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Bryan Brand

Remote Productions with Starlink

As a creative agency working on video, livestream and event productions, we faced on numerous occasions the difficulty to get a high bandwidth internet connection as for example on remote productions and public spaces.

Most of the time there was an installation provided by the venue owner or big telco companies but in many cases the costs for using it were out of this world. Almost a thousand Swiss francs for a one day production? That’s way too much considering that you get a year of Gigabit internet for less than that amount. Not to mention that it didn’t include a network technician to solve problems or at least test the network in advance. There is nothing more frustrating than all systems being set up and working and suddenly the internet connection doesn’t work - 30 minutes before Go Live. Fortunately, in our case everything went fine by having a LTE router powered by traditional SIM cards but we wanted to have a more reliable solution which works in all kinds of applications and areas. From video productions on the Swiss alps to public events on Bundesplatz.

STARKLINK - our newest standalone and backup internet provider

Starlink, launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX works on providing global, high-speed, low-latency internet coverage through small satellites deployed in low Earth orbit.

We acquired two standard Starlink devices including two subscriptions and ran some tests in the city as well as at more remote places in the Bernese Oberland. The download speed ranged from 45 Mbps in the city to 200 Mbps at remote locations with no obstacles around the panel and 30 Mbps respectively 180 Mbps upload speed. For most remote jobs just enough to be used as a reliable standalone solution. 

Still, we are not going to rely completely on the Sarlink system for our productions in the near future. A cable based connection with Gigabit speed will still be the way to go since bad weather, clouds in the sky and other obstacles can have a big impact on Starlink’s connection but we’re excited to use it as an additional backup solution for projects where a consistent internet connection is essential, like livestreams. On the other hand, we are definitely starting to realise its potential for some of our video productions where it enables us to provide free WiFi to the whole crew as well as using some network based solutions on our camera equipment. And on really remote locations in the mountains, Starlink might perform better than traditional LTE.

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