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Reaching new heights

Posted on Nov 18, 2021 by Verity Butler

Dejero knows no bounds as it delivers an uninterrupted cellular climbing livestream, documenting a climb of Spain’s toughest peak – by an athlete recently diagnosed with ALS

Located in the Macizo Central region of the Picos de Europa in Spain, the Naranja de Bulnes is a limestone peak dating back over 200 million years. Though not the highest of the range, it’s huge within Spanish mountaineering culture – particularly for its 550m vertical wall. Scaling it is no simple feat, but Spanish sports figure Miguel Ángel Roldán (Mikel) recently took on the climb. He has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and made the attempt to raise awareness of the condition. Livestreaming this extraordinary event was a task relished by local production company, JTM Broadcast. The team delivered live coverage across multiple internet and social media platforms, aided by Dejero’s EnGo transmitters, in a remarkable act of cellular strength.

“Mikel was suddenly diagnosed with ALS at the age of 41,” describes RF engineer for JTM, Javier Trifol. “After finding out, he gave up for a while. But, eventually, he decided to make the most of life; with the help of friends and firefighters from his hometown, he took on climbing Naranjo de Bulnes – while he still could.”

Following Mikel on his ascent were three cameras for video and audio feeds. There was also a fixed camera and a drone – fed using a wireless link into a mixer and combined.

“I quickly realised this was more than a broadcast of a sporting event. It was portraying the harshness and suffering the challenge poses for whoever does it,” continues Trifol. “We received the three-camerabfootage at the base camp. From there, we transmitted the images and voices of the commentators to a position with mobile phone coverage. Here, we used an EnGo to transmit the signal to the studio in Bilbao where it was being streamed.”

Despite the expected cellular difficulties in a mountainous district, Dejero’s EnGo delivered internet connectivity over mobile networks. This linked to Dejero’s cloud server, which in turn published live streams via RTMP to the NIREStream distribution platform. Footage was available to broadcasters, as well as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and, perhaps most crucially, a large screen located in Mikel’s hometown. The EnGo’s Emmy award-winning, Smart Blending Technology helped environments get mobile signals to such an extreme geographical location. It aggregates diverse wired and IP connections to form a virtual ‘network of networks,’ delivered as a single, reliable service.

“The ascent was the most technically complex feat I’ve faced, but the most rewarding, too. I’m so confident in Dejero, I didn’t even take any backup equipment,” Trifol concludes.

Dejero archives

This article first featured in the autumn 2021 issue of FEED magazine.

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