BT expands multi-platform services

Broadcaster relies on unified headend infrastructure based on Elemental software

BT is standardizing on Elemental software to unify its headend serving BT TV Everywhere, BT Sport App, and BT Ultra HD services. Together with Elemental, the service provider held a special event in London featuring the Union of European Football Associations semifinal coverage in 4K between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Greg McCall, Managing Director of TV Technology and Content for BT (Source: Elemental Technologies)

BT TV is offering consumers viewing experiences through broadband and innovative services, such as primary screen UHD content. In July 2015, BT TV launched BT Sport Ultra HD; in December, the company offered Netflix in UHD in the UK. This infrastructure helps Elemental with video coding (HEVC/H.265) and 4K content processing and delivery.

Last year, BT expanded the TV Everywhere offering by adding five channels and the Entertainment Max package for existing customers. End-to-end software defined video solutions from Elemental support the offer, which enables BT customers to watch TV channels on multiple devices once they authenticate as subscribers.

To expand the BT Sport App, the company employs Elemental to stream live sports content to customers via multiscreen devices.

In the BT TV Everywhere video infrastructure, the software provider powers a headend for subscription linear channels delivered to IPTV set-top boxes as well as multiscreen devices. Elemental Conductor software manages the encoder clusters, each processing channels of standard and high-definition content for delivery. The encoded streams pass to Elemental Delta for just-in-time packaging for live-to-VOD delivery to devices. This infrastructure enables scaling from 90 to 250 channels and providing subscribers live, on-demand, and time-shift services.

For the BT Sport App, Elemental Delta enables start-over viewing for UEFA Champions League games through its live-to-VOD output filter, allowing viewers to return to match high points.The content portfolio includes rights to the Champions League, Europa League and Premiership Rugby. Viewers can also access BT Sport content via BT TV, and other platforms.