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Staying ahead of the game: Our new capabilities in TVOB

Bringing you end-to-end broadcasting services.

Benjamin Webster
Product Manager for Occasional Use Services

Outside broadcasting enables real-time, high-quality content creation for news stories, concerts, and sports events through reliable on-demand connectivity.

However, moving broadcasting beyond the studio can present challenges, such as the possibility of inadequate connectivity and a requirement for a more flexible solution to capture and distribute content. That’s why BT provides an all-in-one solution, enabling you to transmit and receive high-quality content effortlessly from the venue to the desired destination.


We are focused on elevating our offering through innovation, streamlining our portfolio, and combining technologies to create new workflows. Our TV Outside broadcast solutions and Vena, our intelligent media platform, has enabled us to deliver live broadcasts in new and innovative ways and to name a few, during the 2022/23 season we delivered on:


  • over 380 English Premier League games with over 7000 visions and ~100,000 hours of booked content.
  • on-site support in Paris for the UEFA Champions League final where we had two trucks providing over 20G of network capacity for the UK host broadcasters.
  • full remote production at all UK stadium venues.


Overall, we supported 13 different broadcasters and delivered content for  more than 15 different types of sports.


In collaboration with LiveU, we are launching a new capability, enhancing our TV Outside Broadcasting (TVOB) portfolio. Plus, we're refreshing our media suite capability for frame rate standards conversion by building in InSync, providing seamless down conversions for OU services. These products will offer flexible connectivity for lower-tier events and additional access routes to and from the BT network, all while working as an extension of our current TVOB offerings.


We caught up with Benjamin Webster, Product Manager for Occasional Use Services, to discuss the most recent developments in TV Outside Broadcast and how it’s benefitting our customers.

What’s new with TV Outside Broadcast?

“In addition to TVOB’s range of solutions, we have been working in collaboration with LiveU to embed their capabilities into our network and combine the contribution elements which LiveU can provide from remote locations, to be able to transmit video over cellular and other IP networks,” says Benjamin Webster. “We can then receive those feeds into BT Tower and pass that onto our FacilityLine Switch, or alternatively bring it into our intelligent media platform, Vena. We will then hand those signals off to the customer which is ultimately for us an extension to our portfolio. Bringing flexible and cost-effective ways of delivering content from Outside Broadcasting into our network.”


“We will be facilitating those services where customers can bring their own LiveU device and book into our occasional use services team. Alternatively, we have our own LU800 devices in the field, where we will have the capabilities on an outside broadcast that we are already on-site at to deliver an additional feed or multiple additional feeds as a primary or a backup into our network as a contribution. As well as being able to receive content via LiveU into BT Tower, we also have the ability to send live feeds out to a customer from BT Tower.”


“Ultimately, this is a great collaboration between two organisations that marry up quite nicely in terms of the features and capabilities that we can bring into our portfolio that we don’t have today.”


Further breaking down how InSync will work as a media suite capability, Benjamin unpicks the benefits of adding it to our list of capabilities.


“Additionally, we are refreshing and updating some of our media suite capabilities for occasional use. That will include embedding the product of the year, which was won by a company called InSync, into our network in our OB room in BT Tower. What that will do is allow us capabilities that we can already do today like standards converting and carrying OU content from one location and standard converting that to another location, as well as the capabilities to up-convert and down-convert video feeds and send them over our network too. This is quite exciting because we are refreshing and adding an extension in terms of the capabilities that we will have in our network for OU services.”


The launch of our Vena platform was critical for the expansion of services we can offer to the Outside Broadcasting market. A number of our sites have now migrated onto Vena, which enables dynamic provisioning and streamlined operations for flexibility, efficiency and resilience. We also offer JPEG XS compression, which enables the transport of high bandwidth content with low latency, whenever you need it. It's an exciting future ahead for our TVOB network.

How does this benefit our customers?

“For LiveU, there are many synergies in the customers between LiveU and BT, and collating an offering together all for new possibilities for getting content in and out of our network. We now have new possibilities for getting content in and out of BT Tower and our network with LiveU. It’s an alternative way of being able to deliver these types of services that we don’t have today,” Benjamin details.


“Certainly, on remote and ad-hoc events, it’s a cost-effective solution. We can ultimately provide it as a Disaster Recovery (DR) feed or a backup to our traditional fixed connectivity as well, so it compliments our portfolio nicely. Customers will be able to book services on an ad-hoc event basis, which creates a lot of flexibility for our customers that already have these types of devices.”


Benjamin continues discussing the change in broadcasting standards and how through refreshing our media suite capabilities by building in Insync, we’re benefitting customers in more ways than one.


“Some of the things that we are seeing today is a change in terms of the standards we are seeing in the UK as there is a move to more 1080p services. What we can do is either down or up-convert feeds as required by customers with this capability from say 1080p or upwards to UHD and also down-convert to HD as well, it opens up some additional possibilities that our customers require from a strategic partner and service provider.”


“From an InSync perspective, the benefits are if you need content to get to a different country which has different types of standards, being able to standards convert is really important and to have that embedded within the network where your content is already travelling is a great benefit.” 

Can you speak about who would benefit from these capabilties?

“Our LiveU capability is primed for use in live sport, news conferences or any live broadcast you can get cellular or IP network coverage. Use cases could also be used for different types of sporting events, DR feeds or tertiary backup feeds for where we are already providing either fixed or satellite connectivity for today. Other customers who could benefit from these capabilities are those who need to deliver content into BT Tower or into our network quickly. They already have a LiveU device so they can easily book the delivery of that content into our network.”


“We have so far provided these services for multiple events including scenarios where we have used LiveU delivery as a backup feed for a satellite uplink where we are already providing services,” he explains.


Benjamin continues to discuss how InSync is and will be used for individual use cases.


“For InSync, any customers that are already booking fixed fibre services today that need to down or up-convert or change the standard of the video content that they are doing, so that could be people who are distributing the content to other countries, sending it to other types of broadcasters, or need to convert the feed themselves.”

Why partner with BT M&B?

“With our new collaborations and by embedding new services into our capabilities we are hoping to deliver what our customers and partners require moving forward. We know that new technology is being brought into the Outside Broadcast world and we want to be at the forefront of the market.”


Currently, our fibre/OB satellite link trucks can help you broadcast from wherever you are. Plus, our remote production capabilities offer flexibility to support your broadcasts no matter the level of equipment or on-site engineers. By increasing and refreshing our capability, we're adding more possibilities and increasing the flexibility of Outside Broadcasting proposition — making it accessible for all.


To find out more about how we can help you, contact your Account Manager today or visit our webpage at: Outside broadcast


Alternatively, you can contact us here.

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