SEATTLE—When the new LiveU Linux-based backpacks arrived at Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-TV, we had three days to get them installed, configured, commissioned and sent off to New Jersey to cover the Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Everything fell into place nicely. As soon as the system arrived we racked up the hardware, powered it up and shortly afterwards had the network configured. By day two we were testing and setting up the LiveU central management system and in just four days after the system was delivered, our crews were live on the ground in New York’s Times Square.
GOODBYE TO TRUCKS, MICROWAVE LINKS AND FIBER
Prior to acquiring the LiveU package, we would have had to work with a satellite rental company, network, or a local affiliate to achieve the necessary cross-country connectivity. For the first time we had the sort of autonomy and reliability we needed to cover a story where and when we wanted. This remote was quite different than in the past when dealing with freelance sat trucks, microwave hops to local affiliates or satellite terminals or fiber setups with their associated potential multiple points of failure.
Our news director, Holly Gauntt, was also pleased with the LiveU system as it proved to be a life saver at the event, both logistically and financially. It gave the station tremendous coverage flexibility as we didn’t have to worry about maneuvering large trucks in New York and New Jersey or finding parking spots in these very congested areas. We also saved thousands in truck rental fees.
We covered Super Bowl Media Day held at the Prudential Center and were able to maintain consistently good audio and video despite all the media frenzy in that demanding location. Even our evening coverage from “Super Bowl Boulevard” in the middle of Times Square made it through without a hitch thanks to LiveU’s bonded cellular platform.
Eric Jensen, our news photographer, was delighted with the new technology too, as all he had to do was power up the unit 15 minutes before shooting; the LiveU system did the rest.
KOMO-TV selected LiveU’s new Linux-based platform for several reasons. It provided the performance we needed while offering very quick bootup and connection times. The user interface on the packs was simple, yet robust, allowing easy configuration and access to Wi-Fi hotspots. Also, the new browser-based remote control and monitoring tools are really great from an operation standpoint.
MAKING IT EVEN BETTER
LiveU’s support team also earned a lot of respect during our first time out with the new packs. Even during all of the busy Super Bowl activities, they made themselves available to supply and install a software update to our systems that enhanced their already solid performance.
I know that we’re going to be using this new system more and more throughout our coverage area. I’m looking forward to getting more experience with this new way of bringing in events live from the field. Cellular coverage can be a challenge here, but I’m sure that LiveU will live up to the reputation it earned at the Super Bowl.
Brett Jungbluth is a broadcast engineer at KOMO-TV/KUNS-TV. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact LiveU at 201-742-5228 or visit www.liveu.tv.