WTNB, a locally owned and operated television station in southeast Tennessee, wanted to use an IP workflow to produce local high school football games because of the lower cost of the technology, but, station owner and executive producer Joshua Morrison explains, “We started encountering network reliability issues on remote shoots when large crowds overwhelmed the network.”
The cellular networks WTNB was relying on were congested with the data demands of up to 6,000 fans at the stadiums. The WTNB production crew found a way around the data bottleneck with Streambox’s Avenir Micro, equipped with a USB modem and battery module. Avenir Micro is a lightweight mobile HD-SDI and HDMI video encoder that uses the advanced ACT-L3 codec and smart 3G/4G/Wi-Fi network bonding for high-quality video transport with minimal network consumption.
The combination of three Avenir Micro technologies made it possible to provide the missing link between WTNB’s production trailer and broadcast station. First, the compression from the ACT-L3 codec reduced the bandwidth draw. Second, Micro bonded all available IP networks to create the best possible streaming conditions. The WTNB implementation used two AT&T modem cards and a Verizon MiFi hotspot, but Micro will also bond Wi-Fi, Ethernet, internet, BGAN and LAN. Lastly, the Low Delay Multi-Path (LDMP) technology continuously monitored networks to automatically adjust video parameters for the best quality video and network path.
Morrison says, “We were able to get our broadcast out with hotspots that barely provided 3 to 5 Mb/s consistently. Pretty impressive considering we’re doing live sports in HD with all the extras: graphics, stingers, live scoreboard, etc.”