Breaking Down the Barriers to Esports Live Production and Streaming
March 30, 2017 by Chuck Baker
The action in esports takes place on a computer or game console display, sometimes many displays. Putting a live camera on an esports contestant doesn’t translate the same as it does with athletic sports. Traditional video production equipment does not adapt readily or cheaply to ingesting video game content, often requiring expensive hardware signal convertors and cabling. Sometimes it requires an additional system for each game computer involved.
Yahoo Esports recently took a look at how NewTek is addressing both ends of that process, with software that enables gaming systems to send their screens across the network, and production systems that ingest IP in addition to the traditional dedicated video signal cable types (also called “baseband”), such as SDI. They explore how esports media titan Twitch TV is using those solutions to scale up operations and audience while containing costs.
The key technology is NewTek’s NDI, an IP solution for video transport. “NDI lets us send signals between hardware without things like capture cards and cables,” Josh Shaw, producer and technical director at Twitch, explained. “You can even do this at home with Xsplit. If you had two computers where one was gaming and one was for streaming, now they can be on the same network and you don’t need to have an output, run a cable, have a capture card, and stream it with Xsplit. You just send out the signal and Xsplit streams it.”
NewTek’s NDI Scan Converter is the software that runs on a gaming system to send out the display as an NDI video stream. Any software or hardware on the same network that can read an NDI stream can pick up the video, and use it in production or stream it out to the world. Many video production systems from many vendors have adopted NDI; in fact, millions of products that use NDI are already in the hands of users all round the world.
NewTek’s video production systems all see NDI streams and accept them as inputs; Twitch TV has staked its future on the modular NewTek IP Series in particular, which starts with a massive 44 external inputs on just one mix engine and scales up from there, perfect for managing everything from a few players sharing their local game on up to full-on tournament-scale esports events. NewTek IP series is just as powerful with multiple outputs, allowing for simultaneous production and streaming of one event to multiple target audiences around the world with multiple branding and languages, or of multiple events and programs to multiple streams, again with independent branding for each.
Read the complete story at Yahoo Esports: Meet NewTek, the company powering Twitch’s content streams.
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