When veteran cameraman Ed Baier of San Diego could not use a fiber connection at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Jan. 27-30, he turned to On Call Communications, a provider of IP mobile satellite solutions, for help. On Call facilitated the connection for Baier’s live remote and press conference coverage for ESPN and CNN Espanol.
Baier, a freelance cameraman, has covered the Torrey Pines golf championship held near San Diego for 10 years. He provides his clients live remotes and coverage of press conferences for the event, as well as highlights and interviews via taped feeds. In the past, he has sent the feed via fiber from the media center; this year, however, fiber was unavailable.
After researching his options, he realized using an IP satellite was the only other viable option given the short turnaround time. He contacted On Call Communications just days before the event. Despite the quick turnaround, On Call was able to provide him with a portable fly-and-drive antenna and the satellite bandwidth he needed.
“The fly-and-drive antenna is convenient and so easy to set up,” Baier said. “More importantly, the look of the image is comparable to the look that fiber gives you. I was able to use On Call to send the video to the Los Angeles Switch. Then the signal went by fiber to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, CT. There was no noticeable difference in video quality to Bristol.”
In addition to providing the antenna and satellite space, On Call also turned on the satellite remotely for Baier to save him setup time. All the studio in Bristol had to do was hit record.