NYC Marathon’s Women’s Wheelchair Race

Case study
Sports Coverage

The NYC Marathon is the world’s biggest and most popular marathon, with more than 50,000 finishers and offers Marathon-related programming across the city such as the Marathon’s Women’s wheelchair race.

Customer challenges

The aim of CP Communication, the New York-based production service and digital media technology rental company, was to capture live video from the course, and relaying that video to viewers of ABC, ESPN and Disney properties.
The only way to get live pictures from the course during a marathon is to use wireless technology. Nevertheless the technology had to ensure video got where it needed to go, even in a dynamic, uncontrollable  environment with millions of people taxing the network. As the best way to get live broadcast coverage of the Marathon was to use wireless technology, CP Communications relied on a combination of microwave and bonded cellular technology.

 

Our solutions

Providing an outstanding competitor’s perspective

The PRO180 solution proved to be the best option to deliver live shots from the women’s wheelchair race.

CP Communications mounted a 5.8-ounce package, provided by Inertia Unlimited and consisting of a camera, battery, and microwave transmitter, onto a wheelchair. The camera was positioned over the athlete’s right shoulder to capture the competitor’s perspective. A scooter equipped with a microwave receiver and an PRO180 unit rode along about 25 feet away from the wheelchair. The wheelchair’s POV system transmitted video to the scooter on a microwave channel, and then the scooter’s receiver handed the video off to the bonded cellular unit for transmission to the internet. From there, the crew in the production truck grabbed the video from the internet and passed it to the production switcher.

 

Improved link quality and reliability

A StreamHub tranceiver inside the truck accepted the signals from the scooter’s PRO unit, while built-in AVIWEST SafeStreams Technology applied special stream-grooming techniques to improve link quality and reliability.
CP Communications used bonded cellular technology as a backup for the traditional microwave feeds related to the men’s and women’s lead runners and other selected athletes, but in the wheelchair race, the bonded cellular system was the only means of transmitting video from the scooter to the production area.

AVIWEST system not only delivered a solid feed during the women’s wheelchair race, but its command-and-control capabilities gave us far more control over the video than we’ve had with some other systems we’ve used. Our technicians were happy with how it performed and found it to be a valuable production tool.

Jim Malone, director of technology for CP Communications

Simple deployment and lightweight

The AVIWEST solution reduced the complexity and amount of hardware CP communication team had to put on the scooter to get the feed. All it took was the microwave receiver and the bonded transmitter, it made for a very simple and efficient connection that came quickly, and most importantly, the unit responded well and gave us very consistent video coming from the relay on the scooter.

During the women’s wheelchair race, bonded cellular proved to be the most convenient way to get the wheelchair video from the scooter to the production truck because it reduced the complexity and amount of hardware we had to put on the scooter to get the feed. All it took was the microwave receiver and the bonded transmitter. Having the AVIWEST unit on the scooter made for a very simple and efficient bidirectional connection that came together quickly, and most importantly, the unit responded well and gave us very consistent video coming from the relay on the scooter.

Jim Malone, director of technology for CP Communications

VidOvation, AVIWEST US Master Distributor

“AVIWEST’s PRO180-RA solution gave CP Communications a portable, cost-effective, and reliable transmission method for delivering high-definition footage of the women’s wheelchair race to the production crew and on to viewers around the world. It is a pleasure to work with Jim Malone, Kurt Heitmann, and the CP Communications team on exciting projects such as the NYC Marathon. The broadcast industry is now experiencing bonded cellular reliability at a higher level, and we are proud to represent one of the world’s most reliable bonded cellular systems” said Jim Jachetta, executive vice president and chief technology officer at VidOvation

 

LAKE FOREST, California — November 22, 2017