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Clear-Com Wireless Intercom Keeps Filmmakers Connected on Streaming Wildlife Documentary

DX-210
CATS Ltd.'s Clear-Com DX210 Digital Wireless Intercom was used for the livestream production of The Great Migration (Image credit: Clear-Com)

Kenya-based CATS Ltd. does it all, serving as a distributor, integrator, technical support crew, and rental partner for local broadcast needs. The company's small but mighty Clear-Com DX210 Digital Wireless Intercom has been a staple throughout their range of productions for the last nine years, from music performances to TV shows, talk shows, baking contests, esports, and most recently, live streams. 

This August, Ayaz Rajput, founder of CATS Ltd., was enlisted by  wildlife photographer Jeffrey Wu to assist with a first-of-its-kind livestream production of The Great Migration in Africa. Despite the novelty of this request, CATS' existing DX210 system was the perfect standalone solution.

Wildlife photographer Jeffrey Wu was commissioned by video sharing social networking platforms TikTok and Douyin to curate the content of the livestream, bringing together a global community of viewers into this spectacular display of wildlife. The Great Migration occurs with a change in the season, prompting millions of Wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and more to migrate from Tanzania's Serengeti to the more fertile grasslands in Kenya's Maasai Mara.

Ayaz and Jeffrey Wu's longstanding local production partner, Irfan Kassam, joined together to provide the technical expertise for this five-day event, where app users could tune in from Aug. 25 to 29 to watch the action unfold. 

The project required seamless communications between two tour vehicles, each outfitted with three cameras, a vision mix, audio mix and streaming equipment, powered by onboard inverters and solar generators during the many hours of operation in the field. The DX210 main station was in one vehicle, with the antennas oriented outside the vehicle and a BP210 2-channel 2.4 GHz wireless beltpack deployed in the second vehicle. With Ayaz in one vehicle, and Ifran in the other, this configuration provided the channel to coordinate vehicle movements, technical trouble shooting and any other inter-vehicle communication.

In the open plains, the production team was able to  achieve 100 to 150 meters of wireless intercom range, which allowed enough distance between vehicles for the two hosts who were narrating the content—one speaking Mandarin and the other speaking English—to not interfere with one another, while still allowing Ayaz and Irfan to communicate over the comms.

TikTok and Douyin also partnered with the Kenya Tourism Board, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Conservation International in this event aimed to promote the importance of biodiversity and to inspire wildlife protection around the world.

"I am honored to be a part of such a noble cause," said Ayaz, "It's crazy to think that such a small team, with the help of a single DX210 system, could bring this message onto a global platform. After nine years of service in the industry here in Nairobi, clients and crew have become accustomed to our Clear-Com system which is synonymous with the high quality of service that CATS Ltd. is known to provide."

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