'The Runner': Bonded Cellular Delivers Real-Time Cross-Country Series

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Played out over the course of a 30-day period, the competitive reality series The Runner challenged one person to make it across America while viewers across the country hunted him down. Available on Verizon’s go90 streaming service and AOL.com, the series was structured so that a “runner” followed a series of daily clues and completed a number of tasks that led him or her across America for 30 consecutive days. Hunting down the runner were five two-person “chase” teams. In an effort to get one step ahead of the runner, these chasers were given daily clues that helped them track their target’s every move. (When a runner was caught, a new runner started the next day to continue the challenge.)

Explains Chip Canter, general manager of digital entertainment at Verizon, “The Runner raises the stakes for reality series in the streaming video space. Real-time captured footage, lightning speed editing, three action-packed episodes daily and interactive viewer participation is a first for online and television. It aligns perfectly with our vision for go90, which is to push the boundaries on mobile and digital entertainment to suit our audience.”

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Runner studio

The Runner marks a milestone in the evolution of competition programming,” adds Craig Piligian, executive producer of the show’s production company, Pilgrim Media. “Not only are we bringing broadcast-quality production, live elements and audience interaction to a new level of intensity, but we’re also bringing those components to a social media platform.”

The series production used nine of Dejero’s LIVE+ EnGo compact modular transmitters for remote video acquisition to transmit all recorded and live video back to Pilgrim Media Group’s Los Angeles studios for daily editing over Dejero’s bonded connection. On average, the production teams moved nearly 100 GB of file content per day over the LIVE+ EnGo platform, plus almost two hours of live video.

Additionally, the Dejero LIVE+ mobile app enabled the chaser teams to capture footage on the go and quickly transfer those clips over long distances. The app also enabled the discreet filming of the capture of the first two runners.

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“The ability to get our footage to the studio rapidly was vital in order to meet our deadlines for the three daily live shows,” explains show technical lead Jerry Kaman of Broadcast Engineering Consultants. “Dejero’s bonded cellular technology was the only realistic tool for producing The Runner, as the teams began in one city and ended in another every single day.”

The Runner is a great example of how Dejero’s technology can be used for so much more than just the live transmission of video,” says Brian Cram, CEO of Dejero. “This sort of mobile reality show has never been attempted before, but through the use of our portable technology, we enabled viewers to directly interact with and influence the outcome of the game. In fact, this production successfully used the entire Dejero platform to meet its needs, be it for live video, fast transfer of files, or remote control and monitoring through the LIVE+ Control management system.”   

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