Photojournalist ‘Bonds’ With Teradek

The Teradek Bond

WASHINGTON—I’m a television photojournalist who has been in the business for some time now, and I’ve certainly seen my share of changes and advancements in the tools available to those in my profession. One of the most exciting and innovative has been the recent introduction of new technology for getting live video back to the studio. Broadcasting live from the field has always involved cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming methodology, and to a journalist who wants to get a story on the air ahead of the competition, time is everything.

That all changed with the introduction of the Teradek Bond, which has now become a fundamental part of our live field production. Speed and ease of use are what sets the Bond apart from other cellular video transport systems. No longer is time spent “tuning in” or “acquiring a signal.” Now, as soon as I arrive on the scene of a breaking news story, I’m immediately streaming video back to the station in crystal clear high definition.


Before the Teradek Bond, the quick solution for getting audio and video feeds back to the studio usually involved downgrading the video into a format that provided poorer video quality for the viewer. Now, I can share the clips I capture with the audience in full HD, taking advantage of my camera’s capabilities and eliminating another time consuming step of video downgrading.

In addition to its time saving appeal, the power saving appeal of this technology is really great. Other wireless devices we’ve tried were bulky, heavy, and had a battery life that left something to be desired. The Teradek Bond is lightweight and sports low power consumption, allowing me to easily attach it to my ENG camera. It’s this “plug and play” aspect that makes it easy to forget that it’s even there at all. There are few things that get a photojournalist as excited as the words “set it and forget it,” and the Teradek Bond allows us to do just that.

As ENG operations leans more toward a one-man-band tasking, the Teradek Bond is proving to be a must-have device. Its speed, ease of use, compact design, and durability all add up to make it a multimedia journalist’s best friend.

A perfect example of the Bond’s strength in news coverage was my experience with it last April. A Navy jet had crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia and navigating a live truck to the scene was impossible with the sea of emergency vehicles that had gathered around the buildings. Other wireless transmitting devices would not have lasted all day without a tether to an external power supply. With the Teradek Bond, I became the first news person to beam back live video from the scene— hours before our competition. And we remained live late into the night, providing critical updates to our viewers.

At one point, CNN broke into their coverage of the event and began airing our Bond feed. They went live with what the station I was with then (WTKR in Norfolk, Va.) was capturing and it looked fantastic.

This was a proud moment for me, and one that would become an important part of my development in this industry. The Bond was a rock solid platform for us then, and remains a key component in our news-gathering operation now. It has truly revolutionized the way we think about live television and breaking news coverage.

Van Applegate is an Emmy Award-winning photojournalist who has worked at various stations in the Mid-Atlantic region including, WTKR in Norfolk, Va., and is now with WJLA-TV in Washington, DC. He may be contacted at

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