CBT Systems Banks on AJA Performance for Live eSports Production and Streaming Integrations

CBT Systems Banks on AJA Performance for Live eSports Production and Streaming Integrations

September 18, 2018

CBT Systems (CBTS) began as a concept authored on a napkin more than 20 years ago, and quickly evolved into a design and engineering powerhouse serving high profile clients in broadcast and production, sports and ProAV. With the recent rise of eSports as a spectator event, CBTS has been increasingly called upon to architect broadcast quality workflows supporting large-scale live productions. In preparing to launch a new 30,000 square-foot eSports arena in Las Vegas, Allied Esports called upon CBTS to design and build a live production workflow for the expansive facility. Tapping AJA solutions and a host of other equipment, CBTS delivered an extensive setup that supports weekly 1080p 59.94 eSports tournament live streams to in-house displays and streamed via Twitch. Earlier in the arena this year, Allied held a “Fortnite” eSports tournament hosted by professional gamer Ninja, which broke Twitch’s all-time concurrent viewer record at the time of more than 667,000 viewers. 

Fans tune into the live stream each week to watch gamers play a range of video games such as “Fortnite,” “Smite,” “Dragonball,”and “Rocket League,” and are quick to comment on everything from lighting to camera angles and sound – making reliable, high quality tools a necessity. “There’s a tremendous amount of pressure to get everything right when streaming live to hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide. Even the smallest technical glitch floods the stream with real-time complaints, which is why we rely on AJA gear,” said CBTS President Darrell Wendhardt. “The company develops quality solutions with unmatched longevity. I’ve tested other gear on the market, but you simply just can’t beat the performance, reliability and quality of signal that AJA tools provide.” 

Allied’s sprawling facility includes a front of house (FOH) and back of house (BOH) control room. The FOH control room sits on a second-floor balcony overlooking the arena where audio and lighting are closely monitored, while the BOH space houses broadcast quality production switchers, graphics systems and more. More that 50 sources throughout the facility provide audiences with comprehensive tournament coverage; sources include four studio cameras; 12 robotic cameras; 3 POV cameras; 12 ISO cameras to capture individual players; 12 computer screens; two robotic cameras and one pollcam in an insert studio where Sports Center-style interviews are held. 

An arsenal of displays and other live production equipment round out the space. AJA ROI converters power robotic camera and computer interfaces while KONA 3G cards support desktop I/O on two Mac edit suites running Adobe® Premiere. 60 monitors in various locations are plugged into AJA Hi5-Plus 3G-SDI to HDMI Mini-Converters, which follow the broadcast monitors in the back of house production spaces; all source monitors running off a multiviewer pass through a Hi5-Plus. AJA HA5-Plus and HDP3 Mini-Converters also power HDMI to HD/SD and 3G-SDI to DVI-D conversion, and eight FS4s are tapped for audio embedding and disembedding of individual channels. “The FS4 is an awesome swiss army knife for this industry. It’s so cost effective considering all of the functionality you can get out of one box,” Wendhardt noted.  

With each new eSports project that CBTS takes on, Wendhardt approaches the design from the perspective of a broadcaster. “eSports productions are growing more sophisticated, and fans won’t accept anything less than the quality of productions they’re used to seeing on TV. Embracing broadcast quality gear from companies like AJA from the start is smart and saves facilities money in the long run, giving them the ability to scale with growth,” he concluded. 

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high quality, cost effective products to the professional broadcast, video and postproduction markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com

About CBT Systems, Inc.
In its 21st year, CBT Systems has set the standard for audio and video consultation, systems design, engineering, and integration services on behalf of its clients. The experienced team brings comprehensive technology solutions to a wide range of markets and applications, all with the goal of providing quality, reliability and simplified solutions. CBTS offers the latest technology and services for audio and video production, radio and television broadcast applications, corporate and retail presentation systems with the latest in both hardware and cloud-based, enterprise-wide video teleconferencing and collaboration systems. The company is based in San Diego, CA but has worked with clients around the world.