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Secure Live Streaming and broadcast of Video from Film set over the internet in real time

Broadcast live and in REAL time film set to the other side of the world for the director to see filming live in real time and in HD. How did Purple Turtle Solve this problem for a global leader feature film production company?

We received a call from the local production office for a large international feature film being shot in South Africa. They had a very different request for us to build a solution for in a very short period of time. They needed to send live video from the film set as its being filmed to the director who was in a different continent.

Their specific requirements:

  • Low delay high quality video stream
  • Stream had to be secure so no unauthorised people can access it as it contained extremely sensitive visual material that could not leak out
  • Video needed to be viewable by the director on his laptop where ever he was, in the office or in his hotel.
  • Video had to be stable and could not buffer or freeze
  • Dedicated bandwidth to ensure success and stability

Challenges

  • Less than 7 day turn around for solution.
  • Film set was down town hence many high buildings and high 3G usage making 3G even bonded not dependable, bandwidth had to come from elsewhere
  • Average of 4 location changes daily so fixed internet connection was not possible
  • Standard streaming protocols over internet would not supply the stability needed
  • High level encryption
  • High level of security on all visual materiel

Solution

Purple Turtle had several new systems under research and development, many of these tools would help achieve most of the objectives.Purple Turtle designed a customised system solution for this application consisting of a mobile satellite internet connection delivering dedicated uncontended bandwidth suitable for stable streaming from our Satellite uplink in Africa stable.

To this we added our stream stability protocol which manages the video streaming to ensure no packet loss and stability. Buffering and breaking is now a thing of the past. This technology has been proven by us in the Africa context showing a 99.9% uptime on average, subject to network conditions. The system ran on our Global Connect network as the backbone.

We also opted to go DVB over IP over the HLS and Flash streaming as it allowed us to utilise existing equipment used by ourselves and the clients DIT video department. 256 bit stream encryption was deployed ensuring protection of the stream until received on the director’s laptop. Not even the Purple Turtle network engineering team could view the video after it was encrypted. Software was installed remotely on the director’s laptop which ran in the background and did all the work. The software then gave a video output they could easily view using VLC media player for simplicity. We did not opt for a web based player as it did not offer as high levels of security for the client.

Results

The client was impressed to say the least. The fact that the video never broke up once even when they tried to make it got their attention. Most people are used to streaming from Africa to mean buffering and breaking. The other thing that got their attention was the low latency. Purple Turtle was able to optimise the stream for low latency around 2 seconds. We had the option to make this even lower but opted for stability over low latency for the client. The Purple Turtle solution was deployed in 5 minutes after each set location change and there were around 4 of these a day. The client was in most cases unaware of the set change the fact that the system was redeployed each time.

For more detailed info on this project and others please contact us directly.