150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Last month DCI produced two large multi-camera webcasts for the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.  Whether its webcasting a feed from an overseas satellite broadcast, simple one camera webcast to a full-on production with multiple cameras, full graphics suite and playback, DCI can handle any webcast need, no matter how large or small.  Our production in Gettysburg included two cameras for multiple guests, a long-lens camera, bump shot, and even a wide view camera up on a 40-foot mast, all switched in our production uplink truck and fed back to DCI using efficient HD H.264 DVB transmission where it was encoded for the web.



 ATEM 1M/E switcher and audio board for the production setup in the satellite truck.

 The two-camera interview stage also included a monitor for program return, and another showing a multiviewer of all five cameras.

The second day set, which included some rain in the morning.

Setting up a 33x lens and camera on the roof of the truck to capture the reenactment of Pickett’s Charge.

Interview with best-selling author Jeff Shaara.

Creating lower-thirds graphics on the fly as guests came on the show.



3D Live Surgey- first ever!

  

One of three seperate locations at the San Diego convention center, this is a 3000′ seat auditorium with huge projection monitors, which really highlighted the quality difference between our HD satellite feeds and video conference systems. 

Control room for the above auditorium, with the Boxline Box equipment occupying a small corner of the graphics table.  

When most people think of 3D video, big blockbuster movies come to mind.  3D-TV has not really penetrated the home market as quickly as HD for example.  Most of the content available to home viewers is produced content, not live video.  As a live transmission company, producing a live 3D broadcast presented a lot of challenges in uncharted waters.  DCI recently worked with Boxline Box medical communications to transmit the first-ever live broadcast of a 3D surgery at the American Urology Association (AUA) annual convention in San Diego, CA.   While most medical broadcasts are done via videoconference, Boxline’s highly experienced Operating Room video staff and DCI’s quality-obsessed field uplink engineers combine perfectly to produce the best looking live broadcasts in the medical communications industry.

DCI and Boxline Box have worked together for several years to coordinate the transmission aspects of live surgery broadcasts.  We handle brokering satellite trucks, coordinating space segment, and doing quality-control of the live feeds from our teleport to ensure the highest quality picture possible in the bandwidth available.  Boxline Box handles the OR video production, return audio so the attendees can ask questions of the operating surgeon, and switching the local feed at the convention.  When an event is big enough, DCI will travel to personally handle the transmission.  Such an event is the AUA annual conference, held this year in San Diego, where we downlink three or four simultaneous HD feeds from trucks we coordinate all over the country.


Three separate HD live surgeries. 

The AUA conference includes a lot of live video from the daVinci robotic surgical system, which natively works in 3D for the surgeon doing the procedure.  All the previous feeds we have done were all standard 2D HD, but this year we stepped it up a level to provide the same 3D HD video seen by the operating surgeon.


daVinci system surgical “tools” including the 3D scope.  The cameras are contained inside the green cylinder and lenses are at the tip of the scope. 

A surgeon controls a live daVinci robot.  There is also an electronic simulator with the same console but the robot arms are virtual. 

Because the data required to carry uncompressed 3D HD video exceeds the 1.5gbps defined in SMPTE-292M, commonly known as HD-SDI, there are two ways to carry this content.  SMPTE 424M is the most simple within a production plant, it uses a single coaxial cable with a data rate of around 3.0gbps.  This interface is commonly referred to as 3G-SDI, although the “G” stands for gigabit, not “Generation” as 3G cellular standards.  The only problem with 3G-SDI is very few HD encoders and receiver/decoders used by satellite trucks and teleports are capable of handling it, and the few that do require expensive license keys which no one has purchased due to the lack of 3D transmission requests.

Competing for attention was a display of two grotesquely large human kidney stones. 

Testing the 3D HDMI converter with a uplink from DCI that same day.

The second standard is known as dual-link SDI, defined in SMPTE 372M.  This standard is nothing more than two HD-SDI signals running on two cables, one for each “eye” in a 3D video system.  Converting back and forth between 424M and 372M is fairly simple using a converter such as a Matrox MC100.  We can transmit a dual-link signal using two encoders and two receiver/decoders.  Doing two paths is no big issue for most trucks, the issue for a 3D broadcast is both decoded video signals must arrive at exactly the same time.  Slight variation in firmware or seldom adjusted settings like GOP (group of pictures) and PAFF (Picture-adaptive frame-field) can cause millisecond propagation delay (the delay inherent in any encoding/decoding and satellite transmission system) differences that can throw off the picture when both “eyes” are combined on the viewing monitor.   Most compression hardware manufactures have proprietary solutions to time the encoders or decoders with genlock or other methods to make sure the two paths line up exactly.  These solutions are expensive and not practical for most events because they are not standards-based and require matching equipment on both sides.

Boxline Box owner Mike Evans talking on the return channel behind the scenes at the daVinci booth, one of 3 locations we used at the AUA convention and the site of the live 3D broadcast.

 Standing-room only at the first live 3D robotic surgery broadcast. 

Our live 3D broadcast used two matched HD encoders with DCI downlinking the two signals on standard receiver/decoders.  We fed both signals through a two-channel Aja FS2 frame synchronizer which times them together as a reference, but does not do anything to any propagation delay differences.  from there, both signals went into distribution amplifiers, where one “eye” was broken off and used for 2D-only displays and recording.  We had rented a PrimeImage Pipeline, a piece of equipment  typically used to dial in 10-15 seconds of delay to allow producers to “bleep” objectionable language on a live broadcast.  The delay line is capable of frame-accurate delays, so if one path was even a frame or two ahead of the other, we could “slow” it down to make them match exactly.  Once both “eyes” were exactly lined up, they went into a Aja Hi5-3D, a dual link SDI to HDMI converter, which takes both “eyes” and splits them into a standard HD picture.   This signal is fed to the 3D-capable TV’s which when set to the proper 3D mode, stretched the two halves to fill the screen so when viewed with polarized 3D glasses, the image appears 3D.

DCI flyaway and HD receivers on the first day before moving the rack indoors. 

DCI is happy to work with our friends at Boxline Box on this ground-breaking broadcast.  If you have a special project that needs a dedicated and experienced transmission company, contact DCI.  And if you need to produce a medical-related video, contact Boxline Box!

A Total DCI Broadcast

One of the things that make DCI unique is being able to supply a complete broadcast solution to our clients.  Typically, the three departments of the company- Teleport, Remote Productions, and Satellite Trucks- operate independently of each other, each with regular clients who use our services to supplement their own capabilities.  Often, two departments will work together- such as a DCI crew using our fiber lines from the White House or Capitol, but its not too often all three get to work together.  When our client needed a complete field production and transmission solution at John Kerry’s first speech as Secretary of State, they were able to make one call to DCI for the complete package.

Our Remote Productions department provided three cameras, mics, and lighting for a 2-person interview.  The DCI HD1 satellite truck uplinked all 3 paths to allow the show director to choose the cameras, and also downlinked a network return, all of which went through the DCI Teleport back in Washington.  Using multiplexer and DVB-S2 technology, DCI was able to use roughly half the bandwidth as a typical DVB-S satellite truck with single channel carriers, and still deliver a higher-quality video signal.  Since this client does not own full-time satellite space leases, using half the bandwidth resulted in a visible cost savings. As highly experienced satellite engineers, we are able to suggest new ways of doing transmissions to save our clients money. 

This was a complete DCI production that showcased how all three departments of our company can work together to bring great value and convenience to our clients.  Contact DCI to find out more about our remote production and satellite services. 

Buenos Aires Pope Party

When Argentinian archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was elected the new leader of the Catholic church, there was lots of interest in covering the story from Rome.  However, as the first pope from the Americas, many broadcasters also wanted to find out more about Pope Fransisco’s background in his hometown of Buenos Aires.  DCI’s flyaway, fresh off a quick 3 day trip to Caracas, immediately deployed to the capitol city of Argentina.

Buenos Aires is the second largest city in South America, and many of its residents- including the new pope- trace their ancestors back to Italy.  And just like in Italy, restaurants don’t open for dinner until 8:00pm, and its not uncommon for people to be there well after midnight, enjoying the large steaks Argentina is famous for.  Buenos Aires also has a large number of Italian restaurants and pizza shops. 

Our setup was right on the sidewalk around Plaza de Mayo, the large square in front of the “Rose House”, the Argentinean presidential residence and other government buildings.



 Across the street was the new pope’s old church, and the backgroup of our shot. We took over from a local Ku uplink truck which had a previously-booked job to go cover.  Using a small SUV as an equipment shelter and 5500 watt portable generator for power, we started doing our live shots.

Since this setup was on a public street, not a secured area like our previous job in Caracas, that meant having to break down and setup the antenna and live position every day of the event, a process that took about 45 minutes each time.  The antenna breaks down into six segments for shipping, although we were able to take the entire assembled reflector off the tripod and put it into the back of our SUV, along with the rather heavy generator, and go park it in our hotel’s garage.

There was some time one day to visit the neighborhood of Palermo and visit the Recoleta cemetery and its hundreds of ornate mausoleums.

The event cumulated with a live broadcast on four large screens in Plaza de Mayo of Bergoglio being installed as pope, around 5AM local time, however people gathered from about 9PM to watch a series of live concerts and music.

A few hours after the Plaza de Mayo event, the uplink was back on a plane heading home.

Quick in and out events are a hallmark of an airline checkable uplink.  Contact DCI to see how economical this small and powerful flyaway system really is. 

3 Days in Venezuela

When Venezuelan president-for-life Hugo Chavez died, DCI’s airline checkable flyaway was the perfect solution to provide 3 paths of transmission to cover the event.  As mentioned in a previous blog post, having an airline checkable flyaway greatly reduces our response time.  We can deploy faster to breaking news situations and still provide the redundancy and high bandwidth transmission networks expect from larger flyaway systems.




New on this job was DCI’s newest equipment acquisition, a linear 210 watt traveling wave tube amplifier.  There will be a blog post about this technology in the future, but in short this is the perfection of the TWT amplifier, a technology that has been around for decades.  It is smaller, lighter, and more efficient than our existing flyaway amplifier with similar performance.

  The next day after getting the call the system was ready to transmit from the Intercontinental Hotel in Caracas, where several live shot positions were already setup with a local C-band dish. 


We did a quick site survey at the funeral location, near a military compound, looking for a rooftop position.  Even though it was the day before the funeral, the area was mobbed with Chavistas, most of whom dislike the foreign media.  The Chavistas have a reputation among the 45% of the country who oppose them to be bullies and thugs, and in a city with 3844 murders in 2012 (compared to 414 in larger New York), they are part of the reason Caracas is one of the most violent cities in the world.  People in Caracas live behind bars in the own homes, even windows and balconies ten stories up are covered, while the outside of the buildings look like fortresses with 12′ walls topped with high voltage fences.

Building owners and landlords are a group of people the socialist Chavistas disapprove of, and none of them wanted to be seen working with the foreign media, even though we offered them good money for access.  The only other option was to setup right on the sidewalk, but without reliable phone lines for communication and the uncertain security situation of doing live TV  in the middle of the Chaves crowd , we decided to give up on that idea and continue live shots at the secure hotel location.  While not offering the gritty “on site” backdrop of the funeral crowd, the hotel did have dramatic views of the mountains running through the capitol district.

We transmitted a 3 path mux signal in 9MHz on the SatMex 5 satellite, as well as used our receiver on a the local C band dish to downlink the pool feed of the funeral for recording.  After 14 hours of live shots, we packed up and headed to the airport the next morning.

While this was the quickest, busiest flyaway job we have done, it was a great demonstration of the versatility and capability of this unique uplink.  Contact DCI to find our more about our satellite solutions.


Blizzard Blog

 DCI got the call to head up to Connecticut late Thursday night before the blizzard.  I packed up all my Gore-Tex shells, boots, and warm clothes, tossed a show shovel into the truck and headed north.

Our coverage began early the next afternoon, as the snow began to come down heavily. 

 We set up next to the center of town in Norwalk, CT and went live until midnight. 

 Cleaning the 2.4m reflector is necessary to keep the signal strong. 
I headed to the hotel and had to dig the truck out after getting stuck.  The next morning we headed east toward the areas that were buried under almost 40″ of snow.  We only made it to Fairfield before the highway became impassable.  

Our next live shot was at a gas station next to I-95 where people who had spent the night stranded in their vehicles were finally making their way off the interstate to fill up their tanks and continue on their way, along with an army of plow-toting pickup trucks.  The entrance to this gas station was not wide enough for the truck, so we spent a half hour digging it out so we could get in the lot. 

We helped free several non- 4×4 vehicles that were spinning out in the parking lot.  Unfortunately, the trusty shovel snapped while trying to break up ice under one car. 

 

A car dealership across the street was barely recognizable.  

After Fairfield was goodnighted, I had a difficult approach back on the highway; both sides of the truck were dragging on the snow banks on the entrance ramp, which I think was plowed by a pickup truck.  Luckily the truck had enough momentum to push through and get on the road.  The next location was Central Park, NY for the next day.  

While driving downtown, I spotted this 8′ snowman on a Harlem street corner.  

DCI HD1 truck parked outside the Turner Center in Midtown.  

Scenes from Central Park in New York.

One of several dozen small snow creatures built by New Yorkers after the storm.  

People were sledding on every possible incline in the park.  

A group of kids toss snowballs on people walking beneath.  

Both of DCI’s uplink trucks were covering this storm.  Contact DCI for more information on our field newsgathering services and teleport

Flying Cameras

If you have ever watched a concert or awards show and seen the graceful camera shots that can go from floor to ceiling in one sweeping move, you were probably seeing the work of a camera jib.  This is known as “flying the camera” in the industry lingo. 

A jib is more than a camera on a pole, however.  Its an example of precision mechanical engineering.  The jib is precisely balanced with standard weight-lifting discs on the short side so that it can be moved very easily.  The camera is mounted on a motorized swivel that allows the operator to pan and tilt the camera while doing a jib move.  External servos or motors inside the lens allows the focus, zoom, and iris to be adjusted.

DCI recently added a Jimmy Jib Lite to our remote production capabilities.  Our jib has an up to 18 foot arm and can accomodate a full-size ENG camera or a compact camera.  The tripod has a large base, or truck, allowing another axis of movement.  It is equipped with two monitors- a 17″ LCD and a 8″ LCD with integral waveform display for critical focus and iris adjustment.  The jib also has a battery power supply to allow it to operate independent of AC power.

The system is easily portable in tripod cases and can add a high-end look to your next video shootContact DCI’s Remote Productions department to inquire about using our new Jimmy Jib.   And as always, DCI’s transmission assets are available to send your production world-wide, or just record to disc. 
 

Year in Review, 2012

Another year comes to a close, and it was a busy one!  Here is a quick summery what we’ve been up to with our satellite trucks, flyaways, and teleport

January:  Iowa Caucus.  What better way to kick off the political season than a trip to freezing
Des Moines in the winter? 


January:  Ron Paul visits DCI Studio.  DCI recently installed an insert studio for live interviews via satellite or fiber, and Ron Paul stopped by to talk with Current TV.

 Ron Paul with DCI founder Al Levin

February:  New Hampshire Primary.  After Iowa comes equally cold New Hampshire, and all the satellite trucks rush from Des Moines to Manchester to cover the next early primary state.

February:  Pope Benedict in Cuba.  Pope Benedict made the first papal visit to Cuba in over 20 years, and for the first time ever, DCI provided TWO flyaway uplink systems on the same job.  We had one dish based at the Santiago broadcast center, and our ultra portable flyaway uplink dish traveled (11 hours in a van, overnight!)  between the two mass sites, one in Santiago and the other in Havana.

April:  Corporate Event in Cancun.  A few days in Cancun was a nice break in the political news cycle.  DCI’s flyaway provided video backhaul for the Budlight Bucket Challenge, which was broadcast live on the Budweiser website and Facebook pages.  We used our ultra portable flyaway satellite uplink configured for airline checked baggage, delivering a redundant HD H.264 transmission solution in under 500lbs across 9 cases. 

May:  787 Dreamliner:  Three of the DCI staff are pilots, and we were excited to cover the 787 DreamTour stop in DCA National Airport.  Treated to a private media walk through, we got to talk to Boeing’s chief pilot and see the entire aircraft from cabin to the cockpit’s Heads Up Display.  We used our microwave transmitter with a high gain antenna to send live video to the Clocktower, for a business network live shot- without a satellite truck. 


May:  John Edwards trial, Greensboro NC.  The much covered trial of former Presidential candidate John Edwards ended with a mistrial.  DCI provided a HD satellite uplink truck for NBC News. 

June:  G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico.  The G20 held their annual meeting at the tip of Baja California Sur, in Cabo San Lucas.  A DCI flyaway uplink provided multiple paths of video back to the US.

September:  Joe Biden’s Debate Response The Obama campaign hired DCI to provide a satellite truck at the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory in northwest Washington.  Joe Biden delivered a response to the first presidential debate that was carried live on YouTube and the campaign website.  DCI’s compact satellite uplink truck worked well in the small parking area in front of Biden’s house.

November:  Hurricane Sandy.   Both DCI satellite trucks were busy covering Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent damage.  During the storm we were positioned in Ocean City, MD and Long Island, NY.  After the storm, the Ocean City satellite truck went to Long Beach Island, NJ and the NY truck covered damaged areas in coastal New York.

November:  Election Night Boston.  DCI deployed to Boston to cover the highly anticipated 2012 presidential election.  Setup in a position outside the convention center, we got the witness the many Romney supporters going in, and the always entertaining Vermin Supreme delivering speeches on the outside. 

DCI also expanded our multicamera production capabilities in 2012 with a new ATEM switcher and 18′ jib, more info on these additions will be coming soon!  Contact us for all your satellite uplink truck, flyaway uplink, teleport, and video production needs in 2013! 

Progression of Modulation

When satellites first became commercially available for television broadcasts, analog transmission was the standard way video was sent.  Analog uplinks require large bandwidth- typically no less than 18MHz but often a full 36MHz transponder was used.  Large bandwidth requires large antennas and power, meaning a small portable uplink was limited to only one, or sometimes two paths, or channels on the uplink.

In the late 1990s, DVB-S, or Digital Video Broadcasting for Satellite- became more common.  A DVB-S uplink is made up of two main parts- the encoding and modulation.  Encoding is the process of converting the analog or uncompressed digital video- known as baseband- into a compressed format more easily sent over the limited bandwidth of a satellite uplink.  Modulation takes these digital bits and sends them over a radio frequency.  The most simple form of digital modulation is Morse code, turning a signal on and off to spell out letters.  Modulation used for DVB is far more advanced, and always improving, finding better ways to transmit more data in less bandwidth.  A typical uplink in 1998 used QPSK- which stands for Quadrature Phase Shift Keying, where each “symbol” of the uplink signal can represent 4 states for two bits per symbol by adjusting the phase of the RF carrier.  DVB includes FEC, or Forward Error Correction, which allows a receiver to produce a error-free output despite noise or other interference.  The FEC is expressed as a ratio, from 1/2 to 9/10 being common ratios.  1/2 means 1 out of every 2 bits is a data bit, and 9/10 is 9 out of 10 are data bits, the rest is the error correction overhead.  A signal uplinked with 1/2 can be received at much lower levels than 9/10, but the trade off is there is much less usable data available in the channel. 

QPSK modulation constellation

DVB also includes several QAM modes, which changes the amplitude of a signal.  Uplinks that use QAM modulation can carry more information in the same bandwidth.  There is no free lunch, and the tradeoff of putting more data in less bandwidth is the signal gets harder to receive, and requires larger antennas to “pick up” more of the signal.  Just as its harder for your eye to differentiate between 16 shades of a color compared to 4 shades, the same holds true for satellite links.  It gets even worse with even higher levels that have more “shades”, such as 64QAM. 

16-QAM modulation constellation

64 QAM modulation constellation.  More “states” per symbol makes it harder to “see” what is being sent. 

Published in 2003, the second generation improvement to the DVB standard, known as S2, was created.  DVB-S2 has many improvements over the older DVB-S (now sometimes known as S1).  More efficient error correction allows more data at lower signal levels, more FEC ratios to choose the most optimal error correction level, and more modulation constellations to pick from. 
8PSK modulation is very common in DVB-S2 uplinks, and allows about 61% more data to be transmitted compared to the same signal in QPSK.  However, because of the more efficient error correction, 8PSK requires about the same signal level as DVB-S QPSK!   If signal level is an issue, DVB-S2 QPSK works at almost half as strong signal levels as DVB-S QPSK. 

8PSK modulation constellation

DVB-S2 also adds more complex hybrid modulations, such as 32APSK, or 32 level Amplitude and Phase Shift Keying.  Unlike QAM, which is very susceptible to noise, APSK combines the better noise performance of PSK with the higher levels available in QAM.   Comparing two 16-level constellations- 16APSK and 16QAM, the APSK mode requires 2.6dB LOWER (almost half) power than the QAM signal, and still carries 7% more info. 

The 3rd generation standard, DVB-S3 promises to include even higher levels- up to 64APSK- with dozens of FEC choices and tighter “roll off”, making a sharper-sided signal with more usable bandwidth.  This comes very close to the Shannon Limit, the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted through a channel. 

What does all this mean to you?  DCI‘s engineers UNDERSTAND modulation.  Unlike companies who simply use the same standards that have been around for 15 years, we know all the tricks and tweaks to make a difficult shot work, or optimize a good shot with incredible quality.  While most uplinkers will simply shrug their shoulders if a uplink is breaking up despite maximum power, DCI knows the right adjustments to make.  In fact, on a recent flyaway in Los Cabos, when 6Mhz 8PSK was not working, DCI knew the margins would work at QPSK with 12MHz.  We can also apply the same technology to save money on sat space.  No matter if its a flyaway, satellite uplink truck, or teleport service, let DCI put our extensive know-how and experience to work for you. 

To fly-away… or not?

If you’re going to hire a flyaway to cover an event, how will it get there?  Checked baggage?  Unlikely, unless its a Diversified Communications ATA-compliant system!

When DCI brought the first commercially-viable redundant flyaway system to the market in 1988, sending the system to a location typically required specialized freight airlines.  If it was a breaking story, the only way in would be an expensive private charter.  While we still use charters for special circumstances (commercial airlines not operating to an area), and freight forwarders are excellent for dealing with customs, they often need two weeks to get a shipment from DCI to the location.  Freight is excellent when working a pre-planned event, but for breaking news it is not a good shipping solution.

DCI’s first 1.5 meter flyaway. Engineer with short-shorts is included.   ->
<-Kalitta Air DC9 brings DCI’s flyaway to Lima Peru in 1996.

In the early days of satellite newsgathering, everything was done with analog transmission, and combined with the fact that flyaway jobs were often in areas with poor satellite coverage, flyaway dishes were very large to get the required signal level into space.  This typical 2.4 meter dish alone has a half-ton shipping weight, more than twice what our current package weighs for dish and electronics!  The 2.4 requires freight forwarders, and is beyond the capacity of all but heavy charter jets.  Despite all the size and weight, the 2.4 would be able to run one only single analog path.  Today, DCI has run as many as 8 paths off a 1.1 meter dish, and carried it as checked baggage!

1100-lb 2.4 meter flyaway antenna. You’re gonna need a bigger plane!

The switch to digital has had the greatest effect on flyaway systems.  Digital signals require less power than their old analog counterparts, meaning smaller dishes can be used, which increases and simplifies shipping options.  MPEG-2 advanced into more efficient MPEG-4/H.264, meaning the same picture quality can be delivered with half the data, again lowering the required power.  Now we can use smaller dishes and lighter, lower-power transmitters.  The next encoding standard, MPEG-HE, for High Efficiency, is due out soon, further improving what our flyaway system can do.  Digital modulation has also greatly improved over the past 10 years.  For example using the old DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcasting-Satellite) standard of 4PSK, we could transmit around 7mbps of data in a 6MHz slot, and it required a Es/No (signal measurement level) of 7.0.  Using the newer DVB-S2 standard of QPSK, we can transmit slightly more data in the same bandwidth, 8mbps, but the major improvement is a much lower signal level is required, only 5.5.  If the signal is stronger, we can pack in more data.  Using the 8PSK modulation scheme fits in 59% more data with the same signal level required for DVB-S QPSK. And if conditions allow we can move up to more complex modulation, known as “higher order”, such as 16 and 32APSK.  The standard for DVB-S3 is due out in January and we eagerly look forward to what new capabilities it will bring. The combination of digital encoding and better modulation as allowed DCI to deploy a full airline-checkable HD flyaway.  This greatly reduces shipping costs and logistics.  Its just “grab and go”.

DCI 2-path HD flyaway fits nicely on a hotel cart, and was checked as baggage by one slightly-tired engineer who lugged it all through an airport and customs office.
No DC9 needed now- when we are in a hurry, a little Beech Jet gets us there.

But we can still spread out all over the plush seats of a big Challenger 601 and travel in style. 

Many of the flyaway systems available for hire today are the older, larger dishes that will cost a fortune to ship and require weeks of transit time.  And many of the newer ones that are smaller do not carry the advanced electronics that DCI does, allowing our system to do more with less weight and power.  This is an important consideration when hiring a flyaway company- shipping the system may cost more than the job quote!  We recently shipped a 2 path HD flyaway to Mexico for only $350 each way.  As fully credentialed media members, we can take advantage of special media pricing for equipment on some airlines. 

The Air Transport Association (ATA) defines the maximum dimensions and weight that can be checked as baggage on a commercial airliner.  DCI is proud to have an ATA-complient flyaway system that allows us to be in the air within a few hours of a call.  Combined with DCI’s full teleport service, we can offer a turnkey transmission solution, from anywhere to anywhere. DCI‘s flyaway engineers are savvy world travelers who are as comfortable in the news hotspot of the day as they are in a resort hotel. (maybe more so!) So if you need to cover a natural disaster, humanitarian crisis, or just a medical conference on a tropical island, the choice is easy- DCI is the best company to call!