LiveU Changes TV News Coverage at WBND-TV

The LiveU LU-70

SOUTH BEND, IND.—WBND, ABC 57 is a Weigel Broadcasting Co. station and operates 10 LiveU units: five LU-70s, four LU- 60s and one LU-40.

In 2011 when we first started using the LiveU backpacks, we created a list of the places that we could broadcast from live and we aimed for the stars. The last spot for a checkmark on the list was “space.”

Well, we haven’t done any live coverage from outside of the earth yet, but we have gone live from a plane, helicopter, boat, moving train, snowplow, taxi, trolley, hot air balloon, Zamboni and inside a moving elevator. LiveU technology has allowed us to broadcast from atop a salt pile, the rooftop of the South Bend’s tallest building, the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, BCS Championship Game in Miami, Women’s Final Four in Denver and the G8 Summit in Chicago. We’ve even used the LiveU gear outside in 50 mph winds to deliver live news and weather conditions.

One of our LU-70’s is configured for an HDMI input for streaming with a GoPro Hero3 camera. The GoPro’s HDMI output plugs directly into the LU-70 and this package allows us to do streaming on the road during snowstorms, at an accident scene and in places where our competition simply can’t reach with ENG trucks.

Our LiveU units typically provide us with 10 individual live shots in our daily, 90-minute newscast. As an example of how much we now rely on LiveU coverage, we dispatched a multimedia journalist with a backpack to cover a fire in a rural community. Upon arriving, she was able to capture live video from the flaming house and immediately get it to air. There was no mast to put up, no truck operator to wait for, and no trying to hit a microwave tower from a rural area. About the same time this was happening, we received word of a road accident that had occurred during a blinding snowstorm. We loaded up another journalist with a LiveU unit who was able to provide live inserts while traveling to the accident scene. Upon reaching the site, she provided live coverage of the truck rollover. With our older ENG technology, such news coverage would have required a minimum of three sat trucks and three live trucks with a staff of 12 to 18 people. We did it with six people and six backpacks.

Some critics might say that we’re going live just for the sake of going live; however, the reality is we’re now able to take people quickly where they couldn’t go before. When you think about today’s technology, families can now see each other via their phones, computers and tablets. And if you can be “live” from your own home, shouldn’t your local news coverage team be able to do the same thing and go live from anywhere? LiveU lets you do this and it’s changing television one backpack at a time.

Greg DeBrosse is the assistant news director at WBND—ABC 57—television in South Bend, Ind. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact LiveU at 201-742-5228 or