While Tommy Hilfiger showcased a ‘70s-inspired collection for the upcoming season, the designer’s online multi-camera webcast was anything but retro. For New York Fashion Week, live event production company B Live developed an interactive, multi-camera live viewing experience; the designer’s global fan base could follow the show virtually from multiple angles in real time.
The supporting system relied on the Matrox Monarch EDGE encoder and its ability to receive multiple HD feeds and composite them into a quad-split stream. In combination with B Live’s user interface, this allowed for seamless switching among multiple camera views.
During the show, viewers visited the Tommy Hilfiger website to watch live webcasts from the Apollo Theater in Harlem. On the website, live event production company, B Live provided runway, overhead, and head-to-toe views of the models as isolated feeds, as well as a director’s cut that the company produced on-site.
In order to give fans a seamless viewing experience, B Live needed an encoder that could accept four discrete HD inputs and deliver a single 4K stream as a quad-split composition. Before the company purchased its Monarch EDGE H.264 encoder, its user interface did not allow viewers to watch multi-camera video with continuity. Instead, the player would need to buffer each new camera angle selected by the user before the video would become available for viewing.
“Before we got the Monarch EDGE, every time the viewer switched camera angles, it loaded a new independent stream, said Jay Kopelman, Director of Digital Engineering for B Live. “Because we can now do quad-HD streams with Monarch EDGE, we can feed a single 4K stream into the player – which is why the switching is so seamless.”
B Live’s camera crew captured each angle separately. Four 1080p30 video streams, including three isolated views and one director’s cut that B Live produced on-site, were sent back to the B Live office via satellite. There, Monarch EDGE received the feeds and encoded them into a single 4K, 20-Mbps stream that was then sent to the B Live platform. On the B Live user interface (embedded in the Tommy Hilfiger website), fans were able to easily decide which part of the show to follow from the three isolated feeds available in addition to the director’s cut – all from their mobile devices, laptops, or desktop computers. These viewers – numbering over 500,000 – were also able to watch the show live on Tommy Hilfiger’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels.