GoPro launches live action transmitter

GoPro's cameras are increasingly being used to record on-bike video of cycling events. Now the company has launched a system allowing professional broadcasters to transmit live broadcast action from its cameras.

On-bike video has been a huge hit with cycling aficionados, opening up the experience of a mass sprint, cyclocross races, track riding or escaping a mass crash to armchair audiences.

The next step of broadcasting the action live to TV viewers could be nearer, with GoPro’s launch of its live action camera system for professional broadcasters. HEROCast is a modular system which can either be connected by cable to a standard GoPro Hero4 Black camera or mounted directly to the camera’s back and transmits 1080/60 frames per second and 720/60fps video to a base station.

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GoPro claims that this is the smallest and lightest live streaming transmitter available using industry standard streaming technology and is much more power efficient than competitors’ options.

With the extra weight on the pros’ bikes and the 40 minutes’ battery life on offer, this is likely to be a niche product rather than becoming a feature of road cycling coverage any time soon, although live video streamed from track bikes has already been shown at the track cycling world championships in Paris in February.

The $7500 price for the transmitter unit and the need for a base station within range to receive the streamed video mean that this is a solution for professional live broadcasting rather than something which is aimed at the amateur GoPro user.

Nevertheless, live on-bike camera pictures broadcast from the climax of road races, particularly flat stages with sprint finishes, is likely to come in the next few years and this looks like a solution which should be easier to integrate than previous hardware options.