Simple, flexible and efficient

For the production of live interviews of the 33rd Montreux Volley Masters, the organizer relied on the all-in-one production platform “StudioTalk” from Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE). The worldwide distribution of the interviews was realized in cooperation with the Freecaster streaming platform.

After the successful sports business conference “The Spot” in Lausanne, the production platform StudioTalk of the Luxembourgish broadcast service provider BCE was selected by the organizers of the Montreux Volley Masters (MVM) 2018. First staged in 1984, the prestigious invitational tournament once again attracted the best volleyball nations in the world to the Swiss Riviera for its 33rd edition at the beginning of September.

StudioTalk is a solution as a Service (SaaS) and can be configured in a variety of ways, for example for visual radio for RTL Radio and FunRadio in France, for TV shows, live productions and event broadcast. In Montreux, the system was used to produce and distribute live interviews during the six-days event as easily and efficiently as possible.

Montreux relied on the close cooperation with the streaming platform operator Freecaster. Since May 2018, BCE and Freecaster agreed to jointly offer integrated services. The aim is to help sports organizers better monetize their video assets and make them accessible to a wider audience.

“BCE and Freecaster worked hand in hand on the project to achieve the best possible result. The team has always been available and has been well integrated into the work processes of our social media and marketing team throughout the event. We were impressed by the production and streaming quality of the images, which found an enthusiastic, worldwide audience, “said Maria Möller, media & marketing manager at the MVM.

StudioTalk by BCE is a so-called “one-touch production” tool with an intuitive graphical user interface. A touchscreen and dedicated remote control can be used to control cameras, switch signals and configure studio sets. The platform also allows seamless, automated production of a live show.

In addition to production tools, it offers a variety of branding options such as studio sets, channel branding and title effects. You can also import your own graphics into the solution. StudioTalk also has a content management system. This allows content archives to be viewed, playlists created (drag & drop), secondary events, and the monitoring of the entire infrastructure.

Content contribution and distribution allows StudioTalk to be used through interfaces for streaming, CDN, communications and network solutions. In addition, content can also be encrypted via BCE DRM services. The integrated transcoding technology enables the multiscreen live playback of content for use on any receiving platform.

In Montreux, BCE’s StudioTalk was used to create a fully automated interview studio with two cameras each on two sets. More than 40 interviews were conducted here. They were broadcast live on the MVM website via Freecaster’s streaming platform, recorded for Video on Demand (VoD) purposes and additionally broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.

The social media team added to the fact that interviews and game excerpts could be seen on the platforms Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Weibo. The StudioTalk platform also allowed the access to other MVM content. These included content from the TV production of the tournament, photos of the official photographer, but also logos of sponsors that had been delivered beforehand.

On site, the StudioTalk and Freecaster platform was housed in a small control room and was monitored by two BCE and a Freecaster employee. From here, the cameras on the interview sets and the animated studio branding could also be controlled, as well as individual clips of the tournament events being recorded.

“BCE was able to offer the MVM with StudioTalk a plug-and-play solution that ensured a high production standard and was in no way inferior to the quality of the rest of the tournament production,” explains Maria Möller.

Olivier Waty, Technology & Project Director at BCE: “It was a great pleasure to work for the Montreux Volley Masters and produce all the interviews with StudioTalk. The solution was easy to configure and was ready for use quickly.”

Baptiste Fosseprez, Chief Development Officer at Freecaster, praises the user-friendly touchscreen interface with the help of which productions can be done intuitively. In the sports and entertainment sector, Freecaster has made a name for itself through live streaming of the MXGP motocross series and the Tomorrowland Festival, among other things.

“Our platform was able to deliver the videos to all major target groups worldwide. Our player with multiple video feeds was used interactively, “Freecaster CEO Raymond Dulieu reported.

BCE announced that, based on the recent good experience with Freecaster, it would further expand its cooperation. By the way, this was also presented at IBC 2018. The Italian production company Videobank was responsible for the TV production and transmission of the MVM games to 36 countries. She was on hand with six cameras and an SNG with uplink. For the live broadcast of the event, there was also a pay-per-view offer for the first time.