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Wireless LTE/4G transmission used for live HD broadcast of German yacht race

Live HD television coverage over a LTE/4G network was successfully used to cover the Match Race Germany in Langenargen last month. The popular yacht race, part of the Alpari World Matching Racing Tour’s 2013 international sailing world championship series, was watched by millions of viewers over the Vodafone network.

In a model project featuring various technology partners — including Teracue, Vodafone, Alcatel-Lucent, TDT and Teledata — the group developed and installed a temporary broadcast infrastructure on location. It allowed for live images of the regatta to be broadcast from the water, as well as the air and even the shore using the new mobile communication standard LTE/4G.

The broadband initiative founded by the Baden-Württemberg government demonstrated the potential of using LTE/4G in combination with fiber networks. The race was held at Lake Constance from May 15 through 20.

Camera signals were sent from regatta yachts, a plane and a high-shot camera placed on a jetty to an LTE base station installed on the mainland. Encoder and decoder technology from Teracue was on-board to broadcast the offshore live images using LTE/4G technology.

For the stable broadcasting of live images from the boats and an ultra-light plane, the camera signals were converted into IP signals using a Teracue ENC-300-HDSDI encoder, sent to an LTE router and transmitted from there before being received on land.

In wind, spray and extreme conditions, the Teracue encoders were stable and provided interference-free streaming of live images. The encoders, which do not use fans, were well suited to the yachts due to their compact dimensions and low weight.

On land, the IP streams were converted back into SDI signals by Teracue decoders (DEC-30-HDSDI) and sent to the event direction and video mixer. From there, the live images were played and distributed to the spectators using fiber connections.