Dream Chip Partner with Airtime Unlimited to Deliver on Laax Open
Remarkable Followcam produces immersive Winter sports footage
Garbsen, Germany — 4 April 2022
With the conclusion of another successful Laax Open competition – a major stop of the FIS Snowboard World Cup and the last chance for some athletes to qualify for other major competitions – Airtime Unlimited GmbH celebrate their collaboration with Dream Chip in the creation of the new Airtime Followcam, which allowed Airtime to generate unprecedented quality, creativity and dynamism in the live snowboarding broadcast for the Swiss SRF in cooperation with Red Bull TV.
Airtime Unlimited – a Germany-based company that concentrates on the development of specialised broadcast tools for complex projects requiring the combination of technology expertise and creativity – were seeking to develop a new in-house product which would help them to immerse viewers in the action. Having the directors requested for an all-in-one Followcam, there was a key need to develop a technology which provided seamless, fluid capture of the sportsperson with only one skiing operator from the heart of the freestyle scene; housed in a setup that was robust, light-weight, Followcam could endure low temperatures, function with wireless remote operation over network, and provide exceptional image quality with ultra-low latency.
After exploring a range of options, partnership with Dream Chip presented itself as the obvious choice. Dream Chip’s AtomOne weighs only 100g, and measures just 32x32x72mm. Despite the miniature size, the camera is able to deliver global shutter images with High Dynamic Range and full HD capture onto a 1/1.23” sensor. Particularly important for Airtime was the ability to combine the camera with a C mounted lens of their choice (including wide angle lenses), thus granting them the ability to make creative choices in relation to focal length, aperture and size, thus optimising the camera for application in a snow-based, fast-action environment, whilst also taking into account further weight and performance concerns. The presence of two SDI outputs also provided maximum flexibility for both on-system monitoring and wireless transmission.
The net result was a gimbal-mounted, follow-cam system which weighs less than 3 Kg in total, and eliminated the need for an additional backpack for the wireless video and data link. One of the most significant about the setup was the fact that use of an AtomOne facilitated full external remote control by a vision engineer in the OB van. The camera was controlled by CyanView RCP, which was connected via fibre deep in the valley. When combined with CI0 across a specialized 5 GHz wireless LAN network and the amplified 0,5 to 1.0 watt COFDM video transmission with diversity reception, the camera maintained remarkable reach in its data and video connection allowing the operator to capture footage across the whole park and pipe without risking loss of signal.
The ability for the camera to be operated on a fully remote basis further meant that the skiing gimbal operator could focus entirely on the challenging task of creatively tracking the competitors, without having to worry about the technical parts and setup for the shots.
Speaking of the collaboration, Airtime Unlimited’s Founder and Managing Director Holger Herfurth said: “It’s always been our mission to create sophisticated, yet reliable and simple to use live production tools which draw from best-in-show products across a range of categories; from cameras to lenses, batteries to stabilisation and housing. The incredible functionality of the AtomOne would be remarkable enough on its own, let alone packaged in such a tiny, durable setup”.
He continued: “Our key concern was freeing the cameraman to focus on the physicality of shot delivery, rather than a concern for the technical setup. Allowing for this all to be controlled remotely with a vision engineer based back in an OB van was crucial, and the AtomOne with CyanView control in combination with the all-in one package was perfect”.
Speaking of their involvement in the project, Dream Chip Director of Sales Stephane Ducobu said of the collaboration: “The Laax Open Snowboarding competition is exactly the kind of event that we love to see our cameras deployed within; allowing our collaborators and their clients to deliver exceptional, crisp and immersive footage that puts the viewer at the heart of the excitement and action. This kind of application perfectly highlights the challenging and versatile ways in which the AtomOne series can be deployed”.
More information about Dream Chip and its products is available at www.atom-one.de.
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About Airtime Unlimited GmbH
Airtime Unlimited GmbH is a Germany-based company that focuses on specialised technology for live broadcast projects requiring the combination of technology expertise and creativity. Most of their successful productions, including extreme sports, focus on the art of moving images that is usually obtained by adopting cutting-edge technologies. The inhouse development in combination with latest MJF 3D printing and classical machining technologies, as well as wireless and electronic knowhow enable for flexible solutions in a wide range of applications.
About Dream Chip
Dream Chip Technologies GmbH (DCT) is among the largest German design service company, with more than 100 engineers in Germany and the Netherlands. DCT is part of the Goodix Technology family. Goodix Technology (SH: 603160) is an integrated solution provider for applications based on IC design and software development offering industry-leading software and hardware semiconductor solutions for smart devices, IoT applications and automotive electronics. DCT specialise in the development of large ASICs, FPGAs, embedded software and systems, with a strong application focus on automotive vision systems. The innovative company provides vision technologies and solutions to its clients. DCT develops and manufactures the world’s smallest fully integrated professional 2K and 4K SDI cameras: the ATOM one 2k and ATOM one 4k. Both are almost as small as action cams, but with all the professional features broadcasters expect. DCT also delivers to the broadcast market high-speed cameras, real-time flicker removal and 4G/LTE video streaming solutions.