The organisation has overhauled how it live streams to YouTube, utilising LiveU Solo, AWS Elemental MediaLive and Singular.Live

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The Wheelchair Football Association (WFA) has worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create new, cost-effective ways to live stream on YouTube and reach a much wider audience.

The organisation recevied funding of more than US$25,000 (£20,350) from AWS to enable it to overhaul its powerchair football live streams to utilise much more practical and affordable workflows.

The funding, awarded through the AWS Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) Innovation Fund, made it possible for WFA to work with the AWS team in the UK to establish a “ground-to-cloud” workflow using AWS Elemental MediaLive, an AWS service for real-time video encoding in the cloud.

The matches are then live streamed in high-quality on YouTube, and since revamping its live stream setup, the organisation has seen a significant increase in viewing figures and engagement with the content.

Seasonal views have risen from 14,000 to 55,000 and average view times have increased by nearly six minutes. Unique viewers are in the thousands.

To create its new workflow, the WFA and AWS looked at all available workflow options with an eye on creating the smallest possible footprint in terms of space and power.

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The solution provides high-quality, reliable, robust, and flexible service for the WFA’s immediate and future needs. It uses LiveU Solo devices to take the feed from the camera to AWS Elemental MediaLive for live transcoding, and Singular.Live for motion graphics insertion before being delivered to YouTube for distribution.

AWS worked with the WFA to build out an application that provides live production control of MediaLive and Singular from a simple interface, to enable anyone, on or off site, to control the production across multiple courts with camera switches, motion graphics insertion, and monitoring with no technical or AWS experience required.

This solution is now available as an opensource project for other federations and customers to use.

Before the Innovation Grant, the WFA used an overhead fisheye camera mounted on a dinghy mast to capture action across all the courts, while a handheld camera, donated by IMG Arena, was leveraged by a commentator.

Through the grant, the WFA was able to upgrade its broadcast and commentary equipment, adding additional cameras, microphones, and audio equipment to create more engaging content.

Alex Dowding, vice secretary, WFA, said: “Our set up and take-down time has now been reduced from three hours per day, to less than an hour. With the new commentary set up, we no longer need someone with technical know-how to set-up commentators. Already we have gone from limited commentary to all games now either having one or two commentators, most of whom are wheelchair users and players themselves, adding tremendous game insight for the viewing audience.”

The team is now looking at ways to create live production and social media highlights driven by people with little to no technical or cloud expertise.

The WFA was formed in 2005 to govern the sport of Powerchair Football in England.