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WDIV-TV Simplifies News Coverage With Streambox
8/28/2007

Detroit's WDIV-TV has incorporated the Streambox ACT-L3 portable video transport solution into its regular newsgathering operations. It was recently used to deliver real-time video from the 154-foot topsail schooner Highlander during the "Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race" with 250 sailboats launched from Port Huron.

The small form factor of the Streambox solution enabled WDIV-TV to stream live pictures from the boat over either a wireless EVDO connection or a BGAN satellite link when the EVDO service was out of range.

"The portable encoder from Streambox was attractive to us both because of the ease with which it integrates into the broadcast workflow and because it's an affordable solution ideally suited to delivery of real-time video over IP," said Jeffrey Liebman, news operations manager at WDIV-TV.

The ACT-L3 enables broadcasters and local television stations to deliver high-quality live and stored broadcast video over low-data-rate connections such as BGAN, 3G networks, and other IP and satellite networks. Typically used for mobile newsgathering, the unit is ideal when mobility, flexibility, and a low power requirement are needed.

For WDIV-TV, the Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race represented a challenge in delivering video to television and the Internet because the course took the Highlander up to 10 miles into Lake Huron, where wind and waves jeopardize cell phone coverage and where satellite coverage can be expensive or difficult to maintain. In previous years, WDIV-TV covered the boat race using a videophone and satellite dishes enclosed in bubbles and anchored to the boat with suction cups. Video could be sent from the boat only when it was leaning to one particular side.

After switching to Streambox, the WDIV-TV news reporter and two photographers were able to deliver higher quality live images with less hassle and less cost. The Streambox system's store-and-forward capability also enabled the team to put together news packages and transmit them to the station for Web and television broadcasts.

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