Dejero, Austria’s Jännerrallye Used Bonded Cellular for In-Car Rally Racing Feeds

(Image credit: Dejero)

WATERLOO, Ontario, Canada—Dejero has announced that Jännerrallye, also known as the Internationale Jänner Rallye, made rally car racing broadcast history this year using Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology and local technical AV specialist, AV-Professional bonded cellular connectivity alone was used to transmit live in-vehicle camera feeds from multiple rally cars, racing through rural locations, to a national TV broadcaster.

The international rally racing event based in Freistadt in northern Austria, which took place between January 5 to 7, 2023, marked the first time that this was done, the companies said.

“In the forests and mountains of Freistadt, it is incredibly challenging to find a consistent or stable enough signal to be able to broadcast high quality video that is crisp enough for a national TV network,” explains Christian Birklbauer, chairman, Rallye Club Mühviertel, and lead organizer of Jännerrally. “But, with a lot of determination and after conducting some highly successful tests with Dejero transmitters over bonded cellular - blending multiple networks from different carriers - we were able to convince people, including Austria’s national broadcaster, that we could live-produce spectacular picture quality even from the inside the rally cars, on very rough terrain, in a very isolated area.”

Three rally cars were equipped with Dejero EnGo 265 mobile video transmitters for the three-day event; two EnGos were placed at various start and finish lines, and an additional EnGo was connected to a drone. The live camera feeds were transmitted by the Dejero devices over bonded cellular, back to a production hub equipped by AV-Professional in Messehalle Freistadt. Two Dejero WayPoint receivers reconstructed the feeds, decoded the HEVC and then outputted them for broadcast to television and streaming channels. Each receiver was fitted with four ports, enabling the production team to manage and switch up to eight streams simultaneously, Dejero reported. 

The EnGo transmitters in the cars, transmitting driver-perspective camera feeds, were secured into Dejero’s vehicle antenna docks, and connected to roof top antennas to boost cellular reception.

“Being able to transmit signals from the harsh and fast-paced environment where network coverage is limited is one thing, but achieving this through the car chassis, where the EnGos are literally encased in metal, is something special. It’s quite phenomenal just how the signals can move so rapidly from one mast/transmitter/pole to another,” said Birklbauer.

The transmission devices feature Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology, which aggregates multiple IP connections. During the Jännerrally event, the EnGos used SIM cards for three Austrian networks. The result is high-speed, reliable internet connectivity, which allowed Jännerrally to transmit broadcast-quality live video while reducing production logistics costs. 

Before implementing connectivity from Dejero, Jännerrally were streaming live feeds only to their fans online. The new technology workflow and the support from Dejero and AV-Professional gave them the confidence to make a giant leap to live broadcasting on a national TV channel.

“If you look at the World & European Rally Championship, such a big budget live production will commission airplanes, helicopters and flying relay stations, using radio frequencies to muster a signal for transmission. Our remote production workflow represents a saving of around 75% and we can be more mobile around the location, easily moving the start and finish line cameras depending on the race routes,” added Birklbauer.

The Dejero Control cloud-based device management, monitoring, and reporting tool was also implemented in the trailblazing workflow. With Control, technicians from the production company, Streamers Austria, could adjust settings and troubleshoot from the broadcast facility so that field crews could focus purely on capturing the content. 

Dejero EnGo transmitters are built with aircraft-grade aluminum in a monocoque construction that’s lightweight and strong, as well as polycarbonate ABS bumpers for additional protection. This makes the transmitter ideal for in-vehicle applications such as rally car racing.

“To create the most rugged transmitter on the market, we go beyond basic drop tests. From vibration tests to shock and crash-testing of the vehicle antenna dock, we go the extra mile,” explains Arjen Hofland, Senior Sales Account Manager, Dejero.

“Using Dejero, we were able to bring pictures from places and with a small budget that nobody could believe,” concluded Birklbauer. “This workflow will open up so many opportunities for the broadcast and streaming of rally car racing.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.