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NASA Relies on Teradek for the Official Eclipse 2017 Multicast Live Streaming
During the historic solar eclipse of August 2017, NASA EDGE deployed 5 Teradek Cubes to make multiple telescope feeds available for live broadcast to multiple streaming platforms.
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NASA EDGE is the most popular video podcast for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It delivers episodic videos and live webcasts for NASA-related events (rocket launches, orbital maneuvers, astronomical events, etc.). Over the past ten years, NASA EDGE has produced more than 135 episodes and 25 live webcasts via Ustream.

Most of NASA EDGE's live webcasting and production needs are managed within NASA’s infrastructure. However, earlier this summer, we had the opportunity to provide an off-site, live webcast using a Teradek Cube 155 we acquired from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The Teradek allowed us to deliver the program feed through the firewall (negotiated) back to NASA Langley, where it was captioned and shared with all interested parties.

This capability opened several new opportunities for us. We’re no longer limited to a single distribution platform. If the network strength is there, we can send our program feed back to NASA Langley to be captioned and then distributed either via broadcast and/or the web.

Before, we were not able to provide captioning, and we were limited to one stream (Ustream, Facebook, or YouTube). Teradek has given us more flexibility with regard to our broadcast location and the ability to provide better distribution.

Teradek products changed our entire approach to covering the Eclipse. For this event, we needed to provide a program feed for the audience along with four additional feeds for our telescopes (three independent solar scopes at different frequencies and one feed with processed video imagery of the eclipse).

The additional feeds were helpful for multiple reasons. First, different portions of the eclipse were more spectacular at different frequencies, so we needed constant coverage across the three frequencies. Also, we wanted to utilize each frequency for our program in addition to sharing them in the clear for fellow broadcasters. There is no way we could justify the satellite truck and transmission costs to provide all of these feeds. After our experience earlier this year, we knew we could meet everyone’s needs using Teradek products.

Our workflow involved us using 5 Teradek Cubes to take each telescope feed (H-Alpha, Calcium-K, White Light), a processed imagery video feed, as well as our program feed, and make them available for live broadcast.

This post-processed imagery was sourced from a computer attached to a Teradek, which sent the stunning video sequences to its own dedicated Ustream channel.

Finally, our program feed was sourced from a switcher to our captioning device. From there, it was sent to a distribution amp where the show was sent to our on-site satellite truck and to our final Cube. This final Cube sent our program feed to CORE, where it was multicasted live across multiple online sites (Ustream, Facebook, YouTube and others).

This article was submitted as an exclusive to Streaming Media by Teradek. Learn more about the filming process in this FD Times article. Learn more about the Teradek workflow here.