New solution brings IP newsgathering to Sony XDCAM news shooters

The distance between the camera lens and the contribution technology used to transmit live stories keeps getting smaller and smaller.

TVU Networks Sept. 4 introduced a purpose-built mobile cellular uplink for Sony cameras. The TVUPack Mini SE is a cellular 3G/4G uplink designed to integrate with Sony XDCAM camcorders. According to the company, the product is capable of delivering live HD video from “practically any location.”

The TVUPack Mini SE is not alone. In April at the 2012 NAB Show, for instance, JVC introduced the GY-HM650U handheld news camera equipped with built-in FTP and Wi-Fi connectivity capable of delivering live news shots back to a station without using traditional ENG or SNG techniques.

However, for the number of broadcasters already using Sony XDCAM for newsgathering, sports production and other live reporting scenarios, the introduction of a device that closely integrates live 3G/4G uplink with their existing camcorders creates opportunities for newsgathering workflow efficiencies and potential competitive advantages.

"The combination of Sony XDCAM camcorders and TVUPack Mini SE is a powerful live broadcast solution which will give our customers a fully-integrated 3G/4G solution for delivering live professional content," said Ryosuke Hayashi, general manager, Products Planning Department of the Content Creation Solutions Business Division of Sony in a press release announcing the introduction.

The TVUPack Mini SE can transmit video over up to four 3G/4G wireless data cards, Wi-Fi, WiMAX or Ethernet.The new mini IP newsgathering system is 1.9in by 4.4in by 7.25in and weighs less than 2.2lbs. It mounts directly to compatible Sony XDCAM shoulder camcorders. To go live, photojournalists press a single button. Checking transmission status is done via a tally light in the viewfinder.

Like other TVU products, TVUPack Mini SE leverages the company’s Inverse StatMux technology, which dynamically segments a live video signal and transmits the segments through multiple independent 3G/4G connections.

With the exhibition halls at the RAI in Amsterdam open, broadcasters are portion of IBC 2012 open in Amsterdam, broadcasters will get their first peek at the TVUPack Mini SE as well as other new IP newsgathering solutions that are likely to make their industry debut.