SAN DIEGO—The San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL) have expanded game coverage across KSWB (Fox-5) and KFMB (CBS-8) here as well as via streaming platforms with a Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter for live broadcasts of away games, contributing video via resilient, high-bandwidth wireless internet connectivity.
The production team covering the Gulls, an affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks, initially implemented the transmitter when it relocated to the NHL franchise’s practice facility FivePoint Arena at Great Park Ice in Irvine, Calif., for the 2020-2021. The Gulls made the move to the rink as a precaution during the pandemic.
“In Irvine, we didn’t always have access to the Fox 5 production truck for microwave transmission of our packaged game coverage,” said Aaron Cooney, director of communications and broadcasting at the San Diego Gulls Hockey Club. “We relied on the cellular and satellite connectivity provided by EnGo to send our primary feedback to Fox 5 HQ, where a Dejero WayPoint received the video.”
At the station, the Dejero WayPoint receiver reconstructed the video transported via IP from the Dejero EnGo and fed the output to multiple distribution platforms, including KSWB and its online streaming platform, the company said.
“It worked incredibly well and was simple and cost-effective to set up, so we figured it would also work for away games,” added Cooney.
The team has expanded its use of the technology for broadcasts of away games, including games from Bakersfield, Calif., Tucson, Ariz., and Las Vegas. The Gulls also have added five extra games to their 2021-2022 season broadcast schedule. Dejero WayPoint receivers are also used at other affiliate stations, including KFMB, which covered the preceding season, the company said.
“The Dejero EnGo has opened up a whole new window of opportunities for us in terms of storytelling, touchpoints with fans, and cost-effective remote broadcasting, allowing us to deliver more broadcasts than before,” said Cooney.
The EnGo features Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology. It simultaneously combines cellular connections from multiple providers as well as other wired or wireless IP connections if they are available to form a virtual Dejero network of networks. The result is reliable, high-bandwidth internet connectivity for broadcast-quality live video transmission from anywhere, the company said.
“The importance of telling a compelling story for the Gulls and their fans is anchored in the live transmission provided by EnGo,” said Brian Nettles, television producer for the San Diego Gulls. “The EnGo gives us the confidence to roll up to stadiums that don’t have fiber, satellite links or pre-installed cables, knowing that we’ll still have the connectivity and bandwidth required to send high-quality broadcast video out to Gulls’ fans via bonded cellular.”
The Dejero EnGo also serves as a backup during every home game at the Gulls’ Pechanga Arena in the event a cable fails between the Gulls’ production truck and the onsite Fox 5 truck that transmits the packaged game coverage to the station.
More information is available on the company’s website.
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Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.