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Gearing up to keep pace with content everywhere

Peter OstapiukIntelsat
Written by Peter Ostapiuk | Published in
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Create DateJune 22, 2015
Last UpdatedJuly 9, 2015

Media companies are increasingly facing pressure to quickly upgrade their networks to meet the demands of a content-everywhere society; however, upgrading legacy networks can be costly and delivering content in new ways to multiple devices in varying formats is complex.

In April 2015, Intelsat introduced a new service, IntelsatOne Prism, a fully automated, converged IP-based service that leverages a media company’s legacy system while at the same time, enables them to distribute multiple content transmissions, including linear video, file transfer, VoIP, internet access and data exchange, via one platform. Since its introduction, IntelsatOne Prism was quickly put to the test at the Amgen Tour of California which is a cycling stage race featuring 144 cyclists from 18 elite professional teams around the world. As competitors from around the globe – including Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champion cyclists – spent a challenging eight days of racing through varied terrain and inclement weather, the movement of an entire television compound over a hundred miles each day presented a challenge unlike any other type of sporting event in the world.

In order to meet the production, information distribution and overall communication needs at the Tour, PSSI Global Services provided World Feed production services and all of the transmission services for the multiple television and internet feeds across the globe. Each day, PSSI successfully transmitted multiple paths over an Intelsat satellite in the United States which fed NBC and NBC SN, a world feed turned to territories covering all four hemispheres. This served as the source feed for the Tour Tracker on-line app and a daily news feed which went out to broadcasters in dozens of countries.

One of the most critical elements of production and transmission for this multi-day show is communication inside the compound and with the outside world. In previous races, PSSI had provided a satellite based communication system which brought phone and internet services to remote compounds throughout California. By utilising IntelsatOne Prism this year, it enabled a dramatic increase in the power, flexibility and success rate for all connectivity -- not only for the multiple audio-video productions, but also for other key race activities.

An IP-phone system enabled by IntelsatOne Prism was used for production and transmission needs in all of the cities on the finish line and was invaluable for sites where even cell phones wouldn’t function, such as the compound at Mt. Baldy nestled at 6,500 feet deep in the San Gabriel Mountains in northern Los Angeles, California. Without IntelsatOne Prism, mission critical communication including transmission access, network coordination, race data collection and webcast initiation would not have been possible. NBC show content and graphics were transferred from the East Coast, and operational information such as show schedules and race maps were also sent and received using the IntelsatOne Prism web connectivity.

Outside of the compound, IntelsatOne Prism supported multiple ancillary elements of the race and race support. IntelsatOne Prism delivered internet connectivity for use in the VIP area and provided the Tour Tracker on-line experience to big screen televisions across the race festival, VIP sections and race finish areas. Internet connectivity was also critical to the function of vendor merchandising services and sales in areas where they wouldn’t have been able to use their automated systems without IntelsatOne Prism.

Cycling fans worldwide kept track of the race as it unfolded thanks to the seamless integration of IntelsatOne Prism into the PSSI Global Services presences. The system was built into a satellite van and PSSI also used a portable unit which was easily and quickly deployed and struck each day. With demand for internet and phone services starting before dawn and ending at nightfall, speed, ease of use and high functionality were a must. IntelsatOne Prism was able to provide this day in and day out to help bring this exciting race to fans worldwide. This is what Intelsat means when we say #SatelliteEverywhere.

By Peter Ostapiuk, head of Media Services, Intelsat


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