WiFi from the press box to the sideline is not simple or 100% reliable. Some coaches will prefer to use Sneaker Net to transport high quality video from the press box to the sideline.
Sneaker Net is what we call running the iPad to the sideline. Although its not really a network at all, it is the simple and reliable method to get high quality video from the press box to the sideline for free. If your wireless is not working, Sneaker Net is the fall back position. With Game Data Live, you can use Sneaker Net if you want to or if your wireless fails.
Game Data Live Network allows multiple iPads / iPhones / Macs to share what they're doing. It uses Apple's peer to peer networking. It does not need internet access to function. You will provide your own wireless network at a game to extend the distances between your devices.
You can use a network to get video and data to the sideline in seconds. You can also use a network to send video from one camera person to multiple coaches' iPads or Macintosh computers.
Game Data Live Network currently supports sharing of play data, photos and video for multiple iPads, iPhones and Macintosh computers.
When they're networked, you can enter data on one device and use Carry-Data-Forward and the results show up on the rest of the devices in the network. One coach can enter data while another shoots video and it all gets delivered to everyone on the network. Alternatively, one person can capture video and enter brief data and transmit both to everyone on the network.
Several video formats are available to choose from. The Medium format is not very high resolution, but can be transferred with WiFi in a reasonable amount of time. A strong WiFi network will transmit 720p HD (1280 x 720 resolution) video (13 times the size of "Medium" video").
Photos or Video can be transmitted one at a time or automatically after you shoot. If you're networked and viewing video - you'll see a Transmit button in the lower left corner of your iPad screen.
Choose Auto Transmit New Video from the GDL Network Settings item on the game's Action button to automatically transmit a video clip or photo immediately after you shoot it. If another network user does not want the video from your camera, they can block it.
Choose Add New Video to - Time Synchronized Play if you're shooting video and someone else is entering the data. That will make sure that your video clip ends up on the play that is currently in process.
If you lose your WiFi connection, you can refresh to catch up with the data. Game data can be refreshed by tapping on the Refresh button in the upper right corner of your iPad screen. If there are more than 2 devices in the network, you will be prompted to choose which device you want to refresh your data from. The old plays are replaced by the new ones and your photos and video are resynced to the new data. If you implement a Game Data Live Server, you can also get the video that you missed.
Newer iPads can WiFi faster. Newer iPads do something called MIMO that speeds up video transfers. The iPad Air II and iPad Pros support MIMO and the 802.11 ac wireless standard which can double wireless performance. The iPhone 6 and later models are also able to use 802.11 ac wireless communications. WiFi 6 is supported by the latest devices.
You can add a very simple file server to your WiFi network to increase performance and reliability. It lets you transfer video files faster and to multiple devices and enables better recovery from disconnects. If your router supports file sharing (using FTP) from a USB connected hard drive, you can implement a server for the cost of a flash drive ($20 to $50). You can also use a Macintosh as a WebDAV server for free.
Access Points can be used to improve performance in your WiFi network. An Access Point is basically a WiFi transceiver that attaches to your router with an ethernet cable.
Directional access points like the TP-Link CPE510 can be mounted outdoors to get a strong signal to the sideline. A TP-Link CPE510 transmits most of its power in a cone shaped space about 45 degrees wide instead of in every direction possible. This gets more of the transmit power to your sideline and less to outer space. Mount your CPE510 high on your press box for the best result.
With newer devices, access points and a file server, you can get 720p HD video from the press box to the side line, at home and away.
In 2015, Saline High School in Saline Michigan used a router, a FTP file server and a directional access point to transfer 720p HD video to iPads in our pressbox and on our sideline at home and away (across the field). You can implement this system for less than $500.
In 2016, they used a Two Tier network with 7 iPads to deliver 720p HD video and game data. 2 iPads are shooting video, another is adding data in the pressbox, 2 others are viewing video in the pressbox and two are used to watch video on the sideline. One of the sideline iPads is connected to a television.
In 2017, they used a Two Tier network with 5 Macs and 2 iPads to deliver 720p HD video and game data. 2 Macs are capturing video, one of which is adding data in the pressbox, 2 other Macs are viewing video in the pressbox and two iPads are used to watch video on the sideline. Another Macintosh on the sideline is connected to a television.
In 2018, they switched some of the Macs in the press box back to iPads because the iPads are more convenient. They also replaced the access point in the endzone with a more powerful one.
In 2019 and 2020, they used a mixture of Macs and iPads in the pressbox and on the sideline. Hardwired Macs in the pressbox generally got their video in a second or less.
In 2021, they replaced the TP-Link backbone network with devices from Ubiquiti. The Ubiquiti devices provide faster file transfers than the TP-Link devices.
Using WiFi over long distances with fans in the stands is not simple and takes some effort to implement. Interference from all the cell phones at a game makes this challenging.
At halftime - you'll know your sideline video network is a important when you see coaches immediately take their iPads to the locker room so they can review their video.