HockeyTV needed to provide live high-quality video from tens of thousands of games at over 2,000 rinks without problematic packet loss and jitter affecting viewers at home. Faced with unpredictable internet and limited bandwidth at each rink, it was challenging to carve out overhead for traditional FEC or ARQ streaming solutions.
By integrating Zixi with their existing software encoders, HockeyTV achieves 100% bandwidth efficiency and management at each rink. HockeyTV can now broadcast games from over 2,000 locations with exceptional quality and reliability—all using the same internet connections as before.
The Zixi Platform, with dynamic error-correction technology, enables HockeyTV to aggregate high-quality live streams from thousands of hockey rinks. This has led to fewer customer complaints and increased customer satisfaction across the board.
HockeyTV is the premier destination for watching amateur ice hockey online. Each season, HockeyTV streams tens of thousands of elite amateur league games from around the world to avid fans who watch the action from their laptops, smartphones, tablets, and TV devices such as Roku. To deliver a consistent viewing experience for customers, HockeyTV adopted the Zixi Platform to improve the quality of video streams from over 2,000 hockey rinks it covers.
Trouble with existing infrastructure
To broadcast such a staggering number of games, HockeyTV uses on-site encoders at thousands of local rinks to stream high-quality video to various CDN edge points. Previously, this “first mile” of ingest was accomplished using traditional RTMP streaming. But because of problematic internet connections at each rink, upload quality was inconsistent, resulting in packet loss and jitter that affected viewers’ experience. HockeyTV customer support teams were flooded with complaints of signal loss and poor quality.
Changing the game with Zixi
HockeyTV needed a universal solution that would deliver exceptional-quality video from every game, at every location—every time. To ensure a consistent customer experience, HockeyTV turned to Zixi in hopes of eliminating disruptive packet loss and jitter from transmissions.
“With Zixi, HockeyTV can flawlessly stream more games over the open Internet to hockey fans around the world. It’s made a huge impact on our business.”
—Marc Ruskin, President, HockeyTech
The Zixi Platform is highly scalable and easily integrates with any broadcast technology, so the Zixi team created a solution that fit perfectly with HockeyTV’s existing workflow. Zixi Feeder software was installed on workstations at each rink to receive video from on-site HockeyTV encoders. Zixi Feeder sends the high-quality feeds to Zixi Broadcaster in the cloud, which routes the video to the CDN. By implementing the Zixi Platform between the on-premise software encoders and the CDN edge points, HockeyTV leveraged the network-aware adaptive streaming, intelligent error correction, packet-loss recovery, and overall resiliency of the Zixi Transport Stream to deliver pristine video to customers—regardless of network quality at each location.
- Capture hockey games at multiple sports facilities
- Encode video feeds at each location with on-site HockeyTV encoders
- Zixi Feeder software at each location receives encoded video from HockeyTV encoders
- Deliver video to hosted Zixi Broadcaster via Zixi Transport Stream
- Zixi Broadcaster routes video feed to CDN edge points
- CDN delivers games to audiences on set top boxes, mobile devices, and computers
Taking a proven solution further
With the Zixi Platform in place, games from over 2,000 rinks were reaching customers—error-free—on multiple devices in full HD quality. The marked improvement in customer experience moved HockeyTV to streamline their workflow with further Zixi integration.
“Almost immediately, we saw a dramatic reduction in call volume regarding quality of service.”
—Marc Ruskin, President, HockeyTech
The Zixi SDK enables manufacturers to embed Zixi in their existing hardware and software solutions. Presented with this option, HockeyTV chose to integrate Zixi directly into all their software encoders, removing the need for a separate Zixi Feeder installation and accelerating acquisition times. Video feeds can now stream directly from the HockeyTV encoders at each rink to Zixi Broadcaster in the cloud. And because Zixi provides an API for Zixi Broadcaster, HockeyTV is adding Zixi technology to more steps in their current workflows.
Zixi: Better for customers. Better for HockeyTV.
For hockey fans, players, and scouts who rely on HockeyTV for an incredibly diverse selection of games year-round, perfect service to all devices is a must. Missing an essential play or losing the puck because of poor streaming quality and signal dropouts can mean the difference between a happy paying customer and a detractor. While cost-effective, using internet connections to gather game footage at myriad rink locations resulted in an inconsistent customer experience. Zixi makes it possible to deliver broadcast-quality content over those same standard internet connections with a high degree of reliability and utmost security.
In addition to improving viewer experience and helping save on customer support costs, the Zixi-integrated encoders are easily deployed to any location with an internet connection. So, as HockeyTV grows to cover more games from new rinks, the Zixi solution will effortlessly scale alongside their business.
In streamlining their existing workflow, Zixi had an incredible impact on the way HockeyTV gathers tens of thousands of games for excited fans. And because of the Zixi Platform, HockeyTV customers can enjoy countless hours of uninterrupted high-quality hockey from their phones, tablets, or televisions.
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