This news was reposted from Teradek Blog
Subaru Motorsports USA driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams clinched a thrilling victory at the 2022 Lake Superior Performance Rally. But that was not their only major win. Subaru’s media crew shared live coverage of the event: becoming the first-ever rally race live stream in US history – thanks in part to Teradek’s IP video solutions: Ranger, Prism Flex, and Core Cloud.
Yujiro Otsuki, Director of Communications for Vermont SportsCar, approached Teradek to support a proof of concept live stream for Subaru Motorsports USA – joining a collaborative effort with AT&T Broadcast and PSSI. The task? To stream the final stage of the rally – a 1.5mi run centered around Marquette Mountain Resort.
In order to pull off this complex live production, the teams needed to overcome several difficulties, including:
🚫 A Vast Area Coverage
🚫 A Total Wireless Workflow
🚫 Limited Connectivity (LTE, Satellite, and Fiber)
🚫 Tough Terrain with Dust, Water, and Dirt
🚫 Multi-Brand Devices
🚫 Multi-Team Collaboration
Live broadcasting a rally race was a long-time dream of Yujiro's. He'd heard fans requesting this for years. But as IP video and satellite technology advanced, and cell tower access became more readily available, Yujiro and his team felt this was the right moment to make it happen.
Derek Nickell, Product Manager for Teradek Live Production, joined the crew in Michigan to provide technical guidance for the project. For three days, the teams huddled together inside AT&T’s satellite bus to plan, test, and re-plan – eventually configuring the right workflow for the big race.
The majority of the track was on the top-backside of the hill, away from the satellite bus, which added some increased challenges. Because of this, the team deployed various transmission methods, including LTE cellular, CBRS private cellular, RF, WiFi, and Ku band satellite.
Teradek supplied one Ranger, a zero-delay wireless transmitter and receiver, three Prism Flex Decoders, a 4K HDR compact decoder, and Core Cloud, a cloud-based orchestration tool.
The Ranger system was used for the pre- and post-show where two hosts spoke with the drivers and co-drivers as they arrived. Ranger tested up to 1500 ft away from the RX antennas with in-car mounts, and stationary shots.
The Prism system was used to receive SRT for testing days before the event to determine whether the internal CBRS radio network could stream IP streams back to the satellite bus for decoding and ingest into the broadcast switcher. These were tested over several mediums with varying types of transport protocols. The workflow involved multiple RTMP streams to a Raspberry Pi 4 decoder, SRT from a cell phone over CBRS to a Prism Flex decoder, and in-car Mevo cameras streaming over local hotspots.
Teradek Core was used to manage the live program from inside the bus, where the live stream was multistreamed it to six destinations at once, including the YouTube and Facebook channels for Subaru Motorsports USA, American Rally Association, and DirtFish.
- ✅LTE Cellular, CBRS Private Cellular, RF, WiFi, Ku Band Satellite
- ✅HD-SDI 1080i60 Input and 1080p29.97 H.264 Output
- ✅Backwards Compatibility w/ Broadcast (1080i Transcoding to Switchers)
- ✅Multi-Carrier LTE Modems
- ✅RF Transmission in 1080p
- ✅1500 ft Operating Range
- ✅RTMP, SRT Protocols
- ✅Network Bonding
- ✅Remote Configuration
- ✅File Storage/Distribution
- ✅Local Recording
- ✅Cloud Archiving
After a few days of setup, the system worked flawlessly. The roving devices were able to stream back to the bus for switching, creating a multi-cam live streaming experience for a combined 55,000 viewers online for a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes. Here are 9 ways in which Teradek opens new doors for Subaru Launch Control crew:
#1: Successful Proof of Concept
- “This was our proof of concept. We wanted to have a successful stream without any glitches, and we achieved that.”
- “I had experience using Teradek products years ago and I felt that your bonding technology and the RF technology was good, but you weren’t using it in motorsports. We wanted to be one of the first ones to try it out and it certainly worked very well.”
- “There are 2 million things I would love to do this year, and I think Teradek products would allow us to do what we want to do.”
- “We had a Ranger attached to the big camera and following presenters interviewing people. Derek pointed the antennas towards the presenters and that was pretty solid. That made our show look very professional without any disconnect.”
- “Having no delay really helped. Our producer was able to communicate with the presenters without a weird glitch.”
- “The quality of the video was unbelievable and nicely packaged.”
- “We wanted to test and make sure our package works in very rural areas with no cell or broadband connections. We had all the connections, but we did not need to use all of them.”
- “There were no glitches. I don’t think we got disconnected at all, and it made our show look very professional.”
- “One of the stages we sent our shooter with a Starlink kit and we only recorded and sent a file back to the bus. We didn’t stream from that spot. What we could’ve done was use an encoder and decoder and stream for the live coverage. That will be our next step.”
- “Another thing I would love to test in the future is Prism’s Store and Forward feature because rally cars run where there is no connectivity. So we can store the on-board [footage] from stages, and push the data to the server when we pass by cell towers on the way back to base camp.”
- “In the future, I would love to use Core for decoding as well. Sending a stream from stages to Core and have it decode and send it back to the bus.”
- “I felt responsible to grow the sport because this was going to help every team. Because even though they have sponsors, they didn’t have a platform to expose them. So we wanted to change that.”
- “Initially, we were going to have another partner handle satellite connections. The plan was to have them send a stream to various destinations from Pittsburgh. They knew how to do it, but I felt that there would be lots of issues that we couldn’t solve from the bus because I wasn’t in Pittsburgh.”
- “I felt much more comfortable using Core by sending one program stream to Core, and restream to a bunch of destinations. With Core, we could tell if we’re having issues and check the stream quality. You can see everything on one screen.”
- “Being able to remote control it from the bus was extremely convenient to use Core for streaming.”
- “Now, it seems you’ve made Core easy for anybody to use. Very convenient to use.”
- “I think cloud solutions are the way to go. Eventually, I would love to produce everything in the cloud. I would love to have remote editors and do remote everything in the future. The potential is huge.”
- My dream is to be able to stream a whole stage. Let’s say you have 8 miles of rally stage and I would love to have 50 cameras on the stage and I want to be able to stream everything to the cloud and switch and have proper streams and I think Teradek can help make it happen.
- “Streaming sports live – any sport – is exciting because of the uncertainty. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know who’s going to win. If it has already been recorded, people would know. So we are trying to shorten this delay with live coverage.”
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