14 STREAMPUNK Wild, wild life
transmission or fibre optic of HD-SDI is expensive. IP is the way forward: HD with low bandwidth over long distances.” Installing the long-distance Wi-Fi requires a certain amount of acrobatics. Peter and his team must climb the tallest tree in a given area, install a connecting panel and then scout out another similar- sized tree several kilometres away. The process of climbing, installing and scouting is repeated until they have leap-frogged all obstructions. “What can’t be seen, can’t be tampered with!” Peter adds. Wherever possible, Carnyx Wild try to use conventional broadband packages.
THE END RESULT IS LIVE STREAM AND ARCHIVE RECORDING IN EXACTLYTHERIGHTFORMAT
In times of high traffic around a particular popular subject, Carnyx Wild will bounce the live video across to its cloud servers. The footage is processed using vMix or OBS, although most of the time Carnyx Wild programme their own encoding via command line and ffmpeg. “It allows much more control over the encoding and converting process,” says Peter. “The end result is live stream and archive recording in exactly the right format for our and the RSPB’s needs.” RELIABLE TECHNOLOGY Once the live cameras are set up and connected to civilisation, Peter and his team will not be able to return to the nests until after the chicks have fledged, so these cameras need to be as reliable as possible. “The welfare of these birds is paramount, so it’s a case of do the best you can and then keep your fingers firmly crossed,” says Peter. “The cameras are powered
“The challenge is to get acceptable and reliable live video when working with an upload speed that can be as low as 300Kbps”. This, as Peter explains, “is difficult when you’re working with wildlife nests that are, by definition, located in the wild: the last place on earth that gets useable internet.” To fill the gap, Carnyx Wild uses TooWay satellite. TooWay is provided by Eutelsat and offers an alternative to poor quality ADSL to rural areas. “Their unlimited bandwidth package enables uninterrupted streaming of a single source, 24 hours a day, to our streaming servers. The upload speed is normally 1.5Mbps to 2.5Mbps, so it’s just enough to do some basic HD.” The live video is then processed and distributed via Carnyx Wild’s streaming servers to human viewers, for which the company uses the Wowza Streaming Engine on its own dedicated server.
A LOW PROFILE While the quality of the tech involved is important, the health and wellbeing of the wildlife always comes first
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