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Call of Duty Black Ops II World exclusive first look streamed live from Gamescom by Jon Pratchett I work a lot in live online broadcasting, and backup systems are top of mind when designing any live event. Being off air for any reason is unacceptable, so I build systems knowing that should something fail, I can easily reroute the signal or switch to another machine. This was on my mind when we were asked to live stream for four straight days at Gamescom 2012 in Germany. Gamescom is one of the largest gaming exhibitions in The World, and Activision, one of the largest gaming publishers, asked us to live stream the first look at Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 to hundreds of thousands of excited fans. Streaming Live from Gamescom We had to work at 720p 59.94 as we needed to stream live Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 game footage from an Xbox, and this game ran at 60fps. If we had dropped it to even 30fps, the client would not be happy. Our encoding machine needed high quality capture cards that could take the game’s 59.94fps input and enable us to deliver a high quality stream airing on xbox.com and other high profile gaming sites. We also needed to play out a lot of pre-recorded VT’s that were shot, edited and delivered the same day. We had two computers each running two different pieces of encoding software. The gaming industry like using xSplit, however, just to be on the safe side, we also configured and ran Wirecast in case of a crash. Needing an HD SDI input for each piece of software, we installed Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink Duo PCIe capture and playback cards. Each DeckLink card had a single HD SDI cable feeding into input one with a short cable connecting output one to input two. A great advantage with these cards is the drivers. Both xSplit and Wirecast could see the embedded audio in the HD SDI signal, so there was no need for a separate analogue input, 68 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 68 07/12/2012 15:15