Use Case #2 – Race Car

05.08.2021 | Success Stories

Highlighted Soliton products and solutions 

  • HEVC Encoder Transmitter (Zao-S) 
  • Point-to-Point Decoder Receiver software (HDView) 

The Challenge 

A racing streaming service company has been using professional level encoder and decoder devices to stream live video from race cars.  The encoder unit has been mounted inside the vehicle, connected to 4G modems.  

There are many racing events throughout the year, and the success of the company is dependent on streaming good quality video without disruption.  Whenever a disconnection occurs, they have to rely on the encoder unit to reconnect with the 4G networks, sometimes successful and at other times they have to abandon live streaming for that particular race when the encoder unit fails to reconnect to the network. 

So, reliable connection became an issue.  Another issue they had to solve was the weight of the encoder.  Needless to say, everything on the vehicle becomes an obstruction to air dynamics, and every racing car company is constantly thinking of new ways to lighten the weight of the vehicle.  And the almost 2kg (70 oz) encoder was becoming too much of a burden.  

The Solution 

The CTO of the company started talking to his peers and video communication related technologists, who mentioned that they should take a look at Soliton’s HEVC encoder transmitter as a solution that solves both the connectivity and weight problems.  

It was soon after where the Soliton team showed up with their encoder and decoder solution, where they took it out to the race track.  The 400 gram (14 oz) encoder unit provided a significant weight relief inside the vehicle, where every ounce off means fuel efficiency and faster speed.  

One problem solved, and on to the next challenge, where the encoder was connected to three USB modems on three different 4G carriers.  The Soliton team assured them that when the race car encountered cellular dead spots, their proprietary RASCOW (Real-time Auto Speed Control based-on Waterway Model) video codec technology would kick in at high gear, enabling stable and reliable real time video in the most challenging network conditions.  

The Soliton technology proved to be right, as video kept streaming, in some instances eve at 250Kbps low bitrates.  Soliton’s RASCOW algorithm automatically does the bitrate adjusting, so it was a hands off process.  

On the receiving end was HDView, Soliton’s 1 channel receiver decoder software, installed on a Windows PC.  Here, with a simple and easy to operate graphics interface, video operators can make latency, bitrate, framerate adjustment if they choose to do so.  

Throughout the race, good quality video kept streaming at sub 1 second latency, where video footages were recorded on the PC for any editing that required later.  HDView also has the capability of streaming RTMP, RTSP, as well as live streaming to social media sites such as YouTube Live and Facebook.  

Throughout the 45 minute test, there was not a single network disconnect, and the Zao-S encoder unit endured the highest speed of 2xx mph, still streaming video.  

Benefits 

  • Light weight and yet in a workhorse architected hardware.  
  • Stable connectivity to the 4G network.  No disconnects at bad network spots with Soliton’s multi-link cellular bonding technology.
  • Approximately 50% less cost.  Compared to other solutions, Soliton’s hardware was very reasonably priced, with decoder receiver software bundled in.  No extra decoder hardware was required, which translated to significant cost savings.