News Production & Post

Vislink covers every step of 2015 London Marathon for BBC Sport

30 April 2015
London marathon

More than 38,000 participants crossed the starting line of the 2015 London last Sunday 26 April, making it the biggest in the event’s 35-year history. For the second year in a row, Broadcast RF was there with Vislink equipment to provide continuous live coverage of all 26.2 miles from Blackheath to The Mall.

CTV OB and BBC Sport relied on Broadcast RF and AMP Visual to provide the wireless live feeds for the event, which was viewed by a global audience of millions across 196 countries. The outside broadcast operation used a combination of fixed cameras at six OB stations, Vislink L1700 transmitters on mobile cameras, two helicopters and a fixed aircraft downlink from 22,000 feet, all linked to a central receive system at a master OB station positioned at Canada Gate.

Broadcast RF utilised Vislink’s 2GHz L1700 wireless camera-mounted transmitters, on five motorbikes that followed the route. Frequency spectrum is in short supply at the marathon, so Broadcast RF chose the L1700 for the MPEG4/H.264 video encoding. Stationary cameras at the OB station were complimented with hand-held radio cameras using Vislink L1700s, which allowed cameramen to get down next to the runners and do interviews with fun runners, charity runners and celebrities.

Two helicopter cameras were also deployed along the route, transmitting video feeds to a fixed wing aircraft circling the route at 22,000 feet. Two RF downlinks delivered the video from the aircraft at 3GHz via Vislink’s proprietary 24MHz wide LMS-T modulation scheme to a customised diversity receiver system at the master OB TV compound.

“Having Vislink as an RF equipment supplier allowed us to build a customised solution for this event,” said Chris Brandrick, sales director at Broadcast RF. “We know that all equipment is compatible with the receiver facility, are in the bandwidth and frequency required, and offers the compression schemes needed to transmit quality images over the congested spectrum. We are always judged on our last performance and our reputation relies on having top quality equipment solutions, to ensure repeat business.”

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