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Streaming video captured Bermuda Challenge record

As Chris Fertig and Tyson Garvin raced across the Atlantic Ocean last week, setting a new Bermuda Challenge speed record, their families, friends, followers and ground support staff were able to watch them on the Internet because of specialized video software and hardware supplied by DigiGone.

Fertig and Garvin made the run from New York to Bermuda in 15 hours and 48 minutes, breaking the previous record of 17 hours and 6 minutes despite two stops in mid-ocean to replace broken propellers. The two-man team ran a 39-foot 2012 Skater with a stepped vee hull and built with carbon fiber and Kevlar. Twin 480-hp Cummins diesels linked to surface drives propelled the boat.

DigiGone provided a waterproof computer and video compression software to enable live video streaming from a camera focused on the boat’s cockpit through a satellite antenna. The video feed was run on the Bermuda Challenge website, along with a map display showing the boat’s latest position and status, updated every 10 minutes. The satellite airtime for the video feed was provided by Marlink, a marine satellite services company.

“The DigiGone software uses advanced compression and encryption techniques to transmit high-quality video over marine satellite channels using very little bandwidth,” DigiGone president and CEO Michael Dunleavy said in a statement. “Our engineering team was able to control from shore the video throughput between 200 and 130 kbps to maintain the best image quality under the dynamic conditions.”

“It was a great comfort to know that our first responders and ground support team had an eye on us along the way,” Fertig said in a statement. “Importantly, the low bandwidth requirements of the DigiGone software allowed us to run the video feeds through a Fleet Broadband 250 ship terminal. This antenna rig is much smaller and lighter than higher-speed marine satellite terminals. Weight and drag are important issues when it comes to high-speed operations.”

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