RENNES, France—Livestreaming from coastlines at multiple points across 1,830 miles of Europe’s roughest waters for La Solitaire du Figaro, (aka the unofficial world championships of solo offshore racing), is challenging on a number of levels. The multiple locations, harsh physical environment and inconsistent network connectivity all stack up.
In this event, solo skippers race across four stages between France, Ireland and Spain—and it’s our job to capture the dramatic departures and landings at each of these legs for the event’s 30 000-strong Facebook audience live. The very best way to capture the race, and be as close to the action as possible, is from a boat in the water and a drone in the skies above.
We need the most reliable equipment to ensure an uninterrupted live broadcast at each stage in what is a complex network environment from the coastlines of each location.
Sea Events, a French-based media production company that covers offshore sailing races, decided to use a combination of Dejero’s high-quality video contribution technology and Dazzl’s cloud-native live video production tools. Onboard, we used a SONY PMW 400 with a stabilized lens connected to a Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter to capture the skippers racing to the finish line.
Onshore, we used the Dazzl app on an iPhone to interview the skippers, and a drone provided a bird’s eye view of everything that was going on across the water. We also had two remote commentators for additional audience engagement, with the production director located in the arrival harbor.
As you can imagine, network coverage was a major concern as we had to ensure reliable connectivity with each countries’ telecom providers as we advanced in each stage of the race.
CONNECTED WITH ENGO
This is why we used Dejero EnGo. It has six integrated global modems, global roaming connectivity services and interchangeable SIM modules, which meant we didn’t have to think about switching to different network carriers or constantly finding the most reliable network when we crossed borders or were confronted with patchy coverage. The EnGo’s Smart Blending Technology automatically finds and combines the strongest network paths to form a high bandwidth pipe. This technology also meant that we didn’t have to worry about the movement and positioning of the boat in order to gain the best vantage points, no matter how far away we were from the coast.
The EnGo was able to preserve and deliver the best picture quality possible from the roughest of seas, where available bandwidth was limited. This transmitter is built to withstand harsh conditions and we've heard from other users that it can take a few knocks and work perfectly—which we’ve also experienced.
Live footage of the race was delivered to Facebook via two smartphones running the Dazzl application and a drone and these sources were streamed over RTMP to the Dazzl cloud server for our producer’s use. By integrating Dazzl’s cloud video platform with Dejero’s mobile transmitters, Sea Events gained access to live broadcast production, live clipping, fast editing and video distribution tools on location, ensuring Facebook audiences had the best viewing experience.
Dejero and Dazzl have made cloud-based live production simple for us. As a sea-based events company, it has opened up new opportunities for livestreaming because of the reliability and low latency it provides and because it allows us to deliver a quality livestream to any platform—whether digital or linear, from anywhere in the world.
More information on the integration of Dejero and Dazzl technologies at www.dejero.com.
Ex France Television journalist Erwan Riquier has been the CEO of Sea Events for 15 years. Sea Events is the leading production company in France for offshore sailing racing (Vendee Globe, Route du Rhum, Fastnet Race, Transat Jacques Vabre, Solitaire du Figaro, etc). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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