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World Cup technology and what the tournament might mean for your network

13 · JUN ·2014

The introduction of a goal-line decision system has hogged all the headlines about technology in this year’s tournament, but it’s just one of many technologies making their world cup debut. Of course it’s a rather belated entrance for goal line technology, which has been used in various forms across other sports for many years, so we’re not really hailing a new innovation here, more celebrating the fact that Fifa have finally embraced it. That’s not to say the Goalcontrol4D system isn’t impressive; equipped with 14 high speed cameras it monitors both goal mouths and the position of the ball in three dimensions. Once it’s detected that the ball has crossed the line it sends an encrypted radio signal to a referees watch in less than a second- so there’s no stop/starting with the match.

Another World Cup first will be the production and broadcast of some fixtures in ultra-high definition 4K, which transmits a minimum resolution of 4,000 pixels. BBC have also announced that they will be trailing the streaming of 4k during the tournament; allowing them to gage how they can deliver this footage efficiently through the use of high-efficiency transmitters and high-efficiency video encoding (HEVC) and, for delivering high quality video over IP networks.

A typically nice touch from Google has them update their Google maps function to allow users to step inside the stadium and explore the streets outside it. It’s not quite virtual reality yet, but should contribute to a more immersive experience for your armchair viewer.

Finally of course we’re expecting to see an increase in bandwidth usage across our network during the tournament – the famous Des Lynam quote, "Good afternoon.Shouldn't you be at work?"when introducing a 2pm England game at France 98, no longer holds relevance – we’re all at work and we’re all watching! We witnessed this in Euro 2012 here and over the course of the Olympics later in the summer here.With more devices in your average office than ever before the smart money is on IP broadcast and connectivity networks being given a hard work out during the finals.

You’ll not need to worry about Fluidata’s own network handling the influx in demand, but if you have concerns over whether your own can cope; it might be worth considering putting any existing monitoring or bandwidth restriction tools to use, not least for the 5pm England vs Costa Rica game on the 24th of June. Either that or convince the powers that be to authorise an early finish!

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Posted by Sanita Karra