Long Beach Yacht Club Debuts 360 VR Livestream of 2018 Congressional Cup Using TVU Routers
Sailing fans all over the world viewed last month’s 2018 Congressional Cup regatta live in 360-degree VR, courtesy of a partnership between the Long Beach Yacht Club’s (LBYC) media team and several technology firms, including TVU Networks, Samsung Electronics America, Telstra Broadcast Services, BOXX.TV, broadcast integration and project manager Suitelife Systems and wireless innovation house Ocon Solutions Company (OSC).
In its 54th consecutive year the Congressional Cup is known in sailing circles as the “gateway to the America’s Cup”, as it features the who’s who of match racing sailors. On two boats off Long Beach Veterans Memorial Pier, two TVU Routers served as sea-bound hot spots, sending 360-degree, live VR footage from two Samsung 360 Round VR cameras – one on a sports fishing boat and one on the anchored MV LOYNES LBYC race committee boat. The TVU Routers provided the high-bandwidth IP connectivity necessary to send moving, high-data VR images from the water to the pier for VR post-production stitching and VR IP network distribution.
Two TVU Routers supplied the connection needed for the 360 Round VR cameras to provide live distribution to the Samsung VR Video website, as well as the Congressional Cup web site, and Tribeca Film Festival’s website.
TVU Router uses multiple data communication links simultaneously such as cellular 4G/LTE, Cable, DSL, Satellite, or WiFi to deliver a highly reliable broadband connection up to 200Mbps remotely. TVU Router can dynamically aggregate up to a dozen different data connections for maximum flexibility. It supports multiple 4G/LTE connections from different cellular providers to power even the most demanding and data-intensive applications anywhere.
“The VR wireless connectivity from the water back to the pier and the network streaming set up performed flawlessly thanks in large part to TVU Router,” says Geoffrey Talbot, Executive Producer of the five day live streaming TV production. “Integrating 360-degree footage requires an enormous amount of bandwidth. We couldn’t have done it without the rock-solid connectivity of our TVU Router, which performed above and beyond expectations from stationary and moving boats.
“We were excited to embrace the ground-breaking VR production values with our HD live streaming production, knowing it would generate enthusiasm with younger viewers around the world. Truly, the backbone of this endeavor is stable, high-bandwidth connectivity from moving vehicles in literally any location,” says Talbot. “We believe that adding high-quality VR coverage and making that video accessible online will bring new generations to the sport. We have to be able to transport all of this data-intensive video live and untethered.”
The Long Beach Yacht Club Media team produced five days of live broadcast quality coverage of the regatta including a Video over IP direct feed to the New York Yacht Club and worldwide distribution over social media. Ocon Solutions oversaw the wireless technical and production preparations for the 2018 Congressional Cup.
“VR footage requires extensive bandwidth to view the images properly,” says Jim Ocon, President, OSC. “With the lack of infrastructure on site, multiple sources of 360-degree VR coverage, and movement, this set up stretches the limits of high-bandwidth connectivity in a live, real-world environment. I knew if any technology was up to the feat, it would be TVU Router. It was designed specifically to address this type of application. We were particularly eager to show how the high-bandwidth IP connectivity of the TVU Router helped deliver Samsung 360 Round’s stunning VR imagery of the event. The end result was simply spectacular.”
“The producers of this event are merging the best of technology with the best of sports to bring sailing to viewers in a way they’ve never seen it before,” says Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “We couldn’t be happier to be part of such a forward-thinking production.”