Wireless 360°Streaming Rig (Part 1)

With the release of Teradek’s new Node Modem and Link Wireless Access Point, I wondered how well they would work together as a part of a compact, battery powered, remotely controlled 360° streaming camera rig.

The route I took involved using a Teradek Sphere 360° Streaming Encoder, connected via Ethernet to the Teradek Link. The Link accesses the internet through the Teradek Node using a USB to 4pin cable. This Node has an AT&T SIM card inside which allows access to the same AT&T cellular network your phone uses.

Because the Link comes with an optional Gold- or V-Mount battery plate, I am able to power all three devices from a single Gold-Mount battery (Hyper Core 190 shown here). I  ran a P-Tap to 2-Pin power cable from the battery’s auxiliary P-Tap port to the Sphere. The Node receives its power from the Link’s USB port. The Sphere has the ability to power 4 GoPro Hero 5s using its 4 USB ports or you can run the GoPros on their internal batteries.

I am using Manfrotto’s awesome Variable Friction Arms for mounting the devices to our Avenger C-Stand.

To control this setup, I am using a 10.5” iPad Pro, connected to the Link via WiFi. The iPad Pro – and you do need a Pro for this – runs the Teradek Sphere app, which live-stitches the multiple camera feeds, allows me to monitor/tweak the image, and streams my 360º video to its final destination (in this case, Facebook Live).

At this particular location in Brooklyn, I was able to get about a 5 Mbps download speed and about 5 Mbps upload -- enough to send a decent, but not great 5 Mbps 1080p 360°stream. Since I wanted to start by just making sure the setup works, I did not spend any time adjusting encoder or stream settings.  I probably could have increased the bandwidth available to the Node by adjusting its position and antenna orientation.

Next time I will adjust the settings, tweak the hardware positioning, and run some performance tests to see how much I can improve the stream quality.

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