Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) is a multi-platform content and entertainment group delivering compelling content that leverages and ignites the passion of sports fans around the country. Their commitment to create bespoke communications for each specific market and sport is unique. Recently the SEN team had a brief to build an OB arm for the business and for that they turned to Digistor and the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter.
SEN’s head of production for their TV division, Peter Morris, explained, “We produce live and pre-recorded TV programs from our state-of-the-art studios in Southbank as well as end-to-end live sport coverage for broadcasters including Nine, Seven, SBS, Fox Sports and ESPN. To complement this offering we decided to build an OB-type operation without all the usual major costs involved and for that we needed Digistor to supply us with multiple Dejero EnGo units, as they use a bonded cellular system to transmit high-quality live video with low latency.”
Morris and his team had used Dejero solutions before so they had an understanding of what they were capable of.
He continued, “We built a system aimed at second-tier sports – those with a broadcasting requirement but not the budget for a full-blown OB with trucks and tens of people on the ground. We also created a hub-based system where there would be a small hub at the sporting event feeding into our larger Melbourne control room and hub in Southbank.”
Part of the new SEN system revolved around stacking all of their encoders side by side and then developing some very clever software solutions that would work with the Dejero EnGo units to capture and lock together each signal in perfect sync as it returned to Melbourne.
The Dejero EnGo is known as one of the world’s most durable and versatile mobile transmitters that’s purpose-built for reliably sending high-quality live video from remote locations. It utilises Smart Blending Technology to provide reliable connectivity for low latency live video. EnGo enables users to transmit high-quality live video with latency as low as 0.8 seconds while it intelligently combines multiple network connections in real-time for enhanced reliability, expanded coverage, and greater bandwidth capacity.
High-quality live video is assured with HEVC compression and bitrates up to 20 Mb/s at 1080p 50/60 and hybrid hardware/software encoding dynamically adapts in real-time based on the complexity of the video scene being captured and the network throughput. There’s also ultra-reliable cellular reception in challenging network environments with a proprietary design that optimally separates antennas for enhanced reception.
Morris added, “We can now switch all the Dejero units on and they all feed into the SEN system perfectly synchronised. A great example of this working is the current 2020 WNBL basketball championships in Townsville. Here we have five cameras sending back feeds to Melbourne via the Dejero EnGo units. We also have a live switch of the game at the location and with our system, if there’s a failure, the game can also be switched remotely by a director in Melbourne. In other words all the heavy – and expensive – lifting including instant replays, editing live footage, graphics, operators and the machinery that goes with those functions is all done back at the SEN Hub in Southbank. This makes the OB at the event incredibly efficient and incredibly cost effective.”
For SEN their Djero EnGo-based system has meant they are now covering more sports than ever before.
Morris added, “Some sports, particularly those where budgets are very tight such as the recent Hockey Australia tournament, can now have a full broadcast presence. For Hockey Australia we armed individual camera operators with a Dejero EnGo and each sent a camera signal back to our Melbourne hub using our proprietary software for timing and synchronisation. It was a simple but very effective workflow.”
Peter Morris can’t speak highly enough of the Dejero solution and of Digistor’s service and support as he concluded, “The Dejero EnGo has enabled SEN to get into and cover live sports where previously the OB costs were prohibitive. This is due to the genius of the Dejero EnGo, our proprietary synchronisation software and the fact that the heavy lifting is done in our Melbourne hub meaning that an entire layer of cost and expense has been removed from the equation. I must also thank and give credit to Digistor and Dejero who we worked alongside for some time to develop the system in order for it to perform as seamlessly as it does. Both companies are incredibly talented and professional.”