AP Extends Contract With LiveU to Meet Live Video Demand

LONDON— Associated Press journalists on every continent can now stream real-time video content back to its London production hub in broadcast-quality high definition.

The international news agency has expanded its deal with portable live video-over-cellular specialists LiveU to deploy a range of professional broadcast technology devices globally. AP also has taken a stake in Swedish technology startup firm, Bambuser, which specializes in streaming live video over smartphones.

The agreement includes a backpack uplink unit with full high-definition capability, a smaller unit which can be clipped to a belt and technology to convert a laptop computer into a live video transmission unit. The small, lightweight devices allow a single professional camera operator to film and stream live footage.

The LiveU technology investment means AP can now routinely deploy more than one unit on the same story, providing a multi-camera environment, enabling flexibility evidenced by the ongoing Nelson Mandela health story. LiveU units positioned at various camera angles around the Pretoria hospital where he is being treated and outside his Johannesburg home beamed video of his family visiting and talking with the media.

“Live coverage has been a priority for AP since we first launched a service for broadcasters back in 2003,” said Sandy MacIntyre, director of global video at AP. “Now we have more than 200 TV stations and digital publishers who quite rightly expect us to ensure that, regardless of where news breaks, we are delivering live content within minutes. To accomplish that AP is operating on two levels.”

“First, we are rapidly deploying more professional live streaming equipment to the scene than ever before so our video journalists can beam more footage live in high definition broadcast quality,” MacIntyre said. “LiveU are market leaders in this area - they are both technology specialists and have the in-house expertise in how broadcasters work in the field. It makes them an easy choice for folks like us who need to be first and who need to be the reliable source on breaking news. And second, with Bambuser, we are equipping citizens with the ability to be video eye witnesses on our behalf and stream real-time video over their smartphones as a sort of ‘first strike’ reporting force.”