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New 4G wireless standard used to transmit images during German sailing race

Last month Alcatel-Lucent Germany tested its new 4G LTE network using IP encoders and decoders from Teracue and Haivision Network Video for the live broadcast (on TV and online) of a sailing race as part of the World Match Racing Tour.

For the first time, 4G LTE (Long-term Evolution) was used for a live mobile broadcast. Alcatel-Lucent provided the mobile transmission technology, and the images were processed by Teracue ENC-200 and DEC-200 Series encoders and decoders.

An H.264 encoder was installed on each sailboat, which received the video signal from an on-board camera. The live signal was then encoded in real time and broadcast over LTE as an IP stream. The LTE radio cell was used to transmit the video signal into the mobile television studio, where the H.264 IPTV signal was decoded. The decoder SDI output signal was delivered to the studio director and mixing desk for live broadcast cutting, graphics and audio overlays.

The Teracue encoder is a small IPTV encoder and can be powered by batteries, which was crucial for mobile IPTV encoding at sea. The ENC-200 encoder requires only 3.5W and 5V of power.

The advantages of the encoder/decoder solution were demonstrated by the tough conditions at sea. The ENC/DEC series contain no moving parts and can withstand a temperature range of -35°C to +60°C. It is also able to resume IP streaming even after loss of the power or video sources.

Haivision's Makito HD H.264 encoder and Mako HD H.264 decoder were also employed during the race. Working in partnership with online video technology provider stream5 and network operator Teledata, Alcatel-Lucent used Haivision's equipment to stream the yacht race live online.

The encoder supports SD and HD up to 1080p60 and is capable of producing multiple stream resolutions from a single source, sending high-bitrate video to endpoints and lower-bandwidth video for mass consumption.

Together, the encoder and decoder deliver 70ms end-to-end latency. With features such as WXGA encoding, multiple stream output, Adobe Flash compatibility and traffic shaping, the systems work well over LAN, WAN or satellite.