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[ACC 2018] Media Briefing on OBS-Alibaba Cloud Partnership Announcement

  • Monday, December 3, 2018, 9:22 pm
  • ACROFAN=Yong-Man Kwon
  • yongman.kwon@acrofan.com
Alibaba Group held 'The Computing Conference 2018' from September 19 to 22 at Cloud Town located in Hangzhou, China. The Computing Conference 2018, now in its ninth year, is the annual flagship event of Alibaba Group, and cutting-edge technologies and applications of the group under the theme of ‘Empower Digital China’ were presented.

This Computing Conference was held in Cloud Town, a special industrial zone in Hangzhou, China, with more than 60,000 people attending from China and abroad. This year, Alibaba Group's latest technological capabilities in cloud computing, big data, AI, IoT, etc., which have recently attracted a great deal of attention, were introduced. At the same time, Alibaba Group made clear its commitment to contribute to the transformation of society into a digital society by releasing various partnerships.

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and Alibaba Cloud announced the launch of cloud-based broadcast environment 'OBS Cloud' at this Computing Conference. The OBS Cloud, which will be used at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, is a cloud-based broadcasting solution that will implement the largest service with the smallest on-site facility among all the Olympic broadcasting services so far. Moreover, the OBS Cloud symbolizes the ‘digital transformation’ of the media sector in the consumption of Olympic events, and the plans for immersive services in partnership with Intel Sports in the Olympic Games were introduced.

 
▲ Briefing time for OBS-Alibaba cooperation was prepared.

The amount of contents OBS generates in major Olympic Games over the last 10 years is increasing. In the case of the Winter Olympics, the content generated in this year's PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games was about 5,600 hours, while about 1,000 hours of content was produced at the Torino Winter Olympics in 2006. At the Summer Olympics, 3,200 hours of content at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games amounted to 7,100 hours at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Consumption of content has increased significantly, and the amount of content broadcasted has increased by about 10 times in both winter and summer Olympics.

The reason for this increase in consumption of Olympic content is that the way of consumption has changed. This is because not only traditional media such as TV, but also contents consumed in short clip form in the Internet, mobile, and SNS have increased. With the advent of this new generation of consuming sports through digital media, OBS has also partnered with Alibaba Cloud to showcase its cloud-based broadcasting service, ‘OBS Cloud’. Moreover, by using the latest innovative technology based on the cloud, the company will be able to respond effectively to the increasing trend of content consumption and support the sustainable growth.

According to the announcement, the challenges to be addressed in the global Olympic game broadcasting were the burden of capacity and computing power as service demand grows, network traffic, etc. In order to overcome the challenges and respond to the continuous demand, it is said that the use of public cloud and new technology is the key. In particular, in delivering content, it is necessary to maximize performance efficiency by utilizing data centers near large-scale demand sites. In the case of Alibaba Cloud, data centers are located on major continents such as China, the United States and Europe, having a favorable character in delivering contents globally.

 
▲ Cloud-based is now an important aspect of sustainability in broadcasting the Olympic Games.

 
▲ Alibaba Cloud's global coverage was also pointed out as an important part of the collaboration.

In 'OBS Cloud', cloud technology applies to both content creation and distribution, and requires high levels of capacity, speed and low latency in live broadcasting. And cloud technology is advantageous in terms of flexibility and scalability to efficiently support these features, enabling rapid configuration of the environment and rapid response to changing needs. In addition, the Alibaba Cloud plans to meet the demand for high performance and capacity with the latest Intel Xeon Scalable Processor-based infrastructure and provide high-speed direct connectivity to the International Broadcast Center (IBC) to satisfy the demands from the Olympic Games broadcasting.

Meanwhile, at the event, OBS Cloud announced a partnership based upon moving up the digital transformation of Intel and Olympics and providing the first volumetric content through OBS Cloud in the Olympics aiming at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Intel and Alibaba collaborate with OBS to enhance the viewers’ experience and bring the fans closer to the site of a real game, based on virtual reality technology, and they research for methods of offering media that gives immersive feeling to the right holding broadcasters (RHBs) around the world. It includes Intel's Xeon Scalable Processors in the OBS Cloud, Intel's computing power to handle large amounts of data, as well as Intel's technology to create and deliver immersive media.

ABU Sports Network introduced that the format of broadcasting has been different compared to the past, and the consumption way of young generation became also different that they consume through short clips on SNS or internet, not TV broadcasts. In addition, multi-CDN services from Alibaba Cloud in delivering content to the world, making it possible to service content created in Asia Pacific as well as the world.