Case Studies | Data & Internet Connectivity
Portable satellite solutions for events in the most remote areas of the country and the Pacific.
As New Zealand’s national broadcaster, TVNZ needs the capacity to broadcast, forward and store news footage from the most remote areas of New Zealand and the Pacific region, where terrestrial mobile coverage is often lacking.
The Cobham Explorer 5075GX gives TVNZ the capacity it needs in a rugged, lightweight, portable, easy-to-use system at a reasonable cost, and can withstand the sorts of extreme temperatures and weather conditions regularly encountered in the field.
“We had a unit up at Cardrona Snow Farm. There was sleet, a significant buffeting wind and freezing temperatures. Conditions were quite severe, yet we were genuinely surprised when the unit locked on to the satellite immediately and streamed HD pictures. ”
Andrew Fernie, General Manager of Operations News and Current Affairs
The Communications Challenge
Each day, TVNZ reaches an audience of two million New Zealanders across its range of free-to-air and digital channels. The ability to broadcast, forward and store footage from the most remote areas of New Zealand and the Pacific region is vital to fulfil its charter as national broadcaster.
TVNZ came to Pivotel looking for a more portable and economical alternative to the large, truck-based systems that they had been using previously.
“NZ has a reasonable amount of terrestrial coverage, but we can’t always rely on the commercial networks for this,” says Andrew Fernie, General Manager of Operations, News and Current Affairs.
“Remote locations are certainly where the Explorers are called into support our broadcasts. Additionally, we use them heavily in the Pacific. They allow us to live stream or store and forward from nearly anywhere.”
The Logistical Solution
Pivotel recommended the Cobham Explorer 5075GX as the best option, a rugged and portable satellite system, that is lightweight, quick and easy to setup, and can withstand extreme temperature and weather conditions.
“It was the best single operator solution available at the time, plus the Cobham brand is well regarded,” says Andrew.
“The ability to be able to transport a relatively lightweight solution (as opposed to our previous truck mounted Ku SNG units) enables us to use our LiveU technology (live video production units) almost anywhere.”
Andrew cites the 2019 Pacific Forum in Tuvalu and the 2018 Pacific Leaders Forum in Nauru as memorable deployments of the technology which allowed them to broadcast live from these small Pacific Island nations. The Cobham Explorer 5075 GX can operate in wind speeds up to 48 km/h or gusts of 72 km/h, temps from -25 to +55C, and rainfall up to 100 mm/hour. “We had a unit up at Cardrona Snow Farm. There was sleet, a significant buffeting wind and freezing temperatures,” says Andrew.
“Conditions were quite severe, yet we were genuinely surprised when the unit locked on to the satellite immediately and streaming HD pictures.”
The Cobham Explorer combined with Pivotel’s ongoing customer service has allowed TVNZ to operate effectively from the most remote locations.
“Overall it’s been a great transition for us. It enables us to utilise our investment in LiveU to the absolute limit of its capability and has allowed us to reduce our costs,” says Andrew.
The ease and speed of setup has been another enormous advance on the previous technology.
“It’s been incredibly important for us to be able to achieve these set up times. We operate as single person crews – the camera operator is expected to set up the link, as well as shoot and edit, so the portability and ease of use has been paramount in our success here.
We could not have achieved the amount of change within our field teams without the adoption of this technology.”
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