RTÉ Two to stream Republic of Ireland v Estonia in HD

15 Nov 2011

RTÉ has struck a deal with data carrier Level 3 to stream tonight’s Republic of Ireland v Estonia Euro 2012 qualifier live on RTÉ.ie and also to iPhone users in high definition.

This trial, enabled by data carrier Level 3, will be the first live event RTÉ Digital has delivered in HD to its online audiences.

The launch in May 2011 of RTÉ TWO HD on the SAORVIEW DTT platform has provided audiences with access to high-definition sporting events, including Champions League Football, the GAA Championship, and the recent Rugby World Cup.

For the match, RTÉ Digital will use recently commissioned HD-capable web stream encoding technology to create adaptive bitrate streams, which react to the users’ available bandwidth to deliver the best streaming experience possible for their connection.

RTÉ Digital will also make the match available to iPhone users through the RTÉ Mobile Web Site – m.rte.ie – in standard definition.

HD opportunity for broadcasters

“The availability of RTÉ TWO HD on SAORVIEW provides us with exciting opportunities to test how HD may work on the internet in the future,” said Jonathan Lundberg, IT infrastructure manager at RTÉ Digital.

“We are always looking for new ways to improve the audience experience, and this match is a great opportunity to give the public a chance to see where this type of technology is taking us going forward. It also gives RTÉ an opportunity to evaluate the technologies involved, and assess how ready Irish infrastructure is for this type of high-quality broadcast,” Lundberg added.

“By taking advantage of the scalability of Level 3’s international Content Delivery Network, RTÉ will be able to give the audience a top quality experience, no matter how many people tune in.”

Level 3 will provide RTÉ Digital with its internet broadcast services, providing the end-to-end work flow across publishing, dynamic re-wrapping from HDS to HLS, security and distribution to ensure the capacity and quality of service will deliver a truly HD experience.

The game will be transmitted using HTTP over Level 3’s CDN to both Flash Players for high definition and iOS for mobile streaming. Level 3 will also implement security measures to ensure the content is available only in territories in which RTÉ Digital has content rights.

”Not only is today’s consumer expecting to have access to the content they want wherever they are, and on any device, but they’re increasingly expecting the highest picture quality and experience, as well – which means a CDN with global reach and scalability is critical,” said James Heard, regional president of the EMEA region for Level 3.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years