1980s pop performers Boy George and Culture Club celebrated the 40th anniversary of their triple-platinum Colour by Numbers album with a one-off show titled ‘One World, One Love’, streamed live on 25 February to their worldwide fan base. Through the use of Caton’s Live Stage service, the concert in California was experienced live in cinemas and venues from Brazil to Hong Kong, Bangkok to Dublin.
Caton Live Stage distribution streams live events in digital cinema quality with extremely low latency and a high level of reliability. Practical and cost-effective, the system's performance makes it a good choice for delivering an event to remote audiences as an engaging immersive experience.
Caton Live Stage has grown from Caton Technology’s expertise in AI-based intelligent routing, which enables performance at a much lower cost than satellite and leased lines. Its C3 cloud architecture uses algorithms engineered for smart traffic to generate multiple routes with self-optimising capabilities between the source and destination, avoiding disruptions and quality impacts, even in regions with challenging connectivity. Caton Live Stage aims to establish connectivity beyond existing fixed paths, thereby strengthening the business case for digital cinema, broadcast and OTT.
For the concert, held at the Fred Kavli Theater in Thousand Oaks, California, Monogram Media and Entertainment captured the entire two-hour show in 4K Ultra HD. Caton Live Stage distributed the show from the production output to each venue around the world. Many markets, including Japan, received the feed live, while others, like Europe, had a time-delayed stream.
"We are really excited that the technology has finally arrived which allows us to live stream our music around the world, giving our fans a great experience – nearly as good as being there in person," said Boy George, Culture Club's singer.
From Venue to Projector
The Caton Live Stage service encodes at the event with a guaranteed quality of service through to the projector at multiple cinemas and venues worldwide, delivering a cinematic experience that is competitive with the traditional theatre setting. Caton Live Stage is built on the CatonNet Video Platform (CVP), which carries high-quality video over the public internet at bitrates of up to 100Mb/s and nearly 100% availability.
CVP dynamically transports and receives videos locally, regionally and globally. The video is transmitted and received with real-time visibility without compromising quality, security or speed, relying on a broad distribution of points of presence (PoP) in over 60 countries worldwide.
CVP runs on the Caton Transport Protocol (CTP), which mitigates network challenges by recovering data loss of up to 50% using dynamic error corrections. With over 30 in-built algorithms, CTP applies machine and deep learning approaches. Consequently, CTP can be used to distribute high quality, low latency live video at scale over IP networks.
Multipathing in the PoP Network
By focussing on stability as well as quality and speed, Caton has continued to develop multipathing to strengthen the architecture of the PoP network. This feature assesses the routers along the path, each joined by a connecting circuit of its own characteristics, including different amounts of available bandwidth that can be allocated to the stream.
Circuits are established using the shortest-path-first principle. While this should result in the lowest end-to-end latency, one or more links in the chain may in fact be bandwidth-constrained. Even when the transmitting and receiving devices are designed for high quality signals at 20Mb/s, if any part of the circuit is bandwidth-limited to 10Mb/s, no more than 10Mb/s will be achievable end to end.
Multipathing, however, can establish dynamic, real-time connectivity over multiple paths from the transmitting terminal to the receiver, guaranteeing bandwidth and increasing resilience. Transparent to the user, the transmitting device adds extra flags into the header of each packet that determine which sub-path it will take and how the data is divided across those paths.
The transmitter is equipped with historical data as well as empirical evidence from the connections, allowing it to create an optimum delivery path using the best of the bandwidth available. It can combine delivery paths using any class of connectivity, from dedicated internet access (DIA) circuits to 5G.
Intelligence and Resilience
The intelligence of this approach, with traffic-shaping capabilities, enhances the resilience of each transmission. It ensures that the optimal route is automatically selected even under challenging network conditions, delivering the highest transmission quality with the minimum of latency, due to Caton’s forward error correction capabilities. The multipathing feature also allows users to customise and prioritise different paths for different streams to achieve efficient workflows and lower costs.
"Caton Live Stage changes the environment for digital cinema, broadcast and OTT. Our AI smart traffic and completely autonomous switching makes reliability and real theatrical quality possible over commodity business broadband," said Gerald Wong, Senior Vice President at Caton Technology. "The system is simple to deploy at cinemas or venues, with the decoder configured remotely. This is significant for the entertainment industry, handing venues a new way to supply high-quality music and sports to audiences and operators with valuable sources of revenue." www.catontechnology.com