RTÉ is delivering a HD first to online and mobile audiences as RTÉ TWO HD coverage of Republic of Ireland v Estonia will be streamed live on RTÉ.ie powered by Level 3’s CDN Services.

This service is available to users in the Republic of Ireland only.

RTÉ Digital today announced it is working with Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) to deliver the UEFA EURO 2012 Play-Off match between the Republic of Ireland and Estonia at the Aviva Stadium on November 15, as a High Definition and Mobile online streaming showcase, using Level 3’s Internet Broadcast services.

This trial will be the first live event RTÉ Digital has delivered in High Definition to its online audiences. The launch in May 2011 of RTÉ TWO HD on the SAORVIEW DTT platform has provided audiences with access to High Definition sporting events including Champions League Football, the GAA Championship, and the recent Rugby World Cup.

For the match, RTÉ Digital will use recently commissioned High Definition capable web stream encoding technology to create Adaptive Bitrate streams, which react to the users' available bandwidth to deliver the best streaming experience possible for their connection. The result is a much improved user experience, and offers the ability to offer a higher quality stream to customers who have sufficient bandwidth, without alienating those who have lower speed connections. RTÉ Digital will also make the match available to iPhone users through the RTÉ Mobile Web Site m.rte.ie in Standard Definition.

Level 3 will provide RTÉ Digital with its Internet Broadcast services, providing the end-to-end work flow across publishing, dynamic re-wrapping from HDS to HLS, security and distribution to ensure the capacity and quality of service will deliver a truly High Definition experience to those users who have the capacity to receive and play back such high quality content. The game will be transmitted using HTTP over Level 3's CDN to both Flash Players for High Definition and iOS for Mobile Streaming. Level 3 will also implement security measures to ensure the content is available only in territories in which RTÉ Digital have content rights.

“The availability of RTÉ TWO HD on SAORVIEW provides us with exciting opportunities to test how High Definition may work on the Internet in the future. We are always looking for new ways to improve the audience experience, and this match is a great opportunity to give the public a chance to see where this type of technology is taking us going forward. It also gives RTÉ an opportunity to evaluate the technologies involved, and assess how ready Irish Infrastructure is for this type of high quality broadcast,” said Jonathan Lundberg, IT Infrastructure Manager at RTÉ Digital. “By taking advantage of the scalability of Level 3's international Content Delivery Network, RTÉ will be able to give the audience a top quality experience, no matter how many people tune in.”

”Not only is today’s consumer expecting to have access to the content they want wherever they are, and on any device, but they’re increasingly expecting the highest picture quality and experience as well – which means a CDN with global reach and scalability is critical,” said James Heard, regional president of the EMEA region for Level 3. “With Level 3’s CDN services, RTÉ will have the service performance, reliability, scalability and customer support that will enable them to meet their customers’ growing expectations for a first-class TV Anywhere experience.”

About RTÉ Digital
RTÉ Digital’s division was set up to lead the overall digital strategy of Ireland’s public broadcaster. The key area of focus for RTÉ Digital’s product and market development is to ensure audiences can enjoy RTÉ content on demand. The range of innovative and award-winning brands within the division’s stable includes RTÉ.ie, RTÉ Player, RTÉ News Now, RTÉ Aertel and a growing number of mobile apps across Android and iOS platforms

About Level 3 Communications
Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) is a premier global provider of IP-based communications services to enterprise, content, government and wholesale customers. Over its reliable, scalable and secure network, Level 3 delivers integrated IP solutions, including converged, data, voice, video and managed solutions to help enable customers’ growth and efficiency. Level 3 operates a unique global services platform anchored by owned fiber networks on three continents in more than 45 countries, connected by extensive undersea facilities. For more information, visit www.level3.com.