NEW YORK—I have worked as a live streaming producer for almost 10 years, producing multicam live streamed branded content. I worked for Compound Media and Roker Media producing a variety of shows that range from traditional talk shows to a fully interactive cooking show on Twitch.
Recently I joined Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio Podcast Network. As video producer, it’s my job to record videos for all the episodes, live stream the episodes and events, and help with distribution and partnerships for the network.
In the last two to three years, as web streaming and live streaming to social networks have grown in popularity, I’ve spent significantly more time working on digital live streams and have increasingly been using cellphones to record and stream content. Cellphones on their own just don’t cut it as far as bandwidth and video quality go, so I have relied on LiveU cellular bonding technology to help out.
|The LiveU LU6000 and Solo encoder allow for deployment from practically anywhere.
READY IN ANY SITUATION
While at Roker Media, I produced Facebook Live programs with a LiveU LU6000. I also occasionally did freelance work using the plug-and-play LiveU Solo encoder. LiveU allows me to reliably go live from anywhere—even if there’s no internet. I can also use a NewTek Tricaster and other production systems with LiveU to produce high-quality content for clients.
It’s also come in handy in a few “Murphy’s Law” moments, for example when I was assigned a last-minute shoot for an Al Roker-produced program “GirlStarter” on TLC. We had to do a live multicam shoot for Facebook from a parking lot outside Atlanta, where there was no Ethernet or Wi-Fi. As the only tech person on site—and my first time using the Solo—I was able to use it easily and get everything running smoothly.
On StarTalk, we used to ask fans for questions days or weeks in advance of a show, produce a show, and then broadcast it months later. Now, the LiveU unit enables the show’s hosts to interact with fans in real time, creating a more dynamic and interactive program.
LiveU’s technology also helps us internally—if an event is not streamed to the public, we often live tweet and produce content during the live show. We have a number of staffers who work remotely from other states; with LiveU, I can stream the events to a private Facebook group so they can live-tweet from wherever they are.
Using LiveU technology has proven to be a huge benefit and I expect to continue to use it for future productions. Already I have plans to continue to use it for Star-Talk, to stream from New York Comic Con and maybe even a rocket launch.
Ben Ratner is a multimedia content creator working in live television, media production, social media and live streaming production. He can be contacted at [email protected].
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