France Télévisions employed technology from Space X’s Starlink and TVU Networks to cover the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II without the need for internet, satellite or live trucks.
The broadcaster anticipated that cellular networks would become overburdened, which led it to combine TVU Networks’ TVU One with Starlink. The unique ability of TVU One to aggregate multiple separate signals into a single redundant stream frees its users from cellular saturation and puts an end to instability, the main cause of signal degradation in many live news situations, TVU said.
The combination of TVU Networks and Starlink technologies was tested and validated in the extreme transmission conditions in Ukraine and Corsica before being certified by the technical teams of France Télévisions.
“We must offer news production teams and reporters technological solutions to cover every major event regardless of constraints,” says Skander Ben Attia, director of engineering at France Télévisions. “The flexibility and ease of use of the TVU Networks solutions met these conditions 200 per cent.”
France Télévisions anticipated that media coverage combined with security associated with the funeral would rule out the use of live traditional vans and satellite trucks and that the mobile service would be non-existent.
Through its partner Magic Hour, TVU Networks provided transmission packs allowing the routing of signals via Starlink as well as reception servers to increase the traffic needs of the France Télévisions news control room on the day of the funeral.
Thanks to this configuration, France Télévisions was able to have continuous live broadcasts, control their production costs, and cover the event from all editorially relevant locations. The TVU One with Starlink deployed ensured the national editorial staff of France Télévisions success in its mission.
“After very conclusive trials in Ukraine and Corsica, we decided to deploy this TVU Networks/Starlink configuration on a large scale,” says Romuald Rat, news production director for France Télévisions. “TVU Networks/Starlink configuration has brought us to the crossroads of technology and history, creating the certainty of being able to serve our audience without fail and focus on the storytelling. It is impossible not to be very proud of what we accomplished.”