Wireless production, way beyond wireless cameras!

Author: Yeray Alfageme

When we talk about wireless production, the first thing that comes to mind is the typical wireless camera equipment of the mobile units we all know. But let’s go further, what happens when your entire production is based on wireless systems? How critical does the reliability and capacity of this equipment become?


At TM Broadcast, we thought of studying two clear examples in which wireless technology becomes essential: motorsport and road sports, in this case, cycling.


Motorsport, when your cameras go at 300 km/h

In motorsports, onboard cameras were one of the first innovations to be introduced years ago. About 20-30 years ago, the technological challenges we had to face to have onboard cameras -analogue signals and all the miniaturisation that the 90’s technology permitted- were innumerable. As a result, viewers became accustomed to tolerating some technical issues in this type of signals because “they had known no better”. This gave the industry certain margin to develop and implement improvements in this type of systems gradually until we reached the technology available to us now.


As an example, there is a difference in the size of an onboard motorcycling camera between what there was in the 1980s and what there is nowadays.


The modern ones are 17 times lighter and smaller -and we are not speaking about the latest model either!


In addition to weight, obviously, energy consumption is critical in these systems. In fact, both are intimately linked because the lower energy consumption the less heat to be dissipated, so their refrigeration systems are less or even non-existent, and their smaller batteries make them easier to integrate into vehicles.

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But, integration is never easy. No, and when we say no, we mean it, no racing team looks favourably on the introduction of an external system in their very careful and expensive vehicle, which they have invested so much time developing and that might disturb the weight distribution, the centre of gravity and even the braking distribution of the vehicle. These integrations are always made with prior agreement, even an obligation on the part of the promoter of the competition and the teams, and in close collaboration between the audiovisual team and the participants, otherwise, it would be unthinkable.


An example of a great job done in this area, and in which the weight and any external system become evidently critical, can be seen in motorcycling again, where up to four cameras can be installed on the vehicle, as shown in the illustration.


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TM Broadcast International

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