Case Study: LiveU Drives Remote Production of Head of the Charles Regatta

The Head of the Charles Regatta is one of the largest rowing races in the world — held on the Charles River in Massachusetts. The broadcast team utilized a REMI production model with the implementation of 10 camera stations, all powered by LiveU HEVC units.

The Challenge
The Head of the Charles Regatta draws 11,000 rowers to the banks of the Charles River for the 3-day race. One of the largest regattas in the world, the race commands global intrigue, which requires the broadcast production team to cover the entire regatta from many different vantage points. Running cable along the course was a complicated and cost prohibitive solution for broadcasting the full race each year. The problem was compounded by a weak and heavily taxed cellular network, which meant that the team needed a robust and reliable solution to ensure a continuous broadcast.

The Solution
The Head of the Charles broadcast team utilized a REMI production model, implementing 10 camera stations powered by LiveU HEVC units. The cellular bonded technology, coupled with priority sims inside each unit, enabled a rock-solid live transmission. Additionally the team deployed the IP Pipe production feature to enable long-range remote control of a PTZ camera at the starting line.

What made this a unique production was the fact that the camera crew was compromised of volunteers, so the solution needed to be easy to operate for the novice users. The crew simply plugged the camera SDI into the LiveU units and turned them on to go live. The producer in the central control room could monitor battery life, diagnostics, and the live feeds. The broadcast director praised the technology, which allowed him to focus on the creative aspects of the production, adding more value for the global viewers at home.

“The great thing about the reliability of LiveU was that it allowed me to forget about the technology and know that the signal was going to be rock-solid so I could focus on the job I was there to do which was to produce entertaining coverage of the event,” says Mitch McManus, Broadcast Director, Head of the Charles. “Camera placement is only limited by our own imagination, there is nowhere we can’t put a camera using this technology, the units are so small and so compact we can literally put cameras anywhere along the course.”

Here is a detailed breakdown of the production:

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