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China’s Dragon Boat Race goes Wireless

China Central Television’s broadcast of the 2019 Dragon Boat Festival was captured with the aid of Lectrosonics wireless gear.

Fujian, China (September 9, 2019)—Every country has its traditions, but China’s go back further than most. Take the Dragon Boat Festival, an annual holiday held on the fifth day of the fifth month near the Summer Solstice. One of the key events, broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV), is the dragon boat race, held in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian.

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The Dragon Boat Festival is not a recent development. Before 221 B.C., that day of the year was considered unlucky, and to counter that, Chinese cultural practices evolved to include the Dragon Boat Festival, a day for clearing disease and bad luck. A more modern celebration of the holiday includes the commemoration of the poet and minister Qu Yuan, who drowned in the Miluo River. Locals raced into the river to try to save him, and when they could not retrieve his body, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the water so fish would feast on rice rather than their beloved minister. This is said to have been the origins of the dragon boat races. Today, some of the most widespread activities at the Festival include eating and preparing Zongzi, drinking Realgar wine, and racing dragon boats,

The canoe-like sport features teams rowing boats decorated with Chinese dragon heads and tails; to grab all the ambient sound of teams giving their all, CCTV used a selection of Lectrosonics’ WM Watertight Belt-Pack Transmitter, Venue Receiver, M152/5P Lavalier and ALP620 Antennas.

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Audio distributor Beijing Pacific Budee Technology Development Co. provided the wireless gear for the broadcast. “The biggest issue was the potential for signal drop-out when the boats were waiting by the side of the Min River,” said Budee’s chief engineer, Freeman Lu. “There can be serious signal absorption from the forest which previous systems had difficulty handling. Also, during the 500-meter race, the distance from the shore can cause problems. However, the Lectrosonics WM transmitter and Venue receiver were more than capable of handling the situation, along with a M152 lavalier and a couple ALP620 antennas. Everyone was very happy with the results.”

Lectrosonics •