By David Lao
There’s a new angle on live streaming – actually, there are four.
A recently developed app allows users to choose which angle to watch live streaming sport games, concerts and events.
PESA Live features multiple video feeds at the same time while giving users the option to tap into which feed angle they want to focus in on.
Ryerson RTA School of Media students designed the multi-camera content and graphics, while computer science students created the application.
The project was done in collaboration with PESA, a provider of audio and video distribution applications.
“You can essentially look at four different screens and switch between those screens and you can get audio content from the commentators and that sort of thing.
At the same time, while you’re doing all of that, you can actually live tweet,” said Melissa Malone, RTA communications coordinator.
The app functions with cameras set up in different viewpoints, all of which are connected to Xstream, a piece of hardware that combines audio with video from all the cameras into one stream that can be viewed on the app.
The app also has a sidebar function where users can message each other to keep communication live.
But Ryerson wasn’t initially planning to be this involved in the project.
“The intent was that we help [PESA] develop the technology first and its applications and what things would sort of suit our market place, so we were there sort of as their beta test subjects,” said RTA professor Rick Grunberg, who led the project.
But it turned into a partnership in July 2013 after the students got involved with the hardware development.
The app was released in time for users to stream the men’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national basketball championships.
The footage was provided by the game cameras set up by the RTA Sport Media videographers.
“Part of it [was] at the Mattamy [Athletic Centre] for the CIS championships and was our sort of real full-scale beta test to see if the networks can handle if everyone has their app open, streaming all this video to all these people,” said Grunberg.
The multi-million dollar project was funded by grants from Connect Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and PESA.
Grunberg said that PESA was supposed to outsource the development of the app to a different company, but after seeing the work the students did, they decided to hire graduate computer science students Tyler Pham and Raymond Padillo to work fulltime at PESA.
PESA saw Pham and Padillo’s work as better than what the outsourced company was doing, according to Grunberg.
“They had three people working on it and [Pham] was constantly way ahead of them – so they said, ‘you know what, let Tyler just do it all and he did it all,” Grunberg says.
PESA Live plans to provide live streams at more events – “perhaps the fashion event [Mass Exodus] coming up.”