Uninterrupted connectivity and ‘spectacular’ picture-quality from challenging race route in harsh and rural location relies solely on bonded cellular for transmission
Waterloo, Ontario, February 1, 2023 — Jännerrallye, also known as the Internationale Jänner Rallye, an international rally racing event based in Freistadt in northern Austria, made rally car racing broadcast history this year with help from Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology™ and local technical AV specialist, AV-Professional.
Jännerrallye 2023 was the first time bonded cellular connectivity alone was used to transmit live in-vehicle camera feeds from multiple rally cars, racing through rural locations, to a national TV broadcaster
The 36th international Jännerrallye, which took place 5-7 January 2023, was the first time bonded cellular connectivity alone was used to transmit live in-vehicle camera feeds from multiple rally cars, racing through rural locations, to a national TV broadcaster.
“In the forests and mountains of Freistadt, it is incredibly challenging to find a consistent or stable enough signal to be able to broadcast high quality video that is crisp enough for a national TV network,” explains Christian Birklbauer, Chairman, Rallye Club Mühviertel, and lead organiser of Jännerrally.
“But, with a lot of determination and after conducting some highly successful tests with Dejero transmitters over bonded cellular - blending multiple networks from different carriers - we were able to convince people, including Austria’s national broadcaster, that we could live-produce spectacular picture quality even from the inside the rally cars, on very rough terrain, in a very isolated area.”
Dejero EnGos transmitted live camera feeds from inside rally cars, at the start and finish lines, and from a drone during the 3-day race event
Three rally cars were equipped with Dejero EnGo 265 mobile video transmitters for the three-day event; two EnGos were placed at various start and finish lines, and an additional EnGo was connected to a drone. The live camera feeds were transmitted by the Dejero devices over bonded cellular, back to a production hub equipped by AV-Professional in Messehalle Freistadt. Two Dejero WayPoint receivers reconstructed the feeds, decoded the HEVC and then outputted them for broadcast to television and streaming channels. Each receiver was fitted with four ports, enabling the production team to manage and switch up to eight streams simultaneously.
The EnGo transmitters in the cars, transmitting driver-perspective camera feeds, were secured into Dejero’s vehicle antenna docks, and connected to roof top antennas to boost cellular reception.
Dejero WayPoint receivers located at the production hub reconstructed feeds and decoded the HEVC ready for broadcast to television and streaming channels
“Being able to transmit signals from the harsh and fast-paced environment where network coverage is limited is one thing, but achieving this through the car chassis, where the EnGos are literally encased in metal, is something special. It’s quite phenomenal just how the signals can move so rapidly from one mast/transmitter/pole to another,” said Birklbauer.
The transmission devices feature Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology, which aggregates multiple IP connections, in the case of Jännerrally, the EnGos used SIM cards for three Austrian networks. The result is high-speed, reliable internet connectivity, which allowed Jännerrally to transmit broadcast-quality live video while reducing production logistics costs.
The innovative workflow represents a saving of approximately 75% compared to traditional rally car racing event live production costs
Before implementing connectivity from Dejero, Jännerrally were streaming live feeds only to their fans online. The new technology workflow and the support from Dejero and AV-Professional gave them the confidence to make a giant leap to live broadcasting on a national TV channel.
“If you look at the World & European Rally Championship, such a big budget live production will commission aeroplanes, helicopters and flying relay stations, using radio frequencies to muster a signal for transmission. Our remote production workflow represents a saving of around 75% and we can be more mobile around the location, easily moving the start and finish line cameras depending on the race routes,” added Birklbauer.
The Dejero Control cloud-based device management, monitoring, and reporting tool was also implemented in the trailblazing workflow. With Control, technicians from the production company, Streamers Austria, could adjust settings and troubleshoot from the broadcast facility so that field crews could focus purely on capturing the content.
However, Birklbauer was proud and surprised to report that there were no issues to troubleshoot; “In my experience of live production - you are more or less finding one problem after another and anticipating some issues, but with Dejero’s support team and flawless technology, we had nothing to worry about.”
Dejero EnGo transmitters are built with aircraft-grade aluminium in a monocoque construction that’s lightweight and strong, as well as polycarbonate ABS bumpers for additional protection. This makes the transmitter ideal for in-vehicle applications such as rally car racing.
“To create the most rugged transmitter on the market, we go beyond basic drop tests. From vibration tests to shock and crash-testing of the vehicle antenna dock, we go the extra mile,” explains Arjen Hofland, Senior Sales Account Manager, Dejero.
“Using Dejero, we were able to bring pictures from places and with a small budget that nobody could believe,” concluded Birklbauer. “This workflow will open up so many opportunities for the broadcast and streaming of rally car racing.”
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Driven by its vision of reliable connectivity anywhere, Dejero delivers real-time video and networking solutions that provide resilient, uninterrupted internet connectivity for critical communications. Powered by intelligent network aggregation technology, Dejero combines diverse telecommunication networks including 4G/5G cellular, GEO/MEO/LEO satellite, and fixed broadband, to create a software-defined ‘network of networks’ managed in the cloud. The result is enhanced reliability, expanded coverage, and greater bandwidth for its global customers. Founded in 2008, privately-held Dejero is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Learn more at www.dejero.com.
The first Jännerrallye was held back in 1969. The fascination of driving in Austrian winter conditions with lightning-fast changing surfaces consisting of ice, snow and tarmac - all mixed on single Rallye-Stages - created a unique event in the middle of Europe. The legendary Jännerrallye caused many international highlights like the world premiere of the first ever four-wheel driven race car in 1981 and a long list of international stars competing. This year´s 36th edition was an impressive comeback after a two-year break due to Covid.
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Images courtesy of Jännerrallye