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ITV uses cellular diversity system for University Boat Race

OB service provider 021 Television chose a cellular diversity wireless camera system from Link Research for coverage of the University Boat Race in the United Kingdom.

ITV's University Boat Race was the U.K.'s biggest live wireless camera event to date and proved to be a totally new concept in wireless camerawork: cellular diversity.

021 Television, the outside broadcast provider for the event, chose to use digital RF at the early stages of planning. Charter Broadcast supplied all 11 digital radio camera systems with Link Research supplying the new digital wireless camera systems.

On March 27 with 30 cameras, including 11 wireless cameras, ITV Sport provided live race coverage from cameras on the boats and handheld radio cameras on the shore.

Cellular diversity is a new way of deploying broadcast cameras in locations with no vehicle access. It may revolutionize camera work for ENG and sports broadcast because it lets cameras roam freely in city centers and sports venues without vehicles nearby and without line-of-sight.

ITV Sport, working with O21, Charter Broadcast and Link Research, proved this concept with live race coverage coming from the most difficult location for RF cameras -4.5 miles of water.

They provided unbroken pictures from the Oxford and Cambridge eights and the Umpire's boat, for the full length of the race — even under the bridges.

They also used new radio telemetry and GPS to chart the relative positions of the boats, got close-ups of the “eights” from gyro-mounted cameras on the boats and used a helicopter overhead to get aerial footage of the Thames.

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