Dejero has worked with The Lovett School in Atlanta, US, to deliver its live sports event broadcasts despite the many safety protocols in place due to the ongoing pandemic.
By incorporating four Dejero LivePlus mobile apps and a WayPoint 104 receiver into its live streaming production workflow, and connecting to the existing campus WiFi infrastructure, the school is able to reduce its production crew at games from 15 students to just two or three, meaning they can adhere to social distancing regulations while covering sporting events – a feat that could not have been achieved with their pre-pandemic set up.
The new technology was initially incorporated so that viewers of The Lovett Network, including students, parents, relatives, faculty, college recruiters and the wider community could continue to watch Lovett games live without physically attending.
“Although social distancing was a driving concern at the time, we immediately realised that the Dejero gear could be set up in a fraction of the time versus our traditional set up,” explained parent-volunteer and co-ordinating producer for Lovett Network Jim Claussen. “The students can now set-up and strike a game in literally one-tenth of the time it used to take because they don’t have to pull coax, power cables and haul heavy equipment up and down the countless steps at all these various stadiums and arenas. Now it’s just smartphones on lightweight tripods.”
Prior to the pandemic, their traditional production workflow required Lovett students to physically move all their technical equipment – switchers, audio boards, graphics generators and other gear – to every venue in order to produce the live stream for each event. Now, all of this equipment stays in the school’s press box ‘control room’ where the Dejero WayPoint receives the live feeds from four smartphones using the Dejero LivePlus app. This also means that only students capturing the content need attend away games, rather than the entire production crew.
The app uses Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology to aggregate available networks, including wired (cable/DSL/fibre broadband) and wireless (3G/4G/5G cellular, WiFi, satellite) networks from multiple providers – delivering the bandwidth needed for high-quality live video transmission.
The LivePlus smartphone app is also enabling students to produce more engaging content for the viewers at home. Utilising low-cost, handheld gimbal stabilisers in conjunction with their smartphones, camera operators can now get inside team huddles during timeouts, follow players from the locker rooms to the field and track swimmers alongside the pool.
“Using smartphones with the Dejero app, the students not only instinctively know how to operate them, but they are also unintimidated by the easily grasped LivePlus app interface, compared to the complexities of operating a semi-pro video camera,” added Claussen, who believes this simple, nimble and low-cost solution from Dejero could be used as a template for high-quality broadcasting and streaming capabilities at high schools and other remote productions across the globe.
“From a mobility perspective, the Dejero gear has opened up a world of opportunity. We’re considering using the LivePlus apps’ ability to blend cellular networks in order to produce formerly impractical programming like cross-country running and golf. From an ease of use perspective, it also encourages more of our students to hone broadcasting and journalism skills for potential college scholarships in those disciplines; and having all these extra ISO camera feeds provides additional video sources for quickly packaging high-end post-game highlights together to showcase Lovett athletics on local TV affiliates’ nightly sports coverage, as well as for use in sizzle reels helping to promote our star athletes’ efforts to catch the eye of college recruiters.”