Technical problem at the cathedral, how does it work?

The 7/24 HD live streaming of the nesting of 4 families of Peregrine Falcons in Brussels is an incredible source of discovery and astonishment, but is also a famous technical challenge!

Our principal aim is to film the falcon families. For this, we have installed on each site one, or more, camera (s) whose definition is the highest possible in order to show the most beautiful details of these magnificent birds and their astonishing behaviour. Each camera is also motorized in order to vary the plan and/or the magnification according to the events taking place in the nest. Offering the most beautiful and instructive images possible is one of our essential objectives!

It is also necessary to have a system which makes it possible to record the images, in order to offer video extracts on this site but also to be a support for future scientific analysis. A 3 TB hard drive coupled with a system for managing recording parameters and camera parameters is therefore installed, on each site, in a special case.

Of course, you have to be able to remotely control this system and also connect the streaming to the internet. A connection to the Internet is therefore made on each site. And since each site is different, each connection is unique. At the cathedral, the connection is entirely made in 4 G because it is not reasonably possible to connect the top of the tower by a wire. In Uccle, the municipal administration has specially installed a wired connection from the street. Like in a house. In Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and at the ULB, the system is connected to the local network thanks to the intervention of teams specific to each of the institutions.

Caution, it’s not all! It is obviously necessary to organize a perfect distribution of streaming to Internet users. This broadcast must also be compatible with all reception devices (pc, mobile phone, tablets, Android, Apple). This is achieved through the installation, during the broadcast, of additional devices that will “encode and distribute” the images to the network. In order to avoid saturation problems, two parallel connection channels are arranged, one connects the management system, the other connects the streaming.

Finally, a system that makes it possible to monitor the quality and continuity of the video streams of each connection and therefore to intervene quickly in the event of a breakdown.

A famous organization therefore which is carried out by a series of professionals and firms which do not spare their efforts in order to allow the diffusion of the life of these families of Peregrine Falcons. Thank you all!

But as nothing is perfect and as the technique has its limits... part of the cathedral's broadcasting system broke down on Monday. The breakdown requires the replacement of a device, which can only be done on Thursday morning. So sorry for this setback.

To wait, here are some photos and videos from the cathedral.