A couple of months ago, we received a challenging task from our partnership company Tagvance Media. The objective was to implement reliable live streaming of a well-known eSports event. The solution had to:
- provide HQ 360 VR video streaming;
- run smoothly throughout the entire duration of the long-lasting event;
- ensure uninterrupted streaming for a large number of viewers;
- be affordable and build upon our recent achievements in the field.
A Point Grey® Ladybug®3 unit had already been chosen as the main HQ 360 camera for the purpose.
Ladybug®3 is a popular camera, widely used within the 360 VR space. It’s a 15 FPS device that allows streaming 12 MP resolution images to disk in JPEG format.
Our Unique Solution
The project’s objective was to create a custom streaming solution that would provide extra flexibility in capabilities and configurations for a range of applications, and would also work flawlessly in unforeseen situations.
The process of live streaming for a multilense camera includes the following steps:
- grabbing and stitching into the traditional 360 perspective view;
- setting up an outgoing web-based stream;
- adding a sound track (Ladybug®3 is video-only).
The resulting live streaming solution involves two servers, as illustrated on the diagram below:
The Windows server:
- runs a custom C++ application that leverages FFmpeg and the Ladybug SDK;
- the application captures frames from the Ladybug SDK’s output, pushes them to the Linux server in 10-second groups, and calls a custom processing script via SSH;
- simultaneously, the application uses FFmpeg to segment the audio stream into 10-second-long files and pushes those to the Linux server as well.
The Linux server:
- runs a custom shell script to generate 10-second-long TS chunks for the HLS stream from the supplied images and corresponding sound clips;
- runs another shell script to generate M3U8-enclosed documents for the HLS stream;
- runs Nginx for stream distribution (handles HTTP requests for M3U8 playlists and video segments).
Our solution demonstrated great stability during 8 hours of non-stop live streaming in a test environment.
The cost of the solution’s hardware was extremely low (it’s just a couple of regular i7 PCs that could be reused later when the camera gets old).
Best of all, the solution proved its excellent efficiency in the real live event it was initially designed for — during the live streaming of the League of Legends Turkish Champions League Finals on August 13, 2016.
For future events, Tagvance plans to include more 360 cameras across the venue to enhance the immersive presence for the audience.
About the Event
The League of Legends Turkish Champions League Finals were hosted at Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul in front of a 10,000+ audience, with the event being streamed live on YouTube all over the globe.
With the incredible cosplayers, the blasting opening act, the action-packed clash between Turkey’s strongest teams, and the winners award ceremony, the event was definitely
Burcu Özgen, Event Manager of Ülker Sports Arena, said the finals took eight months of hard work to put together, with 300+ personnel providing services at the venue.
But the gem in the event’s crown was its live streaming process, which helped to make the number of watchers many times as large. As of now, the 3-and-a-half-hour-long broadcast has been watched over 40,000 times, making it one of the longest and most popular 360 VR live videos ever published on YouTube.
Presales Specialist at Oxagile