On 25 June, 9 July and 24 September 2001, the London Symphony Orchestra will broadcast live via satellite as part of SUNRISE, a pilot project to assess the viability of using broadband Internet technology over satellite to reach new audiences.
ESA is supporting SUNRISE under the umbrella of ARTES 3 - the ESA Multimedia initiative dedicated to stimulating the market for satellite multimedia telecommunications. The LSO's partners in the project are GlobeCast (service provider), TVnewsweb.com (content provider), The University of Aberdeen (technology research) and Delta Communication (project manager).
The LSO will be broadcasting to six ''remote'' audience locations - five in the UK and one in northern Spain. Each event will last approximately 2 hours, including opportunities for the audiences to ask questions on line. The project is the first step towards the LSO streaming its concerts via satellite, potentially to a worldwide audience. The broadcasts will be transmitted as video and audio digital streams carried within Internet Packets (IP) which themselves form part of a standard Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) signal.
Using IP-over-DVB technology enables a low-cost DVB data receiver card to be fitted into a standard PC. Using the high quality multimedia features of the PC, the LSO can create an audio/visual experience for a new audience group. All the user needs is a conventional satellite dish and a PC.
Advances in technology present new opportunities, both commercial and educational, for the distribution and marketing of classical music to the listener and viewer. The commercial potential stems from the possibility of recording new material and delivering it economically to its audience. This method of broadcasting is especially suited to classical music, which does not receive the same high profile as popular music.
Music broadcasts can be supplemented with discussions and classes, some of which could be interactive. LSO sees the SUNRISE project as a vital step to exploring new technology prior to launching its Music Education Centre in London, scheduled for December 2002.