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T-Mobile 4G Live Commercials

In April 2017 the Netherlands witnessed the first LIVE commercials on TV ever. Directly broadcasted in the commercial slots. To proof the quality and bandwidth of the 4G Unlimited Network of T-Mobile. Next Empire was responsible for all the streaming and broadcasting technology.

    From early on in the project we were asked to help out by our friends from Anomaly. Trying to facilitate front-runner technology for their crazy idea. Once the idea was clear we got to work to get the first commercials ever in the Netherlands on TV. See here the video that Bright TV shot.

    Proof of the pudding

    So we’ve all seen normal commercials. Shot and edited before going on TV. A century old craft which is quite clear cut with review moments with the client, post-production, grading, sound fx, the whole shebang. However Anomaly thought it would be a good idea to go LIVE on TV. To proof that the T-Mobile network actually is the best. Something that hasn’t been done before in the Netherlands. At Next Empire we thought this could be fun and started researching what the architecture needed to be. In the meantime Anomaly convinced the client T-Mobile to actually go ahead with this daring plan. Showing the quality of your 4G network LIVE on TV, where the whole world could see if it failed. Luckily it didn’t.

    The technicals

    For this specific job we needed to set up cloud servers to receive the video-streams that were shot throughout the Netherlands with various iPhones 7 plusses. These streams would then flow through to the switching room in Hilversum where we had setup Johan Kramer (Halal) in a fully prepared switching room. Here we had 4 live streams coming in from which Johan could choose. We kept in touch with each location via special forks that connected from one point in Hilversum to all four locations simultaneously. And so it happened. See below the first sketches of the architecture we setup for the project.

    architecture
    livestream
    communications

    Facebook Live stream

    Meanwhile we also set up a Facebook livestream that needed to be up for 4 hours. Via our own servers we intercepted the live stream and made sure it could never go down. Because otherwise you would maybe miss part of the most exciting race ever. A snailrace. The slowest race on the fastest network. See video, enjoy!

    Credits