Thursday, February 3, 2011

Keeping up

I know that many of you know how we get our broadcast to you, but for those who don't I thought I would give you an insight as to the route the signal takes to reach you computer.
The vehicle transmits from an Ariel mounted behind the camera persons head as it drives around the bush. I figure you will have seen this from the various shots of the Ganda.
And so the journey to you begins.
Step one is a radio link to the Vuyatela mast located near the main lodge .
Step two is via fibre optic cable to the FCC, where the raw signal is processed.
Step three, the processed signal is sent via fibre optic again back to the mast and beamed via microwave to a mountain 100 kms away.
Step four that signal is bounced down to an office in Hoedspruit (a small town around 35 kms from the mountain).
Step Five, here the signal reaches our POP and fibre optic cable which is routed first to Middleberg, then Johannesburg and then to Dublin in Ireland.

By this point you have probably dropped off to sleep with boredom, but the signal is only half way to you.

In Dublin, the broadcast is again processed and distributed via the Internet to you.
I hope you can see that this isn't an easy route and is made more complicated by the amount of data we now have to send for 3D HD.
So why didn't we stay with a low res 2d system. After all it had worked for years?
Fair question. The answer is that we need to keep up with the latest advances in LIVE Internet broadcasting, without which we'd fall so far behind that it would be a very hard road to catch up. Plus, the history of this company (of which many of you have been part for many years), is that we break new ground.
So here we are, a small passionate team with dedicated supporters around the world, creating something that others thought was not possible; but we are all proving them wrong.
The systems we've pioneered over the last six months have pushed the boundaries and we will continue to do so. Sure we still have some bugs to work out but we've proved it can be done.
And if this all sounds like my bragging, well I have a confession to make. I can't claim any credit. The ground breaking systems have been designed and developed by the WildEarth team of Graham, Peter and Alex. Like many others, I'm just keeping up.
Written by Will Fox
CEO Safari Television


  1. Thanks for sharing that. I was actually wondering about the radio transmission from in the bush, and how it got rebroadcasted.

  2. Thanks for the information! I know the broadcast is a very complicated undertaking and there are bound to be difficulties. I find the delay that happens sometimes kind of funny. This morning the drive ended for some of us 45 minutes after the actual drive ended. People were thinking it was due to the signal freezing very frequently as it has done the last couple of days. We figured by the time drive was finished for us Patrick was home eating dinner!