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Ship ahoy: Remote broadcast of ship excavation using 5G technology

To overcome the challenges of broadcasting live the entire excavation of an ancient wooden sailing ship that had been submerged for more than 150 years on the seabed of the Yangtze River, the Shanghai Media Group (SMG) turned to 5G technology from TVU Networks.

Due to restrictions on underwater archeological salvaging and the ship’s on-board conditions, SMG faced challenges such as no communication or network signals on site, difficulty capturing the subject and key images underwater, uncertain timing when the ship would be fully excavated, and restrictions on the number of production crew.

The Chinese broadcaster developed a detailed solution which included a container-style temporary studio with microwave transmission equipment inside. Drones and on-site cameras were set up, with the multi-camera signals received at the container studio, controlled by the project’s director — and microwave transmission equipment in the studio transmitted the live signal to an outside broadcast (OB) vehicle parked on the nearest embankment.

To ensure a stable signal return from the OB van, SMG adopted the TVU G-Link point-to-point encoder and TVU Router multi-network aggregation router, which provided real-time transmission of the main and backup signals from the van to SMG’s studio in Shanghai for final production and broadcast. 

A TVU Transceiver server in the Shanghai studio received the live signal while the TVU Router provided high-bandwidth network access for the OB van, aggregating 5G and 4G networks from multiple operators and employing TVU’s IS+ technology for optimal bandwidth.

TVU G-Link used the on-site network provided by TVU Router to return the signal to the SMG studio in Shanghai with high bit rate and sub-second delay.

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