OBS and Alibaba have also deployed multi-camera replay systems for frame-freezing slow-motion replays.
Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) has used Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba’s cloud computing arm, to enhance broadcasting efficiency for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
For the first time during the Olympic Winter Games, Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) receives live footage through the public cloud infrastructure. By leveraging cloud solutions, global sports fans now experience immersive viewing from a wide range of angles.
Commenting on the collaboration, Yiannis Exarchos, OBS Chief Executive Officer, said: “Amid the backdrop of Covid-19, our partnership with Alibaba Cloud has continued to transform the way we broadcast the Olympic Games. OBS Cloud is one of the most profound technological changes to our operation: it not only offers broadcasters unprecedented efficiency, but also enables endless opportunities for innovation and to seamlessly deliver the excitement of the Olympic Games to the widest possible audience.”
During Beijing 2022, over 20 broadcast organisations are using Live Cloud to receive the multilateral live signals of the Games in either ultra high definition (UHD) or high definition (HD) via OBS Cloud. Alibaba said for the first time in Olympic broadcasting, the new technology will be able to effectively rival the legacy solutions based on dedicated telecommunication lines and satellite links.
As part of the OBS Cloud, Live Cloud has been introduced as a standard service to RHBs during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Prior to this technology, broadcasters had to rely on dedicated and more costly international telecommunication optical circuits and spend a considerable amount of time to set up the equipment, in order to send live footage halfway across the globe back to their home countries. Now leveraging the global infrastructure of Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intellectual backbone of Alibaba Group, OBS will be able to deliver all the live multilateral content in high quality over the public cloud with a fraction of the cost and minimum time for set-up, the company added.
Selina Yuan, General Manager of International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, stated: “Transmitting live content through the cloud is a particularly useful resource for broadcasters who cannot attend the Olympic Winter Games in person or afford the heavy upfront investment of on-premise infrastructure. We hope that cloud technologies will not only reduce the cost associated with broadcasting, but also bolster the coverage of the Olympic Winter Games as more RHBs can access the live footage and choose the feeds they prefer. Ultimately, we hope more sports fans around the world can enjoy the excitement of the Olympic Winter Games.”
OBS and Alibaba have also deployed multi-camera replay systems for frame-freeze slow-motion replays during the games. It is also the first time that Olympic broadcasting will rely on a cloud-based workflow for such replays, enabling a more immersive experience for global sports fans from a wide range of angles strategically placed around the competition venues.
Leveraging Alibaba’s advanced edge cloud solution, live multi-angle footage of the Curling and Speed Skating will be captured and compiled via the edge cloud for real-time processing and editing, before the chosen moments are shared as a replay through the multilateral feed.
For the less time-sensitive coverage such as daily or event highlights, the footage will be further processed in the cloud supported by Intel’s 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors to generate high-quality 3D representation of the sports scenes in 4K quality.
Content+, OBS’ content delivery platform hosted on Alibaba Cloud, will continue to serve RHBs with broadcasting services, including access to short-form content, all HD live streams, as well as all the additional content produced by OBS in a range of resolutions for browsing and download purposes. During the Olympic Winter Games, it is expected that over 6,000 hours of content will be produced by OBS to enhance RHB coverage, including 900 hours of live sports and ceremony coverage and an additional 1,200 hours of unseen competition footage through the Multi Clip Feeds – doubling the amount of sport competition made available compared to PyeongChang 2018.
OBS will also use cloud-based editing to quicken its publishing workflows, with a team of editors working remotely for the first time.