OceanWatch Production Group®
OceanWatch Production Group® needed a mobile, reliable device to stream the Wings for Life World Run, a potentially 6-8 hour marathon covering up to 60 miles in full HD. With Streambox® AVENIRMicro™ mobile encoders and 9200™ rackmount decoders they found their answer and were extremely satisfied with the performance, price, and support.
Wings for Life World Run is a charity road race to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Runners and wheelchair competitors race side by side, starting simultaneously at 34 locations around the globe to run for those who can’t, but there is no finish line, instead competitors try to stay in front of the catcher car, their race ending when the car passes them.
OceanWatch was in charge of capturing the two US legs of the race live in Sunrise, Florida and Santa Clarita, California, for Red Bull Media House® in Santa Monica, California on Sunday, May 8, 2016. Not having a set finish line required OceanWatch to be ready to cover 60 miles of road over 8 hours. They wanted cameras on moving vehicles among the racers making size, battery life, and mobility key factors in OceanWatch’s hardware selection. Streambox provided four AVENIRMicro mobile encoders and four USB Modem and Battery Modules™ for capture and transmission to the 9200 rackmounts decoders at Red Bull Media House used for live editing and global distribution.
When cameras are mobile excess bulk is unacceptable. OceanWatch chose the Streambox AVENIRMicro because of its broadcast quality performance in a small case. The AVENIRMicro uses Qualcomm® Snapdragon processors for broadcast quality HD- SDI video capture, making it fast, with real-time high performance video encoding, efficient, with a low power consumption, and mobile, with a small form factor. The camera operators were happy, saying they, “appreciated the compact size of the device.” The AVENIRMicro’s size was also “a plus when it came to shipping.”
To enhance the AVENIRMicro capabilites OceanWatch used the USB Modem and Battery Module. Part of keeping the AVENIRMicro compact is its use of Canon® DSLR batteries with the module. The devices OceanWatch had previously used were heavy, bulky, and required large cumbersome batteries. Being powered by Canon batteries provides longer life at a fraction of the weight. The AVENIRMicro also allows for hot swapping the batteries so OceanWatch was able to record all day without interrupting the stream for battery changes. Because the Canon DSLR batteries purchase price is comparable to renting other batteries OceanWatch will be able to reuse them in the future and eliminate a recurring cost.
Streambox 9200 Encoder/Decoder
The AVENIRMicros were mobile nearly 100% of the time along the 60 mile course. In each city OceanWatch had one camera and one AVENIRMicro with USB Modem and Battery Module on a slow moving truck and another camera and AVENIRMicro with USB Modem and Battery Module on a slow moving motorcycle. The broadcast quality video was streamed directly from the AVENIRMicros to 9200 rackmount decoders at Red Bull Media House.
In order to stream high-quality video, the AVENIRMicro uses, like all Streambox encoders, the proprietary codec: Advanced Compression Technology – Level 3 (ACT-L3). ACT-L3 is optimized for efficiency and low bandwidth use, capable of high motion complex video using the new Advanced Motion Search feature. Advanced Motion Search was important for a flawless image with the speed of some racers.
OceanWatch did advance research to check the available cell towers in the course area to determine the best networks. They chose Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile modems with the USB Modem and Battery Module. The HD stream required more bandwidth than was available with any single network so the AVENIRMicro bonded all the modem signals together using exclusive Low Delay Multi-Path (LDMP) technology. LDMP continuously monitors and automatically selects the best possible network path, dynamically adjusting for bandwidth over multiple IP networks (in this case cellular, but it also works with WiFi, ethernet, and internet), allowing delivery even through network bandwidth fluctuations and dropouts. Streambox also worked with OceanWatch to create custom presets so on race day everything was simple and optimized to their exact specifications.
Advantages of using Streambox
Red Bull Media House received and decoded the transmission on Streambox 9200 rackmounts to do real-time editing for live global distribution. The Streambox 9200 rackmount encoder/decoder provides professional quality and affordability at the same time. If Red Bull Media House needs to expand their setup they can easily scale their architecture and add more 9200s or if they just need more capture capabilities for a broadcast they can shift the half duplex units from decoding to encoding with one touch.
The 2016 Wings for Life World Run was a huge success, raising 6.6 million euros for spinal cord injury research from 151,288 registered participants, sponsors, and donors and two new distance records were set: the men’s in Italy at 88.44km and the women’s in Japan at 65.71km.
Using Streambox allowed OceanWatch to simultaneously achieve performance with professional video delivery, save money by eliminating unnecessary rentals, and build an adaptable infrastructure with multi-functional units. Their expectations
in performance, price, and support given were exceeded. OceanWatch needed to capture a massive event for global live streaming using a point to point solution and Streambox took on the challenge and delivered an uninterrupted, quality live stream over the long and dynamic race course. Marcie Guigar, President of OceanWatch, couldn’t be happier, saying, “Streambox provided exceptional customer service and tech support from A-Z.”
“Streambox provided exceptional customer service and tech support from A-Z “
«Marcie Guigar, President of OceanWatch »