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AWS Elemental helps BT deliver Champions League in VR on its BT Sport app and YouTube

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BT used AWS Elemental Live video processing to power live streaming broadcasts of the UEFA Champions League final on June 3. BT gave viewers the opportunity to experience the match live in the BT Sport application and on YouTube in both 360-degree VR and 4K UHD video.

To bring the tournament finals to life in VR, BT designed a workflow that begins with twelve 360-degree 4K UHD cameras positioned on and around the playing surfaces. On-site production trucks deliver VR feeds for delivery to AWS Elemental Live encoders for processing and packaging live streams.

The 4K UHD streams originating from BT’s main channel playout centre are also encoded by AWS Elemental Live for live streaming of over the YouTube Live platform. “Using AWS Elemental, BT has minimised latency while furnishing the highest quality adaptive bit rate outputs for YouTube viewers on browsers, Android and iOS devices, Chromecast and selected gaming consoles,” a statement says.

Chris Bramley, Chief Technology Officer at BT TV, comments: “We are always exploring ways to create new, immersive experiences for our live events. AWS Elemental provides a critical element in the chain, enabling us to bring viewers virtually onto the pitch and put them in the middle of events with resilient, high-quality streaming to multiple devices. We’re excited to break new ground as we extend these world-class tournament championships to viewers.”

Last year, BT launched the first live online streaming of the UEFA Europa League and Champions League tournaments with AWS Elemental via YouTube. Earlier this year the broadcaster began offering its subscribers English Premier League as well as Europa League and Champions League football matches using Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. In late May, BT live streamed the UEFA Europa League final in 4K VR.

The two UEFA finals reflect the continued expansion of AWS Elemental solutions within BT’s video processing infrastructure. Last year, BT turned to AWS Elemental software to unify its traditional and multiscreen headend for its BT Sport App, BT TV and BT Ultra HD services. For BT TV, AWS Elemental drives subscription linear channels delivered to IPTV set-top boxes and multiscreen devices, allowing BT to scale to hundreds of channels and to provide subscribers live, on-demand, and time-shift services. For the BT Sport app, AWS Elemental Delta enables time-shifted viewing through its live-to-VOD filter capabilities.

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