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AJA’s BRIDGE LIVE an essential tool in BlackStar’s eSports production

Having produced some of the biggest eSports broadcasts, live production services provider BlackStar Group is still evolving and exploring new workflow solutions.

What the company has not deviated from, is its use of the AJA BRIDGE LIVE, which provides a broadcast-quality, low-latency turnkey system for live streaming. 

Adam Flynn, Group Director of Business Development, BlackStar Group, explained, “eSports did a major pivot to online events during the pandemic. Like many live event production companies, we ended up leaning on encoding a lot more, and it’s been a major part of what we’ve been doing since, with BRIDGE LIVE as an essential tool.”

A typical show for the BlackStar team entails connecting with the on-site production crew or outside broadcast (OB) truck staff. Working with production engineers, the team arranges all final video feeds to be transmitted to its rack, which includes four BRIDGE LIVE units. 

The transmissions are then separated, monitored, and tested on the BlackStar distribution platform. From there, the team can send low-latency feeds to remote producers, or private, high-quality feeds to nearly any online platform, or package them for broadcast on major channels, including ESPN, ABC, and FOX. On occasion, they may also send select clean feeds to international broadcasters. 

Pat Marcoux, Encoding Engineer, BlackStar Group, added, “The low latency and multi-point sync provided by BRIDGE LIVE are fantastic and its overall reliability is priceless.

“The biggest change we’ve seen is the ability to manage multi-channel audio, which was previously a major pain point. BRIDGE LIVE eliminates this challenge and has helped us step up our ability to archive the available data. We can send our main broadcast to an ingest server and separate the feeds, such as the main programme, clean, casters only, and analysts only.

“All audio is available to us, and we can ingest it very quickly.”

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