The IBC2024 Accelerator Program continues to revolutionise live event production with its latest initiatives aimed at leveraging cutting-edge technology to overcome challenges in the broadcasting industry. Building on the successes of previous years, the Connect and Produce Anywhere, Phase II project focuses on enhancing production capabilities through innovative uses of cloud and edge computing, ensuring high-quality output even under varying connectivity conditions.

Following the build and development of an all IP, Edge-first, multi-cloud, multi software test bed environment in the CAPA Accelerator 2023, the project team is now positioned to implement and road test the solution on some real-world live event production scenarios where there are varying degrees of available bandwidth.


Peter Brightwell, BBC

This is a special incubator project which will be carried out in addition to the eight challenges chosen for this year’s cohort for the IBC2024 Accelerator Media Innovation Programme. The project challenge was proposed by the BBC and BT Media & Broadcast. Champions are BBC, BT Media & Broadcast, Sky, EBU, Vodafone Group, TV2, and others TBC, and participants are Zixi and LAMA.

Addressing the Industry Problem

Peter Brightwell, Research Engineer at the BBC, one of the champions of the project, explains, that the primary goal of the Connect and Produce Anywhere Phase II project is, “to explore and demonstrate how we can provide live production processing resources on-site at events using similar all-software technologies as would be used for cloud-based remote production, but suited to possible bandwidth constraints at the location.”

John Ellerton, Head of Media Futures at BT Media & Broadcast, another key figure in the project, adds that a goal of this year’s iteration of the project is “to demonstrate at live events that it is technically and operationally viable to run event-based remote production entirely in a software environment where the event location connectivity is constrained. For IBC2024, we aim to have used it at a number of live events and enhanced its features.”

“The use of software for live event remote production brings many benefits, especially flexibility.” John Ellerton, Head of Media Futures at BT Media & Broadcast

Since its inception in 2019, the IBC Accelerator Programme has seen over 180 organisations participate, delivering proof-of-concept (POC) projects across a diverse range of technological fields including 5G, AI, live cloud production, and immersive audio. The “Connect and Produce Anywhere” initiative, a standout project in this year’s lineup, exemplifies the programme’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of live event production.

The challenge

The project’s specific challenge is “to push further innovation through experimentation in the following areas: environmental monitoring and measurement; orchestration; deployment (including containerisation) observability; other transport elements, business case and licence options,” with the foresight there will be “some exciting early stage demonstrations and implementations.” Each progression aims to apply new levels of production sophistication, according to the availability of bandwidth in a variety of live scenarios.

Building on last year’s achievements, the project team in 2024 aims to:

  • Have successfully deployed a software based dynamic media facility workflow on location using edge compute
  • To have multiple software and format choices at different points in the workflow
  • To have deployed on multiple types of hyperscaler infrastructure
  • To better understand sustainability and operational benefits.

The Goal – retaining the benefits

A critical aspect of the project is ensuring that production operations remain consistent and reliable, even under varying connectivity conditions. The project’s approach mimics the flexibility of cloud-based remote production but is tailored to suit locations with bandwidth constraints.

Brightwell highlights the challenge: “Live remote production at live events using public cloud is becoming more common, providing the flexibility that is needed for some scenarios.”

“We are avoiding relying on single-vendor frameworks and exploring how we can run the same software on virtual machines and containers deployed on clusters from different cloud frameworks.” Peter Brightwell, Research Engineer, the BBC

“For example, the cameras and microphones at the location can be streamed and mixed in the cloud. However, for some events and locations, connectivity constraints or costs may make this impractical or too expensive without excessive compression. It’s desirable to host resources at the location (‘at the edge’). The challenge is to be able to use similar software tools and technologies for both cases, and ideally the people using them don’t need to be aware of where they are running. This also enables production teams to choose where they operate from, either on-site, at base or remotely. This approach not only provides flexibility but can also enable sustainability savings.”

Ellerton elaborates, “The use of software for live event remote production brings many benefits, especially flexibility.

“Live software-based vision and sound mixing is typically performed in a data centre or cloud as this is where maximum efficiency is generally found. However, if the data connection between the venue and the cloud is constrained, it is not possible to transport all of the vision and sound sources to the cloud itself. A method needs to be established for performing the vision and sound mix at the event venue. If the same software that would typically be used in the cloud can be deployed in a small compute environment at the venue, orchestrated and remote-controlled via the cloud, then remote production in software is still possible and all the benefits of centrally-controlled production are retained.”

Unique approach and technological integration

Brightwell highlights the unique approach of the project, “As well as being fully IP-based, it’s also fully software-based and running on regular servers rather than specialist ’appliances,’” he says. “We are avoiding relying on single-vendor frameworks and exploring how we can run the same software on virtual machines and containers deployed on clusters from different cloud frameworks. Additionally, we are exploring different connectivity/ bandwidth scenarios and choices of video/ audio stream formats, such as NDI and ST 2110. This is a true cross-industry approach and doesn’t require signing up to a particular vendor partner programme or similar.”

John Ellerton

John Ellerton, BT Media & Broadcast

Ellerton adds, “This is a novel approach because we are using an entirely end-to-end software approach, orchestrating software objects from a number of different vendors in local compute in the same manner as is performed in the cloud. We are demonstrating the capability at several events in the lead-up to IBC and will demonstrate it live at the IBC Show.”

This approach not only provides flexibility but also can enable sustainability savings. By deploying an all-IP, edge-first, multi-cloud test bed environment, the team aims to demonstrate that high-quality production can be achieved locally using software tools typically reserved for cloud environments. This ensures that production teams have the flexibility to operate from either the event location or remotely, enhancing both operational efficiency and sustainability.

The participants

Implementing this innovative solution requires a team effort: “We need a mix of users, integrators, vendors, and resource providers, as well as expertise with technologies such as NDI, ST 2110, virtualisation, and containerisation,” states Brightwell. “We also want to deploy and test on real-world events over the summer, working with editorial and production colleagues to get the most from this type of deployment.”

Ellerton describes the breadth of the people involved in the project, “We have assembled a team consisting of broadcast end-users from the BBC, Channel 4, and BT; cloud infrastructure from Google; workflow orchestration from Norsk; and a number of vision, audio, control, and talkback software services from Techex, VizRT, LAMA, and many others,” he says.

The Showcase at IBC

Each Accelerator programme culminates in a showcase on the Innovation Stage at IBC.

“We’ve implemented a simple NDI production environment with video and audio mixing, graphics, and web contribution/streaming,” says Brightwell. “An early version of this with applications from VizRT, LAMA, Techex, and others was demonstrated at IBC2023. An improved version was shown on a Google Distributed Cloud cluster located at IET London for the Accelerator Kickstart event and at Media Production Technology Show, London, with a further demonstration at the EBU’s Network Technology Summit.”

“For 2024,” Ellerton continues, “we want to show that this works in practice at a number of real events. We aim to evolve it to include more interfaces, more features, automation, and service monitoring, showing the way to something that could actually be deployed for commercial use.”

Benefits and Impact on the M&E World

In the project pitch presented on this year’s Kickstart day, the Champions presented three main impacts they hope to see from the work done this year:

  • Utilising the types of workflows we are seeing emerge for Broadcast centres and cloud deployments, we aim to have a common architecture that can support a mult-vendor multi-cloud solution
  • By utilising technologies such as Edge compute, we can reduce bandwidth requirements on location and reduce latency on critical on-site operations
  • We can allow teams to better choose how they deploy their technology to achieve Flexibility, Sustainability, and Interoperability across all types of operational environments.

The “Connect and Produce Anywhere Phase II” project provides substantial benefits by enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of live event production. By deploying live production processing resources on-site, it mirrors the flexibility of cloud-based remote production while addressing locations with bandwidth constraints. This innovative approach ensures that high-quality production can be achieved locally using software tools typically reserved for cloud environments. This flexibility allows production teams to choose their operational base, either at the event location or remotely, thereby enhancing operational efficiency and sustainability.

Furthermore, the project’s fully IP-based and software-driven nature, running on regular servers rather than specialised appliances, sets it apart from other market solutions. It avoids reliance on single-vendor frameworks, instead exploring how to run the same software on virtual machines and containers deployed on clusters from different cloud frameworks. This cross-industry approach does not require commitment to a particular vendor, fostering greater innovation and adaptability.




BT Media and Broadcast


Sky Sports


Channel 4








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