The Peacekeeper Elite League, a high-level eSports competition for the video game Peacekeeper Elite, recently experimented with a new way to host its events by utilizing Audinate Dante for broadcast audio over a vast geographic distance.
While eSports is a burgeoning market in the live production world, the production costs have traditionally been high due to the need for dedicated, on-site staff and expansive cable runs connecting numerous different video and audio feeds. This challenge led to VSPN, a co-organizer of the league, to experiment with a new way to host its events via Dante.
Specifically, in early May, the first weekly final of the Peacekeeper Elite League 2021 S2 season was held in Chongqing (China) Banan Huaxi Sports Center in China, with 20 professional teams from across the country gathered in the mountain city to compete. Using Dante, the event’s commentators and production staff were able to largely work remotely in Xi’an, some 750 kilometers away from where the competition was taking place in, with minimal audio latency. This setup enabled cost savings by reducing the number of individuals on-site and also minimized traditional AV cable runs and simplified the workflow under a Dante network.
In Chongqing, the event’s workflow used an SSL System T S300-32 platform with a redundant T25 DSP engine for outside broadcast. An SSL Live L550 audio mixing console was also employed with several Dante interface boxes to capture team voice chat. The Dante network located at the competition site is then connected to the studio in Xi’an through a dedicated network line, allowing for real time, remote audio production in the live broadcast. Further, the team was able to add another level of features and management capabilities to the production using Dante Domain Manager.
“To realize the Dante remote production, we needed to solve signal transmission across subnets, network delay, and PTP clock synchronization,” explains WangWei Xie, Technical Manager of VSPN “To solve most of this we added Dante Domain Manager to the system, which allowed us to group and isolate devices across subnets and plan device group attributes.”
Dante Domain Manager is network management software that enables user authentication, role-based security, and audit capabilities for Dante networks, while allowing for expansion of Dante systems over any network infrastructure. “In our system, Dante Domain Manager enables PTP V2 functionality for all Dante devices,” WangWei Xie says. “It locks the devices in the two places under their respective GPS clocks through the Assign Zone function and divides the domains of the Dante devices in the system for distributed management. It also allows us to activate the maximum latency value of the Dante devices, and opens enough buffer space to deal with the data transmission delay caused by the remote transmission of the dedicated network line.”
The workflow used a Leader LT4610 GPS master clock generator with the Dante systems in Xi’an and Chongqing. This enables the two locations to receive GPS satellite signals through an antenna and convert the signals into PTP, BB, and other clock synchronization signals.
“The result was that the system was stable, and the live event was a complete success,” WangWei Xie concludes. “We used Dante to realize the two-way real-time transmission of nearly 20 uncompressed audio streams through the dedicated network line. After three days of live broadcast and testing, the entire audio system had no failure. It perfectly achieved our expected results.”