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OnBoard goes digital at Donington

OnBoard goes digital at Donington

The 2007 Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix will mark the beginning of a new era in motorcycle racing television coverage.

The 2007 Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix will mark the beginning of a new era in motorcycle racing television coverage. A new digital terrestrial transmission method will be used to get onboard images from the MotoGP bikes on the track, replacing the analogue coverage which previously relied on the presence of a helicopter.

Terrestrial coverage is achieved by using a single high crane which supports Gigawave antennae, which provide coverage of the majority of the circuit. The crane eliminates the limited capacity and stability provided by a helicopter circling at 2000 feet. Direct visibility between the helicopter and the bikes all around the track was previously the only way to ensure pictures were received, with blind spots and adverse weather providing limitations to continuous coverage. Underneath bridges and the confines of the garages were inaccessible, but now these areas can be captured.

As of this weekends race, digital coverage which works at a height of no more than 200 feet will provide unlimited coverage of the action. The bikes transmitters have been redesigned to fit any machine, and allow 4 video inputs, camera positions, audio channels and digital data channels.

This technology is the result of development by British company Gigawave, who have over 17 years experience in the field of radio frequency. Over the past decade, Gigawave has grown from a small specialist antenna company, employing just a handful of people, to a multi-million dollar company with customers in over 100 countries. Today, the company designs and manufactures a wide range of specialised RF equipment for outside broadcasts, news gathering and security applications. Gigawaves Chairman and Founder is Henry Barczynski MM.

Dorna has reached an agreement with Gigawave to become the Official Radio Frequency Supplier, and they will help develop digital transmission for the On-Board system and the improvement from 4 channels (4 riders per race) to enough to cover as many MotoGP riders as are present on the grid. This is only possible thanks to digital technology.

Henry Barczynski remarked, In our book, MotoGP is truly the most exciting form of motorsport simply because of how tight the racing is. As such, we have to create advanced technology in conjunction with the teams and organisations that can cope not only with the close racing, but with the compactness required for the bikes themselves. We aim to bring the viewer so much more through the new systems, so there are exciting times ahead for a future generation of fans.


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