Sky News election coverage sets world record

Sky News used 138 ip streams to cover 150 locations on election night in May 2015. Every feed was displayed on a video wall driven by UHD Viz Engines powered by the latest NVIDIA M6000 cards.

A big congratulations goes to Sky News as they have been confirmed as the Guinness World Record title holder for the most concurrent live web streams for an event. The record was broken during their coverage of the UK General Election in May 2015.

The feat was accomplished with a large number of LiveU cellular bonding units paired with Sony PJ-620 camcorders. Cellular bonding unit encodes live video to IP and then transmits it across 4 built-in LTE (4G) modems and/or ethernet or WiFi connectivity.

Constant RTMP streams were delivered to Sky News HQ in London where they were utilized for a variety of multicast monitoring purposes, ad hoc decoding to baseband video, Youtube Live Events and wall sequences using a UHD Viz Engine for final display on the large video wall in the main Sky News studio.

From Sky News:

Guinness World Records said: "We are thrilled to inform you that your application for most concurrent live web streams for an event has been successful and you are now the Guinness World Records Title Holder!"

Richard Pattison, Deputy Head of Technology at Sky News, said: "Getting the confirmation email was fantastic and an enormous relief.

"I had to provide a great deal of evidence to the Guinness World Records team to validate the attempt so I was slightly worried that what evidence we had might not meet their stringent criteria, but in the end it only took them a couple of days to ratify the attempt, great news."

Sky News' Head of Creative Platforms Solutions, Przemyslaw Pluta, made the technologies work together in a unique way and told Vizrt about the main challenges Sky faced and has some advice for other UHD Viz Engine videowall users who may want to try something similar.

"Choice of hybrid IP over traditional video delivery gave us huge amount of flexibility in terms of creative and technical scope and at the same time we’ve faced an enormous task of building from scratch monitoring and delivery systems that would allow us to control and show all 150 live IP streams in our UHD video wall - Sky150.

As there were no real world examples of similar projects we had to clear the path first. With such a high stake projects like General Election we started early by testing, iterating ideas and UHD Viz engine capabilities going from 11 IP streams for European Elections to 32 IP streams during Scottish Referendum.

We’ve learned valuable lessons quickly and applied them to our modular in-house developed IP monitoring and distribution solution.

High performance was at the centre of our attention; latest 64 bit version of the Viz Engine and NVIDIA M6000 cards gave us solid base more than capable to handle the workload. Our internal tests proved quickly that we were more than capable to easily deliver 200 concurrent IP streams via our system integrated with UHD Viz Engine.

To enhance final experience we’ve created two different versions of 150 IP streams. Overall look that showed off all available IP streams and never ending scroll shown at the key moments during election night. Latest live results were associated with each IP stream and updated in realtime in the UHD Viz Videowall."

Rex Jenkins, MD for Vizrt's UK operation adds: "We congratulate Sky News and we are all so proud that Vizrt played a useful role to help Sky with this remarkable achievement. On the day, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I think our last customer's record before the election was about twenty live feeds, which was considered massive. This was just mind-blowing.

I definitely know which project I will be backing for the TV innovation award!"