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AJA Helo streams Malaysia’s Merdeka Race 2020

AJA Helo streams Malaysia’s Merdeka Race 2020

AJA Helo streams Malaysia’s Merdeka Race 2020


TWMR Productions and Blonde Robot have joined forces to produce and deliver coverage of the two-day annual Merdeka Race at the Sepang International Circuit. The event, which attracted more than 100,000 viewers, was broadcast via local satellite TV channel Astro Arena, as well as a Facebook livestream powered by an AJA Helo H.264 streaming, encoding and recording device.

The start of Malaysia’s racing season is marked by the country’s National Independence Day as drivers rev up their engines to compete. Though spectators were unable to cheer the drivers from the stands this year, event organisers developed a plan to ensure no one would miss out on the action.

“Merdeka only takes place once a year, and this year’s race was especially important, as it marked the first local return of sports since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Azrina Jane Abdullah, territory manager of AJA distributor, Blonde Robot. “With the competition closed to spectators, the event organisers wanted to ensure audiences could tune into every second online, which meant streaming full coverage of the event via Facebook Live, in addition to highlights shared on local channels, and Helo proved a perfect tool for the job.

“On a production like this, workflow stability is crucial, and downtime is not an option, which is why we went with Helo. It performed solidly, delivering an incredibly low-latency, high quality stream, even with our limited bandwidth allocation, and was so easy to set up, and control from a laptop. It’s a powerful, intuitive and cost-efficient tool for getting any live stream to audiences around the world.”

TWMR provided an OB truck outfitted with a combination of traditional and RF cameras. HD footage of the event was distributed via fibre or RF to a production switcher and mixed with graphics overlays and audio, before a 1080i output of the produced feed was sent through AJA Helo, encoded to H.264 at 1080p 25fps and distributed to Facebook Live. Using Helo’s intuitive web-based user interface, Abdullah controlled the device and monitored the feed from a laptop stationed at a safe distance from others onsite. Given limited bandwidth of less than 10 Mb, the footage was then redistributed to other content delivery networks with help from the service. In addition to supporting encoding and live streaming for the event, AJA Helo also allowed TWMR and MSF to record the event for archival and on-demand viewing purposes.

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