Momentum Church Pairs HEVC/H.265 With RSP for Live Streaming Over Cellular Hotspots

Jun 22, 2017 | Customer Stories, Multi-site

Product: Living As One's Multisite Platform

Location: Pensacola, Florida

Jamie Swanner, Technical Director of Momentum Church, a multisite church in Pensacola, Florida, knew that there had to be a better way to send video from Momentum’s broadcast site in Gulf Breeze, FL to their satellite campus in Navarre, FL. When both schools where the campuses meet denied Momentum access to any local internet connections, Momentum first decided to delay services a couple hours and drive the sermon file. This often led to irresolvable issues and high stress for the production team when the file-based delivery failed. According to Swanner “Sometimes they accidentally recorded the message in the wrong video format and we couldn’t play it, so our campus pastor would always have to get up in these instances and stand up and provide the message live.”

Swanner, who is also a military veteran, took it upon himself as a personal mission to find a better option. As he explains, “One day our campus pastor Alex and I went out on his boat and he was sharing his heart with me. He said, ‘Jamie sometimes being in the ministry is very stressful. I think the volunteers understand this.’ I looked Alex in the eye and said, ‘Alex, I’ve been to war. I’ve had rockets fired at me, explosions going around, and that is not as stressful as it is serving at the Navarre Campus on Sunday morning.’ That’s when I started doing my research to find a live streaming provider.”

Swanner knew that live streaming would be the best option for Momentum, but was also faced with the challenge of finding a solution that could work across the only network connection available to the church — cellular hotspots. This meant that the system would have to remain stable despite lots of packet loss and tricky internet connections. For a while, Swanner believed that he would have a tremendous feat to accomplish — until he discovered Living As One. “All the research I did for various companies led me to Living as One as my provider of choice. Living as One was the only company that said, ‘We believe our technology will be able to go over wireless hotspots,'” Swanner explains. According to Alex Valarde, a pastor at Momentum, “This opens the door for churches everywhere who want to get their message out but don’t have access to cable or fiber internet.”

To ensure successful video transmission across the cellular network, Momentum leverages Living As One’s patented Resilient Streaming Protocol (RSP), which guarantees audio/video data delivery regardless of the internet connection reliability. Many regard Living As One’s Multisite Platform, which was built around RSP, as the first reliable site to multisite solution for live streaming across the public internet, and now the platform has been shown to be successful even with wireless hotspots for live mobile streaming

According to Swanner, “All the other streaming platforms were saying, ‘Yeah, it might work, it could.’ Living As One said, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ The Multisite Platform was the only platform we had enough confidence with to try to make it work. I have to say it’s been a great start. “

While Living As One’s RSP supports the necessary resiliency for wireless video streaming, the efficiencies offered by the HEVC (H.265) compression codec minimize the bandwidth requirements for data transmission. HEVC is the successor to the 10-year-old H.264 compression codec and offers a 40-50% savings in bandwidth over its predecessor. “With the addition of the HEVC compression scheme on the second generation [Multisite] Decoders, it has cut our bandwidth requirements in half,” explains Swanner. “We are able to easily stream each weekend on less than 5 Mbps.”

At the broadcast campus, Momentum uses Living As One’s Multisite Encoder to compress live video with HEVC and transport it with RSP. The encoder is connected to a Peplink Multi-WAN router with one AT&T and one Verizon hotspot for multi-carrier failover. With RSP, the Peplink can automatically use whichever of the two hotspots has the better connection at any given moment to send video. At the receiving campus, the workflow is reversed and two hotspots from different carriers provide internet to another Peplink. The Peplink provides internet to the Multisite Decoder which allows the remote team to time-shift the video and begin playback whenever they need. With this setup, Swanner explains they have had zero video frame drops and the workflow is able to be operated by volunteers. “Last week we had a five-minute buffer [from live] without any problems whatsoever . . .   We’ve been running it for a couple of months and have now been able to stop driving the video file over.“

One day our campus pastor Alex and I went out on his boat and he was sharing his heart with me. He said, ‘Jamie sometimes being in the ministry is very stressful. I think the volunteers understand this.’ I looked Alex in the eye, ‘Alex, I’ve been to war. I’ve had rockets fired at me. Explosions going around and that is not as stressful as it is serving at the Navarre Campus on Sunday morning.’ That’s when I started doing my research to find a live streaming provider.

Jamie Swanner

Technical Director, Momentum Church

Speed Required for Momentum's Mobile Live Stream (Mbps)

This opens the door for churches everywhere who want to get their message out but don’t have access to cable or fiber internet.

Alex Velarde

Pastor, Momentum Church

%

Bandwidth Reduction Compared to H.264

All the other streaming platforms were saying, ‘Yeah, it might work, it could.’ Living As One said, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ The Multisite Platform was the only platform we had enough confidence with to try to make it work. I have to say it’s been a great start.

Jamie Swanner

Technical Director, Momentum Church

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