(Amsterdam--August 23, 2013) IBC 2013 (4.A61g) – Icelandic Broadcasters have deployed Open Broadcast Encoder (OBE), a professional DVB encoder, usable on commodity hardware and open source, in a variety of contribution and distribution roles.
SportTV, a broadcaster of national and international sports are moving up from one channel to four in the autumn and have decided to use OBE for all distribution to IPTV networks run by Iceland Telecom and Vodafone Iceland. "It wasn't actually a matter of cost, but quality," according to the station’s manager, Sigmundur Larusson. "There aren't many products out there providing this level of quality, with frequent updates and accessible developers." SportTV is in the process of building several more OBE units for handball and basketball this winter. "We are very excited with new 4:2:2 options, and hope that OBE will make our quality stand out from the competitors." says Larusson. "We're also using OBE for our SD delivery, instead of the Harmonics we had before."
Earlier this year Vodafone Iceland chose OBE for a special channel, run during the Icelandic pre-selection and the ESC finals, combining Twitter and the live broadcasts. Viewers on Vodafone's IPTV platform and FTA on DVB-T managed to set the record for Twitter usage in Iceland, providing more than 20.700 comments during the three-hour final.
Iceland’s largest private broadcaster, holding rights to the Pepsi-Premiere football league, uses OBE for contribution of these matches. With no encoder and time running out and a pressing need to do the broadcasts in HD they turned to Hreinn Beck, CTO of Netvarpið which specializes in IT support for the broadcasting industry. "I had an answer straight away! There was silence for a bit and they asked 'Really?'" "Of course I said, we can do a test in a couple of hours." The tests were very successful against the RX8200 IRD's on the receive end and OBE will be used for IP contribution from now on.
RUV, the public broadcaster, are currently receiving signals from rental service Kukl which are utilizing OBE for contribution of the prime-time program "Áhöfnin á Húna II", where a band sails around Iceland in a 50 year old oak ship and does pop-up concerts in every port.
Haraldur Larusson, Technical Operations Manager for Kukl took the decision after seeing the output from OBE during this seasons football matches. He says they started out with advice from Netvarpið but now they've built several systems themselves. He also notes that "Iceland's vast IP connectivity is also perfect for OBE; I can order a SONET/SDH port in any town with less than an hour’s notice and get a signal to Reykjavik (the nation's capital)." "This is a perfect solution for the next eruption as well." During the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull (the volcano that disrupted European air travel for a number of days) Kukl was the leading vendor for international broadcasters requiring feeds from Iceland. "We were limited to SD then, but next eruption, that's going to be in HD."
Kieran Kunhya, managing director of Open Broadcast Systems said, “We welcome the enthusiasm Icelandic Broadcasters have with deployed OBE and look forward to working with broadcasters and their suppliers”
About Open Broadcast Systems
Open Broadcast Systems manages development and deployment of the Open Broadcast Encoder (OBE), a professional broadcast encoder usable on commodity hardware and open source. Open Broadcast Systems also provides management tools and consulting services so broadcasters and operators can maximise the benefits of OBE in their broadcast infrastructure. At IBC Open Broadcast Systems will be demonstrating its new D-100 management platform that allows broadcasters and operators to more easily integrate OBE into their infrastructure.