September 26, 2013

Tata Communications trials next-generation video distribution with Formula 1® using wholly-owned global fibre network

For the first time, Formula One Management’s technical headquarters in the UK receives a high-quality JPEG2000 transmission live from a Formula 1® event

Singapore and Biggin Hill, UK: Tata Communications, a leading provider of 'A New World of Communications' has successfully showcased the next generation of capability for video distribution by relaying content from the 2013 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix directly to Formula One Management’s Biggin Hill headquarters in the UK. The live video feed was sent using Tata Communications’ video connect service on its wholly-owned fibre network in what was Tata Communications’ first live video contribution demonstration for Formula One Management and a group of leading broadcasters.

The capability demonstration included the supply of JPEG2000 quality video live from the race circuit as well as multiple programme feeds — all made possible due to the use of its fibre network and media management services.

Mehul Kapadia, managing director, F1 Business, Tata Communications, says, “When Tata Communications signed the deal to become the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1® last year, we knew we were starting an exciting journey with the sport. This video capability demonstration was an important milestone as it allowed us to showcase our capabilities in the delivery of content of the highest quality video feeds over fibre, and give a glimpse into the potential future of sports broadcasting.”

Being able to tap into the world’s only fibreoptic global ring of super-fast cables opens the door for endless possibilities in sports video distribution. Using fibre, broadcasters have the opportunity to manage content in ways not possible via satellite — giving them options on what video feeds they share with the viewer for consumption.

When the partnership with Tata Communications was announced, a Formula One Management spokesperson stated that the deal was “the most significant moment for F1 since the advent of satellites”. After Friday’s capability demonstration John Morrison, Formula One Management chief technical officer, said: “We are constantly looking at how we improve the delivery and number of options for our media partners, and ultimately the end consumer. This game-changing trial from Tata Communications around the capability of its world-class connectivity infrastructure allows us to evaluate new means of delivering the immersive live race experience around the world. Formula One Management is already using connectivity provided by Tata Communications to facilitate a radical rethink of our live event coverage by remoting an increasing number of associated activities to our remote operations centre at Biggin Hill.”

With consumer demand for quality, live content across different platforms is now the norm, and with the emergence of bandwidth-hungry production workflows such as Ultra HD, quick turnarounds and availability of content across multiple platforms is becoming a hygiene factor for content owners. Tata Communications’ portfolio of media services and its leading fibre network helps media companies streamline their workflows to enable better collaboration, without large investments in hardware.

In February 2012, Tata Communications signed a deal with Formula One Management to deliver world-class connectivity to all Formula 1 race locations over its global network, the largest in the world. Tata Communications also provides hosting and content delivery services to Formula1.com, which is accessed by tens of millions of fans around the globe throughout the racing season. A recent video discussing the partnership can be viewed here.

Tata Communications also partners with Mercedes AMG Petronas, delivering world-class trackside connectivity for the team at all Formula 1 race locations using the Tata Communications global network.

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