We’re going to be livestreaming the Wirehive 100 Awards
The nights are starting to draw in. The leaves are beginning to turn a beautiful golden colour, there is a definite chill in the early morning air, and there is an underlying sense of panic at Wirehive HQ. It’s clear that autumn is closing in and that means only one thing. The Wirehive 100 Awards are nearly here.
The venue is sorted, the production is sorted, and even the menu is sorted. The awards themselves have arrived from the manufacturer and have been checked to make sure they are as awesome as last year’s, and the wonderful people at Wirehive have all picked their posh frocks for the night. But there is one thing we haven’t quite sorted yet.
Last Year’s Efforts
At last year’s awards we tried something a little different. We live streamed the entire event.
If I’m being completely honest it was a bit of an experiment. We knew we could do it in theory, but we’d never tried it before.
We had the technical know-how, which let’s face it isn’t really a surprise. There are some amazingly clever and technologically able people working here and the one thing they all seem to share is a sense of curiosity for how things work. So if it’s to do with machines the chances are there is someone here that knows all about it already.
We had a variety of equipment that we figured would do the job, which was a good thing, as we had essentially no budget at all to buy anything.
We set up our CTO Simon’s brand new personal PC to run the software we needed and made sure we could connect the two Galaxy S8s we were using as cameras. It worked like a dream in the office. Our infrastructure manager subbed as a live editor and it all worked perfectly.
However when we arrived on site it seemed there was a problem we hadn’t foreseen.
Wi-Fi on the Fly
The wi-fi at the Guildhall in Southampton was not to the same standard as in Wirehive HQ. To be honest we probably should have predicted that. We pride ourselves on the quality of the connections we have (more to come on this in a future article) and unsurprisingly that of a large public venue wasn’t quite up to the same standard.
There were several large blackspots, and even at its best the signal was patchy.
Several hours later we had installed our own wifi system powered by the surprisingly good 4G signal you could get on the roof of the venue.
Considering the somewhat cobbled together nature of the solution we created what we ended up with was genuinely quite astonishing.
Which leads us on to this year.
Shhh, it’s a secret
I’m not supposed to tell you this, but we are going to live stream the awards again. Don’t tell anyone until the day though or I might get in trouble.
Much to our Finance Manager’s disappointment we had allocated a dedicated budget to getting some better equipment. We’re still planning on stealing Simon’s computer to act as an editing desk, and we already have some very nice video cameras, all we really needed to do is get the hardware that allows them to stream over wifi.
We got online and bought a couple of shoulder harnesses for the cameras, and more impressively a pair of transcoder units. They sit on the hot-shoe of the camera and stream the incoming feed via wifi to the editing desk.
We’ve got a number of static cameras that we will be placing around the venue and so we should be set for a pretty impressive feed this year.
Ticket sales are now closed. However if you want to experience some of the magic that is the Wirehive 100 awards then why not get together with your colleagues and have an awards party in your office?
We’ll be publishing the details of how you can access the feed shortly, but we can assure you that once again it will be high quality, and most importantly it will be free.
Just make sure that if you do watch it you join us on twitter with the hashtag #wirehive100.
And now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to start panicking about what still needs to be done.