29 April, 2023. Level Horizons partners with M2M to develop live drone broadcast solution for Cricket World Cup
As one of Australia’s leading providers of live drone footage at major sporting events, Level Horizons recently partnered with M2M Connectivity to develop a new solution to guarantee free-flowing HD video, with 100 per cent network reliability, and zero reliance on venue infrastructure.
Based in Brisbane, one of the sporting capitals of Australia, Level Horizons specialise in live-to-air broadcast drone videography. The company has an enviable client list which includes Fox Sports, UFC, Fox Footy and ICC.
Level Horizons was appointed by the ICC to be the official provider of live drone footage for the 2022 T20 World Cup – hosted in Australia. The company was tasked with capturing stadium, crowd, and game footage, shot from the air and fed to domestic and international TV networks covering the event.
The World Cup was played at seven venues across Australia, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Adelaide Oval, Perth Stadium and the Gabba in Brisbane.
As the sole provider of live drone footage, Level Horizons required a connectivity solution which would deliver 100 per cent reliability and guarantee live feeds at any moment.
In the past they had relied on venue infrastructure for connectivity including wireless 4/5G connections. But with stadium crowds of up to 80,000 people, they knew signal congestion would be an issue.
An additional challenge was the operating environment, which changed from venue-to-venue, including where their drones could land and launch from. This impacted the location of their broadcast base station, which meant they needed a flexible and mobile solution that could be easily setup and deployed.
As a small, but fast-growing company, Level Horizons also faced the challenge of operating a lean team with no onsite technical support. The solution needed to be simple enough for pilots to operate – independently or with via remote technical support.
Working with M2M Connectivity, Level Horizons chose the Peplink Max Transit Duo router to sit at the heart of their new solution. The Duo is built for transport deployments which means it is rugged and compact.
The router was chosen due its reliability and in-built failover capability which allows it to automatically switch to an LTE connection. Level Horizons combined two LTE connections and added a further Starlink satellite connection to create a zero-fail system.
This is made possible by Peplink’s SpeedFusion technology which bonds multiple networks together preventing sudden network interruptions or latency spikes. Level Horizons also utilised Peplink’s In-Touch management tool which allows each router to remotely managed. Each element was then seamlessly integrated into Live Horizon’s AWS fusion hub.
- The final solution included a Peplink Max BR2 Pro (with dual 5G and dual fibre WAN) connections back to the venue as the hub (receiving drone vision). Plus, fibre WAN connections provided by the venue ICT teams. This was combined with a Peplink Max Transit Duo (with dual 4G, and single Starlink WAN) at the remote drone operating sites (sending drone vision).
Using their Peplink solution, Live Horizons successfully delivered live HD drone footage at every T20 World Cup Cricket game during the 2022 tournament – with zero interruption or down time. The company now has a proven connectivity solution which can be easily deployed at any major sporting event in Australia.
By combining LTE and Starlink with Peplink, Live Horizons has created a solution which is future proof and can also scale to accommodate the integration of additional devices or networks.
Michael Keating, Co-Director at Level Horizons, said: “This solution means we are no longer limited by location and can deliver the highest quality and most reliable footage to broadcasters live – anywhere in Australia.
“The ease of deployment and the remote management capabilities of the Peplink units mean we can be confident that our guys on the ground can set these systems up and easily supported by our technicians – if required.”
Live Horizons now plans to roll out the Max Transit Duo routers across its fleet of drones.
M2M is the master distributor of Peplink hardware across Australia and New Zealand. For more information, on how we can support Starlink with Peplink, please visit: https://m2mconnectivity.com.au/peplink-starlink/