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Wireless technology plays critical role in race coverage

Automaker Volvo has selected Livewire Digital to devise a complete broadcast system, including wireless camera equipment, to transmit coverage of the Volvo Ocean Race to yachting fans worldwide.

The advanced, remote control wireless digital electronic news gathering system turns the yachts into mobile media centers during the nine legs of the 31,000-nautical-mile race.

The TANDBERG Television CT2100 compact digital transmitter technology is playing a central role in the effort. The CT2100 is a wireless solution for remote, on-location filming and has been used for more than six years to cover many sports and news events from the field.

Each yacht has seven fixed on-board cameras, which are remotely controlled by the production team onshore. Video and audio are sent from an onboard transmitter to the onshore media center via point-to-point antennas, or when the boats are in the middle of the ocean, to a helicopter or follow boat. This allows the broadcast of both live and highlight footage.

On-board video delay lines are used to capture exciting and dramatic situations. Crew members can activate one of the multiple crash buttons to record video from the delay line, a two-minute history of what happened before the button was pressed. This year, in-port media centers and Race HQ are part of a single global IP network designed by Livewire Digital, allowing the entire operation to be accessed and controlled from the Volvo Ocean Race HQ Media Center in Southampton, NY.

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