A total of 11 cameras and 240 intercom ports were connected over IP and bonded cellular network to provide the coverage of the TCS New York City Marathon
CP Communications, a live event product solutions provider, and its newly-launched Red House Streaming business unit took the streets of New York City on November 4 to manage end-to-end content acquisition for the TCS New York City Marathon. The crew achieved coverage of the men’s and women’s races across all five boroughs, supported by a “comprehensive” IP and bonded cellular network across the 26.2-mile race course.
The IP content acquisition strategy utilised four Smart cars, four motorcycles, and other motorised systems outfitted with cameras and Mobile Viewpoint bonded cellular solutions. These were all networked for transport to CP Communications’ HD-21 RF truck. All signals were received and processed on HD-21 before being passed to the NEP ESU broadcast trucks at the finish line, which produced world feed uplinks as well as local and national TV feeds.
Kurt Heitmann, CEO of CP Communications, gave an overview on the technical setup, and explained: “The core of our operation comprised three main sites; at the starting line in Bay Ridge, near the Millennium Hotel in Manhattan, and at the finish line. In addition, we had three robust unilateral IP streaming sites in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan.
“We utilised nearly 600 IP addresses from Brooklyn through the Bronx couple with a multiple input multiple output (MIMO) mesh network across the Verrazano Bridge to backfeed Internet to our Smart cars, and deliver intercom as well as other services.”
Particularly at the Verrazano Bridge and at finish line, the team added coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (COFDM) microwave receivers to overcome the issue of limited cellular coverage.
He continued: “We were extremely pleased that the strength of the network architecture allowed us to stay purely in IP through to the finish line after crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. In the end, we carried bi-directional video and audio from 11 cameras and 240 intercom ports over IP and bonded cellular, with Mobile Viewpoint solutions providing the robust compression we needed to optimise bandwidth and deliver exceptional video quality. This was a first for the New York City Marathon, and a big step up from our past coverage strategies.”