed goes through a Blackmagic Design Micro Converter to an iMac running ProPresenter software for projecting graphics and videos on four different screens.

With Streambox infrastructure in place Bon Air Baptist is set up for future expansion with minimal costs. It can add Cloud software encoders as need arises, a strategic way to make sure its money is spent reaching more people with its ministry.

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The Buford Road Campus, where Senior Pastor Tom Stocks delivers his message live for streaming, and The Village campus both have fiber internet. Since fiber is not available to the James River Campus it uses a wireless router with Verizon SIM cards to connect to cellular towers for receiving live video streams. Streambox bonds all available IP networks to create the best possible streaming conditions, in this case, cellular carriers, but Streambox will also bond WiFi, ethernet, and internet at the same time. Streambox’s exclusive Low Delay Multi-Path (LDMP) technology is critical for reliable video transport and is integrated into Streambox encoders, decoders, and Cloud. LDMP continuously monitors encoders and networks to automatically adjust video parameters for the best quality video and network path over multiple IP networks. LDMP is enhanced by network bonding and allows quality video delivery even where network bandwidth fluctuates. LDMP means Bon Air Baptist does not have to worry about people on the nearby highway congesting a carrier’s tower with cell phone usage and the eating into Bon Air Baptist’s available bandwidth at critical moments.

While the most important factors in Bon Air Baptist’s choice to go with Streambox were the ACT-L3 codec (for it’s quality), stability of the system, and easy Streambox Cloud time-shifting, there were also some smaller benefits that played a part. Bon Air Baptist liked Streambox’s hardware encoder option. Some competitors only make software versions, but Bon Air Baptist wanted separate hardware units and it liked that the 9200 feels just like a windows computer. The media team was able to hook up a monitor and keyboard and have the familiar interface, but specific to its video production needs. The AVENIRMicro’s magnetic connectors (intended to easily add accessories) were also a nice bonus, allowing the media team to attach the unit to a metal tower, keeping the system tidy and tucked-away.

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In the future, Bon Air Baptist will download free Cloud software encoders at its remote campuses to allow Pastor Tom to give his message from there with no additional cost. It will also start to stream live to Facebook and YouTube to allow members unable to attend a service the opportunity to hear the message.

Since implementing the Streambox solution Bon Air Baptist Church is now more “one church, multiple locations” than ever before. It has high-quality HD video on a stable system that is easy to use and expandable for the future. With its streaming video taken care of by Streambox, Bon Air Baptist can focus on spreading its ministries.

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