02.27.2009 12:25 PM
News 14 Carolina Embraces Streambox
(l-r) News14 Carolina news team members Bill Stiehle, Chris Bell, Mark Smith, Dawson Heath, Jim Travers, Charlie Schnell and Tim Broyer.
The current economic crisis is challenging news organizations of all sizes to cut costs and do more with less. News 14 Carolina is North Carolina's 24-hour cable news network and we've been committed to building an efficient and cost-effective news production operation from the very beginning. One cost-saving strategy that has had a significant impact is IP-based newsgathering using video technology from Streambox—this has saved our company thousands of dollars.

We're a division of Time Warner Cable and have a commitment to provide local news and information to North Carolina viewers.

Our original Streambox IP project began three years ago, when we needed a way to bring feeds from traffic cameras to our network operations center. By running the Streambox ACT-L3 software on a laptop and transmitting the feeds over IP we were able to realize considerable capital investment and operating expense savings versus using fiber or microwave transmission.

Streambox's store-and-forward capabilities are especially valuable, as they enable our crews to transmit video packages regardless of bandwidth. At last year's Presidential nominating conventions we were faced with very low Internet bandwidth that would have made live streaming difficult. Instead, our remote crew transmitted the video clips via store-and-forward to our ingest system, where it aired just minutes later.


With IP newsgathering, we have realized measurable savings in satellite costs in covering events such as last year's political conventions and election. We're also no longer dependent on restrictive satellite windows. On election night we carried a candidate's concession speech live using just a camera, Streambox laptop and a Time Warner Cable Road Runner modem. At the January inauguration, we had a fiber link from Washington to our sister Time Warner Cable news channel in New York. As we didn't have a fiber link directly to Raleigh, we fed the video via Manhattan down to Raleigh over a low bandwidth IP connection. The feed was done in real time with about 800 ms of latency.

IP newsgathering using Streambox solutions has become an irreplaceable part of News 14 Carolina's news coverage and production infrastructure. The portability and versatility of the systems have also increased the breadth and quality of our newscasts. As TV news organizations continue to cope with a challenging economy, innovative strategies such as our IP-based news gathering will become an integral part of our news coverage and production plans.

Bill Stiehle is a broadcast technology engineer for News14 Carolina, with headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. He may be contacted at bill.stiehle@news14.com.

For additional information, contact Streambox at 206-956-0544 or visit www.streambox.com.

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