Dejero’s LIVE+ 20/20 transmitters gets call for Sky Sports News Premier League coverage
Sky Sports News broadcast its first-ever “92 Live” event on 1 August, presenting live reports from all 92 of the U.K.’s Premier and football league clubs in a single day. Key to the success? Dejero’s LIVE+ 20/20 transmitters as Sky Sports news deployed seven LIVE+ 20/20 transmitters to its mobile broadcast teams, enabling them to leverage local cellular and Wi-Fi networks to transmit live HD video cost-effectively from many areas, such as remote practice fields, that would have been impractical for traditional SNG trucks to access. Dejero’s exclusive EMEA distributor, IDX, provided expert advice and extensive hands-on assistance to ensure the success of the broadcast.
“We absolutely could not have staged 92 Live without state-of-the-art cellular bonding systems such as the Dejero LIVE+ 20/20 transmitter,” says Ian Brash, technical manager, Sky Sports News. “The cost savings were huge; in fact, for the cost of hiring an SNG truck for a day, we were able to hire a complete suite of Dejero equipment for a whole week. Also, in order to reach all 92 shooting locations, we had to follow a strict schedule, and many of the venues were 100 miles apart. The LIVE+ 20/20 transmitters gave us flexibility that we just would not have had with a truck; for instance, we could send a transmitter on the back of a motor bike if we needed to.”
To cover the 92 football clubs scattered throughout England, Sky Sports News divided its field newsgathering teams into 21 pods with each responsible for covering up to six clubs. The teams carried the lightweight, portable Dejero LIVE+ 20/20 transmitters to each location in backpacks, and they were able to set up each live shoot in just minutes. In addition to the seven LIVE+ 20/20 transmitters in the field, the broadcaster installed four Dejero LIVE+ Broadcast Servers in its Master Control facility in Sky’s Osterley, West London, broadcast center. The servers received the live video streams from the transmitters and output them to the Sky Sports News gallery, where they were played to air.
With Dejero’s new Web-based remote control feature, Sky Sports News personnel in the broadcast center were able to view the status and signal strength of each transmitter and advise the camera operators on how to maximize bandwidth for optimal video quality. In the especially remote locations where the cellular signal strength was lower, news crews used the LIVE+ 20/20 transmitter to bond with Wi-Fi or connect to Ethernet networks to enable the transmission.
“The Dejero LIVE+ 20/20 transmitter was extremely easy to use; we would just switch it on, and it was up and running in two to five minutes,” said Simon Burwood, a camera operator who was deployed for the 92 Live program. “We were able to broadcast from some really remote locations, and the signal quality was excellent. In fact, we had feedback that our HD broadcast from Portsmouth was comparable to that of an SNG truck. This technology really opens up a lot of creative possibilities that just aren’t possible with a truck. For instance, in Southampton we were able to go into the stadium and broadcast right from the pitch, where a truck would never be allowed.”
“With 92 Live, Sky Sports News made broadcasting history by offering a daylong festival of English football,” says Brian Cram, CEO, Dejero. “With a large area to be covered in such a short time with so many live shots, 92 Live was tailor-made for Dejero’s portable and flexible bonded cellular transmitters — and the expertise of our EMEA distributor, IDX, was instrumental in making it happen. Sky Sports News’ 92 Live was a perfect showcase of all of the key benefits our product family has to offer: cost savings over traditional SNG, ease of use, and the portability and flexibility to transmit from areas that aren’t accessible by traditional technologies.”