Mark Bridge writes:
A horse box and eight SIM cards. That’s the basic technology keeping the BBC’s Olympic Torch Relay broadcasts on the air and on the road.
The converted DAF horse box is being driven in front of the runners as they carry an Olympic torch along the relay route. It’s equipped with four cameras and a mixing desk, enabling a choice of views to be recorded and broadcast for 12 hours per day throughout the 70-day relay.
However, unlike most other outside broadcasts, the BBC torch relay isn’t using a satellite connection. Instead it’s staying connected to the studio by using some of the UK’s 3G mobile networks.
Combining the signals from eight 3G SIM cards is enabling the BBC’s media vehicle to transmit broadcast-quality video and audio as it drives along the relay route. The transmission is sent from the vehicle to the BBC’s studio, from where it’s broadcast almost-live on TV and via the internet with just a two-minute delay.
Mobile technology from Dutch company Triple-IT is making all this possible. The company’s Mobile Viewpoint Wireless Multiplex Terminal combines more than one 3G signal to provide more capacity and reliability than would otherwise be available.
The on-location technology is small enough to fit in a backpack that can be carried by one person - but in this case the BBC is using a little more horsepower.
|More details can be seen in a video report from the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones: click here to open the BBC page in a new window.