Drones are changing the way we do everything. Live Broadcast TV and Outside Broadcast are no different. Drones are able to give never before seen shots without the crazy high costs of helicopter hire.
BUT majority of drones are designed for hobbyists and not broadcasters and the demanding needs for quality and stability now limits the full integration and use into regular outside broadcast workflows.
Some of the major challenges with consumer and even prosumer drones being used in the Live Video, Broadcast environment is as follows:
1. Quality of video link
The HD video links from domestic drones are designed to give then pilot a view of what’s being done while recording high quality video to removable media on the drone. Thus, the quality and stability of the HD video link is well below that desired for broadcast and is used for reference purposes only.
2. Wi-Fi Congestion
With more and more devices on the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency band all consuming more and more bandwidth it creates bandwidth connection issues. This results in drop out, artefacts and loss of video links.
Since the drone video links are not designed to manage this well they become less dependable at big events where many people are gathered compared to licensed band frequencies.
3. Lack of ability to integrate into Outside OB workflows
Most drones including DJI etc were never designed to be used in the professional broadcast environment so lack the ability to fully integrate into the traditional outside broadcast workflows making their use less desirable as they lack the dependability
4. Global Drone laws Governing the use of drones in general and in the Broadcast TV areas.
Regulatory challenges in legal safe commercial broadcast drone operations is one of the single biggest challenges. Use of a Live Broadcast Video drone is not as easy as just flying it as a lot of permissions and permits are required. This requires a lot of planning beforehand as well as Civil Aviation Permissions which means not just anyone can do it.
The uses for live broadcast drones and even DNG drones (Drone Newsgathering) are out there but are severely limited by the above.
Purple Turtle UAV drone services, South Africa has recently released their full live broadcast drone for Outside broadcast drone use as well as DNG (Drone Newsgathering)
Being Licensed by the South Africa Civil Aviation authority allows Purple Turtle Aviation, UAV Drone Services South Africa to offer a niche broadcast drone service customised for the demanding Live Outside Broadcast Environment.
Purple Turtle Aviation drones are not off the shelf and are custom built to outside Broadcast Needs.