NetCaster will provide a solution for customers looking for multi-party conferencing over the Alphasat and Inmarat-4 satellites with low capital investment and control over operational cost. NetCaster will provide reliable asymmetric multiparty conferencing with low latency. The baseline mode of operation is highly robust audio, this is complemented by ‘rich media’ in a manner dependent upon available hardware resources and network capacity.
The objective is to provide a solution for event managers and producers who have a requirement to gather media from contributors using smartphone and tablet technology in combination with land mobile, vehicular mount and maritime BGAN terminals. To enable a variety of media to be transmitted to a receiver making best use of available bandwidth with graceful fallback to robust audio. An underlying design goal of NetCaster is to be able to exploit the different service types available on the BGAN network and deliver rich interactive media over background class data connections.
The main challenges of the NetCaster project have been identified as:
- Presenting a simple, intuitive graphical user interface to both the client contributor’s and the producer whilst managing complex tasks behind the scenes,
- Support for a wide variety of rich media,
- Reducing operational costs and providing visibility on expenditure,
- Supporting rich media such as live video without impacting on the interactive user experience and minimizing the effects of the inherent latency of satellite communications,
- Supporting a range of BGAN terminals and simplifying the user experience.
The key benefits of NetCaster are:
- Provision of an extendible platform for content contribution,
- Control over capital and operating expenditure,
- Offer a simple but effective production system that does not require a sophisticated infrastructure or highly skilled staff,
- Enable “rich media” contribution based on available bandwidth.
System architecture includes a “NetCaster Client” for installation on remote user platforms, and “NetCaster Producer” to be installed at the central receive site and will be used by the production manager.
The client will be able to contribute:
- Conversational textual ‘chat’,
- Sequences of still images,
- Telemetry and geo-tagging information,
- H.264AVC encoded motion video,
- Store & forward H.264AVC video,
- Transmit file based data such as photographs.
The producer will have the ability to:
- Manage remote users,
- Receive content from multiple clients and generate a produced feed that can be delivered to corporate, broadcast or Internet audience,
- Manage operational costs.
The NetCaster project is divided into 6 tasks, each task is broken down further into a number of work packages, the tasks are;
- Task 1: Project planning, project articles, software management, document configuration and reporting on completion,
- Task 2: Business analysis, dissemination activities and marketing and application workshops,
- Task 3: Client side requirements, server side requirements and pilot system architecture,
- Task 4: Application design and development,
- Task 5: Application system integration,
- Task 6: Pilot utililisation.
Following the September launch of NetCaster at IBC in Amsterdam, we are delighted to report favourable interest from the industry, and look forward to welcoming enterprise customers for product evaluation in November.
NetCaster has been used in three pilot trial activities:
- the Rolex Fastnet 2013 Ocean Race
- the Capetown to Goodwood biplane journey
the Transat Jacques Vabre Ocean Race
For more information: