Winning Video Gold with Sochi Winter Olympics

by Michael Steele

Gravity-defying snowboard tricks, stunning figure skating routines and hard-hitting hockey matchups.

Hundreds of millions of viewers across the world tuned in to catch all the action from Sochi’s 2014 Winter Olympics. And thanks to Elemental Technologies and NVIDIA GPUs, viewers had the freedom to stream Olympics coverage to any device of their choosing.

Elemental insures smooth streaming, key to keeping viewers hooked during nail-biting sports events.
Elemental’s technology ensures smooth streaming, key to keeping viewers hooked during sports events.

Elemental brings streaming video to TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile devices via IP networks, giving its broadcast customers – including Comcast, HBO, ESPN, the BBC and many others worldwide – the ability to provide on-demand content on any screen, anytime.

Among them is Channel One, Russia’s exclusive in-country content distributor for the Olympics, which reaches more than 250 million viewers, 24/7.

After Elemental’s success streaming the 2012 London Olympics for clients including the BBC, Eurosport, and NHK, Channel One turned to Elemental technology for the same ease and flexibility.

Elemental pioneered the use of NVIDIA GPUs to optimize video streaming over IP networks, and continues to innovate with new technologies designed to take best advantage of NVIDIA’s parallel processing architectures.

Elemental’s implementation of video software algorithms on NVIDIA GPUs delivers an enhanced end-user experience by eliminating buffering – the delay caused for a user when they don’t have the bandwidth to receive a continuous stream of video. By allowing the streaming software to process multiple bitrates at the same time, video that works with a user’s connection speed is always at the ready.

Supporting live streaming for weeks on end to hundreds of millions may seem daunting to some, but it’s all in a day’s work for the engineers at Elemental, whose technology is capable of pulling off a successful event the size of the Olympics. And Elemental already has its eye on future live global sport broadcasts, including this year’s World Cup.

“The World Cup should see Elemental’s largest audience yet, and right after that we’ll start to prepare for the Rio Olympics in 2016,” said Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer, Elemental Technologies. 4K Ultra HDs and other new devices are coming fast. With NVIDIA GPUs, Wymbs says he’s confident he’ll have the technology to help his customers handle anything.