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TV viewers enjoy an unprecedented multimedia experience by Kristyna Sonkova, Visual Unity L eading broadcast and multiscreen systems integrator Visual Unity has helped Czech public service broadcaster Czech Television to deliver premium coverage of the recent Games in London, with enhanced online and mobile services. Visual Unity was able to handle this prestigious project on the basis of its extensive experience of designing, delivering and integrating turnkey TV systems, broadcast-IT convergent and multiscreen solutions. Since 1999, Visual Unity has undertaken a variety of successful projects for Czech Television including the recent design and build of an eight-camera High Definition Outside Broadcast vehicle and powering the broadcaster’s award-winning on-line and mobile service iVysilani with its vuMediaTM multiscreen platform. Anticipating huge demand for this year’s largest sports event across the full range of mobile devices, Czech TV enhanced iVysilani by providing a dedicated website (www.loh.cz) that offered two HD sports TV channels 82 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE and 8 further on-line only channels showing live streaming and highlights. All of these channels were available on PCs and smartphones via dedicated apps for iPhone/iPad (iOS) and Android. “Preparing for the Games was a new challenge for us,” says Pavlina Kvapilova, Executive Director of Czech Television´s New Media Division. “We were very careful to ensure maximum on-line coverage because, in today’s media landscape, it is crucial that traditional TV broadcasting is complemented by streamed coverage that viewers can access from their desktop computers and mobile devices. In cooperation with Visual Unity as our systems integration partner, we are pleased to say that we achieved our goals and made the Games a multiplatform experience for our viewers.” For the duration of the event in London, Czech TV employed Visual Unity’s own Content Delivery Network with a dedicated 80Gbps capacity (HD 720p/3.5Mbit or SD up to 2Mbit) so that viewers could keep up with the sporting action, the results and highlights, on a 24 hour basis. Eight additional encoders were installed by Visual Unity to maintain the live streaming services and to support Czech Television’s existing capacity. Visual Unity also designed and delivered two HD channels, linking Czech Television’s Prague centre to the Czech dedicated Games studio in London. The technology, which is based on low latency Teracue encoder/decoder products, enabled smoother communication between the two studios and allowed for the internal distribution of eight traditional broadcast and streaming signals within the Czech TV complex in Prague. RIEDEL MediorNet technology was also deployed to reduce the amount of cables needed to ensure all signals reached all locations during this important broadcasting period. Tomas Petru, President and MD Visual Unity, says: “We are delighted to have helped Czech Television to deliver the first truly multiscreen Games. By combining our broadcast and multiscreen expertise with cutting- edge technology, we were able to offer a solution that allowed audiences to enjoy this prestigious event on any screen.”