NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Over the past 15 years, cmiAV, an audiovisual event production company, has handled the AV and live broadcast of an annual high-profile Catholic organization conference delivered to multiple Christian TV networks and has watched it become a flagship program by driving viewers to these channels.
This year, however, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the gathering in Connecticut had to go virtual and for that reason, coverage of the event—which can attract up to 2,500 attendees—had to be a roaring success not only for those networks, but also for those who couldn’t attend.
During the conference, a violent storm struck the Northeast just as we were streaming an evening Mass over a wired connection from a church in New Haven, Conn., to thousands of online viewers and to multiple broadcasters nationwide. The feed was being directed and switched out of a Basilica located in Washington, D.C., just as the storm hit the East Coast. This caused significant power outages and shut down multiple ISP services in the region.
Losing connectivity during a live broadcast is the stuff of nightmares for anyone in the live content transmission game. Before we met Dejero, this kind of challenge would have been difficult for us to plan for.
KEEPING THINGS CONNECTED
Thankfully, we remained unaffected by the storm as we were using five Dejero EnGo mobile transmitters to capture camera feeds, and one as backup. As soon as the wired network surrendered to the storm, the EnGo transmitters seamlessly reprioritized the available cellular connections. Already connected to a Dejero WayPoint receiver for return video, the stream carried on uninterrupted.
Viewers and broadcasters, such as EWTN Global Catholic Network and CatholicTV, continued to enjoy a smooth live feed from the church. Some networks even had their own Dejero FlexPoint transceiver on premise and could take the feed straight from the Dejero MultiPoint IP video distribution network we had set up for content sharing.
For the cmiAV team, the extent of the storm disruption was a simple alarm on the monitoring devices notifying us of the change in the status of the wired connection. Other than moving the intercom from an ailing third-party cloud-based service to several free RU channels on one of the EnGo transmitters, we didn’t need to do anything, as the unit simply blended bandwidth from all the available cellular networks to ensure connectivity wasn’t interrupted. Our voice intercom remained unaffected, routed through a dedicated IFB channel on the EnGo.
ADJUSTING WITH THE TIMES
Discovering Dejero last year was a game changer. Pre-COVID, a team of up to 25 people for the streaming/TV production alone would have supported such a gathering, grappling with internet connectivity in challenging locations, using cumbersome and expensive satellite links. The effects of the pandemic forced our industry to adapt and we had to figure out how to deliver and live stream virtual events with fewer people and minimal technology, while avoiding the pitfalls of network black spots and corporate firewall restrictions.
We continue to utilize Dejero to easily capture and send broadcast-quality footage from anywhere in the country back to our studio in Rochester, N.Y., where the program director is able to switch remotely. We built a New York studio—and another in Maryland during “lock down”—knowing that we’d be doing more virtual events for our clients.
The world has changed and knowing we can rely on Dejero for live video transmission and connectivity is transformative for our workflows. Dejero is just solid, it works and it’s easy to use. Our clients aren’t asking for the Dejero product by name, they just know that if cmiAV is supporting an event, it will go very smoothly.
Dan Lamphier has been a leader within the production industry for over 25 years, with experience as the department head of audio and lighting to design to production management. He has worked extensively on live events and broadcast network support. Lamphier has been with CMI since 2003, and in the last 17 years moved from department manager to leading hundreds of teams. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For more information, contact Dejero at 866-808-3665 or visit www.dejero.com.
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