Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos skydive on 14 October from 121,100 ft – or 23 miles – up is remarkable as a feat of human endurance; for the distance he travelled, the pressures exerted on his body, and the speed he achieved – 833.9 mph (1,342.8 km/h) – which broke the sound barrier. In the process, Felix broke two other records; highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight.
The Stratos sky dive was also a significant achievement from a broadcast and online streaming perspective. The team behind the live coverage crammed an OB truck’s-worth of technology into Felix’s tiny balloon capsule, which was also festooned with cameras on the outside.
The jump generated a tremendous amount of interest; a record 8 million concurrent streams on YouTube and airtime on 80 TV outlets in 50 countries. Pictures came from nine HD cameras, three RED ONE cinema cameras (with MX sensors), three stills cameras, 13 Panasonic P2 recorders, and three HD video downlinks that could be switched among the nine cameras. Specially-developed Riedel control software was used to start and stop recorders inside the capsule, as well as control color balance, gain and shutter on the cameras.
Riedel, who provided the communications within mission control, between mission control and Felix, and for all the teams on the ground, where pictures, sound and graphics were all controlled from Lyon’s MU-8 OB truck, which is equipped with a 64-fader Calrec Sigma.
See this Sports Video Group article for even more detail on the live broadcast and streaming of this momentous feat.