Three Things You Didn’t Know
Seven Things You Didn’t Know About
Wireless Broadcast Transmission
The Rise of Wireless
Increasing competition for ratings and viewer engagement, the need
to bring breaking news quickly, to go on the air from remote or
unexpected places and provide unique shooting angles – all these
have brought broadcast networks worldwide to extensively adopt
wireless video transmission technologies.
More and more camera teams benefit from using wireless equipment to
transmit video content from cameras back to Outside Broadcast Vans
(OB Vans) or Central Stations.
Both professionals and amateurs use wireless solutions when they
can’t use cables due to physical limitations at outdoor events, or
simply for enhanced convenience. Also, movie and reality show teams
increasingly adopt wireless solutions for content monitoring by the
director. All appreciate the value of wireless solutions for
attractive content transmission and ease of video shooting.
There is a variety of wireless technologies and solutions on the
market today. This review of the different wireless technologies
clarifies their suitability to broadcasting today and the
appropriate use for each.
There are three leading wireless broadcast link technologies – each
based on different a transmission method:
• OFDM/COFDM solutions
• Cellular network solutions
• ideo over WiFi solutions
Each method has advantages and limitations, and may be combined with
another method to achieve better coverage and resolve one system’s
OFDM is a method of encoding digital data on multiple carrier
frequencies. OFDM/COFDM-based wireless video link systems consist of
transmitters and receivers. The
transmitter is positioned on the camera; the receiver is located
inside the OB-Van or at the event’s media center where the content
is gathered and transmitted forward.
OFDM-based solutions usually provide very high picture quality,
performance and range, as they are “stand-alone” and don’t rely on
other networks or equipment. Their
limitation is that they require additional equipment in order to
transmit the broadcast content to viewers. These systems typically
belong to the high-end broadcast quality level.
Video links over
In wireless video links over cellular networks, the transmitter is
positioned on the camera or in a backpack carried by the cameraman,
transmitting the content over the cellular network, and from there
to the broadcaster’s servers. The receiver is usually software on
the server. Cellular systems often encounter congestion. In crowded
events with many cell phone users, 3G & 4G networks may not provide
the bandwidth required to maintain good image quality. Another
typical problem is the high latency (up to 3 seconds) of the system.
Video over Wi-Fi
In Video over Wi-Fi systems, the transmitter is located on the
camera and the receiver is either near the Wi-Fi access point in the
same location, or at the TV station beyond the Internet cloud. The
main advantage of Wi-Fi video link solutions is their low cost,
making them a perfect choice for low-budget productions. Their
disadvantages are compromised picture quality and stability, crowded
frequencies, and the fact that they share resources with other
applications and users.
Combining two solutions can overcome some of these inherent
technological limitations. For example, when employing OFDM in a
congested cellular environment,the OFDM link can be used to “jump”
the first few hundred meters away from the cellular congestion. This
solution enables the cellular transmitter to connect to a clear
away from the event, avoiding congestion and transmitting the
broadcast live with minimal delay.
ABonAir Wireless Broadcast Transmission Technology
ABonAir’s wireless broadcast transmission solution utilizes a robust
OFDM technology to deliver professional broadcast quality and to
guarantee wireless coverage even in the most difficult scenarios.
ABonAir innovative OFDM technology provides portable and
high-quality video transmission systems for broadcast camera and
production teams around the globe.
This technology, combined with a proprietary over-the-air protocol,
was designed to stream HD video, of the highest quality, with
consistent bitrates in order to meet the most demanding broadcast
Unlike high-end OFDM unidirectional systems, ABonAir’s OFDM system
is built on a bidirectional link between transmitter and receiver.
This allows the system to acknowledge acceptance of each pixel, thus
guaranteeing zero errors, accurate pictures, stable transmission,
and lower costs. In addition, the innovative H.264 video CODEC
embedded in ABonAir’s systems ensures excellent picture quality and
range. Our state-of-the-art video compression technology, along with
wireless radio enhancements (extended range, security and quality),
is ideal for broadcasting market needs and requirements. The
system’s unique algorithms are specifically designed to
merge video and wireless technologies in order to deliver superior
video quality, robustness, and stability.
ABonAir’s technology is based on a full-duplex data channel that
guaranties 100% availability. The system’s bi-directional link is
embedded with features such as CCU, Tally and Intercom. It provides
an excellent range up to 2.5 km as well as low delay and low power
consumption. Thanks to its robust and reliable technology, ABonAir’s
productline has been successfully employed by broadcasters around
• Robust and reliable OFDM wireless link
• Full duplex data channel (1 Mbps) for 100% availability
• H.264 CODEC – broadcast quality (42 dB PSNR)
• 2.5 km range
• Resolutions – SD/HD up to 1080p (NTSC/PAL)
• Low delay (90 msec)
• Embedded camera control unit (CCU)
• Unlicensed frequencies (4.9 Ghz-5.875 Ghz)
• Low power consumption (10 W)
• Automatic configuration for fast setup time