—KXLY-TV serves the
Spokane market, including the greater Inland
Northwest, and our news coverage is
an important part of this service. Like all
television news operations, we’re constantly
striving to lower capital costs
and develop more efficient workflows
and found Comrex’s LiveShot Portable
and Rack product to be a big help in
We’ve been using LiveShot technology
for more than a year now in our
news operations and our system has
traveled throughout Eastern Washington,
Northern Idaho, and other locations;
most recently it journeyed to New
Jersey for Super Bowl XVIII event coverage.
NEWS FEEDS WITHOUT SATELLITES
The LiveShot has even let us sideline our
satellite truck in some instances as it doesn’t
require an operator with special driving credentials
or satellite uplink training and lets
us bring back audio and video from locales
where connectivity was formerly unobtainable.
The LiveShot’s cellular 3G/4G, wireless
LAN/WAN and Ethernet portable cameraback
device features dual USB ports that
permit multiple IP connections and load
balancing for higher bandwidth operation.
Connections are available for inputs from
HDMI, HD/SD SDI, as well as composite
video sources. Audio can either be digitally
embedded in an SDI stream or fed through
an XLR connector.
At the studio end, the LiveShot Rack reproduces
decoded video, allowing us to take
it via HDMI, HD/SD SDI, and composite outputs.
Audio can be delivered embedded or
via analog XLR output ports. The system’s
codec provides full two-way connectivity, allowing
our crews to send video and audio to
the studio while at the same time receiving
IFB and video/audio confidence feeds.
In everyday operation the
system is nearly completely
hands-off. The Portable unit includes
basic controls and indicators
for power, A/V presence,
and signal transmission. Once
it’s powered, it handshakes with
the studio unit and creates an IP
“tunnel.” Operators simply press
one of two encoding profiles to
begin feeding their live signal.
Field crews can also use smart
phones or wireless LAN-enabled laptops to
connect to an ad hoc Wi-Fi hotspot generated
by the Portable. If desired, settings can be
changed from a web-based interface once
connection to the hotspot is established.
We’ve found that utilizing two modems
from different cellular carriers provides
the best results in fringe area news coverage,
as our operators have learned that
one cellular carrier can sometimes supply
more bandwidth than another. Removing
the under-performing modem often
cleans up errors. Encoding delay times are
adjustable through the software interface
and by adding additional delay operators
can sometimes improve decoding performance
at the receiver.
LiveShot support from Comrex has been
very proactive and the company is very responsive
to our needs. Firmware releases are
continuous, combining new features while
improving existing functions. Systems updates
amount to a simple and easy point and
click process to load the new firmware.
Casey Jordan has served as staff digital
engineer for eight years with the KXLY
broadcast group, a Morgan Murphy Media
Company. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact
Comrex at 800-237-1776 or visit www.comrex.com.