Tyrell Cloud Takes Virtual Events Company E2 360 to New Heights
E2 360 is a London-based digital experience company that offers virtual site visits, 360-degree live streaming and virtual events. It launched in summer 2020 amidst the first UK Covid lockdown when live events were being cancelled and streamed online. In October 2021, as E2 360 was beginning to make serious inroads within the industry, its Director Nick Robinson purchased an AVIWEST BeOnAIR live streaming solution from Tyrell to ensure that it could deliver solid video streams even in the most challenging situations.
Once lockdown restrictions were lifted, E2 360’s customers began returning to on-site events and the scope of the company’s requirements grew. Robinson explains, “We work with a lot of companies now that want to do multi-location or multi-region streaming. They may have team members in Europe, America and Asia, and we have to be able to link everything together.”
E2 360’s traditional model included multiple on-premise laptops and workstations all handling different parts of the virtual production workflow, which didn’t support an efficient way of growing the business. At the start of 2022, Robinson and Tyrell’s Sales Director Dan Muchmore discussed plans for the year and Robinson mentioned he needed an AWS expert to help him create virutalised workstations to further his goal of true virtual production and scale. The Tyrell Cloud platform was introduced followed by several demonstrations of Tyrell Cloud Tyrell’s new Cloud platform allows anyone involved in content creation to take advantage of the power and agility of the cloud without the often-associated runaway cost or steep learning curve.
Robinson identified a project that he knew would be a perfect fit for the Tyrell Cloud workflow, a multi-city, multi-country livestreaming event for a global charity. He says, “I needed to have operators anywhere in the world, or anywhere in the UK that could operate our events without leaving their home, their office, or their studio.”
Using Tyrell Cloud, he was able to run several virtual workstations. Creating them as and when needed, configuring them with the desired software and scheduling them whenever they were required to run. This level of flexibility and agility is a huge benefit to small companies like E2 360 as it allows them to take on any production without worrying about massive capex costs.
Each workstation hosted vMix live video streaming software instances, Teams (x2) and PowerPoint sessions, and had a cloud hosted NDI network to manage routing between workstations for mixing in vMix. They could also deploy Adobe Premiere in the cloud for VOD edits in post. Tyrell Cloud automatically deploys a load balanced, dual redundant Teradici system in each Tyrell Cloud project which allows secure, low latency control of each workstation regardless of a user’s location.
Robinson explains, “This meant that we could have an operator in Europe doing the editing and another operator in the UK doing the live streaming. It allows us to really scale and spin up as many instances as we like. Traditionally, if we’d had a very large event the operator may not have had a heavy enough spec machine for what we were trying to achieve. Tyrell Cloud enables us to scale up, scale down and create the right piece of infrastructure that we need for any set project.”
AWS Media Connect provides Tyrell Cloud with a powerful and flexible way of managing remote contribution feeds and routing into the Tyrell Cloud account. It provides Robinson with a contribution route into his virtual production environment anytime he needs. He can also offer post-production services to his clients without needing any capital outlay; he simply runs up another workstation for an NLE, and using Tyrell Cloud Capture, he can capture the production streams and ISOs. Between productions he uses Tyrell Cloud to turn off the workstations and services he doesn’t need, giving him full control of his monthly costs.
Robinson says, “Using Tyrell cloud and AWS combined allows us to bill clients for every hour that the equipment is used. Another example is that a client may want to do a project just for one or two hours. This way we simply spin up an extra resource or an extra instance of a server and that means we can scale into the hundreds or thousands if we really needed to.”
This virtual production setup also means that he doesn’t need to send as much equipment out to the production site, giving him a faster setup and greener production credentials. Using Tyrell Cloud, every project has its own virtual workstations and infrastructure and users schedule projects to run as and when required providing a much more flexible and sustainable way of working. Robinson says, “Clients want us to be on location, on site, and traditionally that would mean putting a lot of boxes on a van or a truck and travelling to a venue. Now we’re able to cut out the amount of transport and deploy larger systems. It’s easier to scale and we’ve got that sustainability element, which a lot of companies are driving toward.”
AWS provides the most comprehensive set of services for media and entertainment and Tyrell Cloud provides the user with a virtual facility to take advantage of this power without the technical knowledge required. Anyone on the production project team can access and manage content in the Tyrell Cloud environment without needing technical cloud skills. It allows freelance editors working remotely to edit content in the cloud; they simply need the workstation address to log in.
“Using Tyrell Cloud Control web interface, we can create a really simple way that’s not time consuming and easy to understand to deploy multiple servers at the click of a couple buttons. The other important point to mention about Tyrell Cloud is scheduling. From a cost standpoint, I don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving a server on. Using the scheduling tool I can say, I need these machines turned on between eight and six and these specific machines between ten and eleven at night. It’s that easy.”
With Tyrell Cloud, E2 360 has really been able to hone its offerings and further define its vision and services all by using an opex model. Tyrell Cloud really is ‘Making Cloud Simple’.