Live U

Live U Backpack Changing the Way We Think of Broadcast -by Brett Savaglio

Posted June 06, 2017
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Live streaming technology has changed the way the we think of broadcast. It used to be that if you wanted to broadcast something live you had to have a TV station, with satellite trucks and uplinks and a studio in order to do so. This is clearly not the case anymore. First it was Meercat and Periscope, then Facebook and YouTube, and now anyone with a smartphone in their pocket has enough technology to broadcast live to the world on various platforms. It may not be TV in the way that it is traditionally thought, but these platforms in many cases have more viewers than traditional TV sets anyway.

While most of the use for live streaming is done by the average amature, just wanting to share their current experience with their followers, more and more professionals in the video world are utilizing the technology to suppliment their work. In local news, this has become especially popular as live streaming is a way to get directly in front of your audience.

Professionals, though, want their streams to look as good as something they would do in the traditional fashion -- they want graphics, they want to use microphones, they want to use pre-recorded material, and they want an interface to help them navigate all of this.  While there are plenty of products out there from companies like Wirecast and Black Magic, the Live U Backpack is another option geared specifically towards local news operations. 

The backpack offers an uplink for professional cameras uing cellular networks so that a camera can go live on that network instantaneously without the need to run many cables to a satellite truck. While this may be good for local news operations who still need to cling to their big cameras and old ways of working, there are plenty of better options out there to go live. 

TVSpy interviewed Avi Cohen from Live U to find out more about the backpack:

TVSpy: Who are some of the local stations groups that are using your product?

Cohen: When we started we had zero clients. Today we have dozens of big media groups exclusively using LiveU, like Sinclair, Raycom, Meredith, Cox, NBC, CNN, Fox and other local stations using us a lot. From 100 percent microwave and satellite, today it’s 80 percent bonding (the technology LiveU uses to connect wireless networks for live transmission). You see this trend happen and we figured out a way to disrupt news.

And what your technology brought was tremendous cost savings, right?

I think you look at this today, you’re doing much more news for less than half the price, a fraction of the price. You still need to have the satellite truck but in a smaller way, and the trucks that are coming are hybrid trucks, LiveU and satellite together.

How did this get started?

I started this technology at my university, where I got my PhD degree. We started in my garage, raised money and built a company. We’re enjoying the ride. We have a lot of room to grow.

And what’s next for LiveU?

What you see next is shifting to online media, shift to Facebook. Facebook is a big partner of ours. So we reduced cost for the big media guy, for the lower media guy we’re enablers. They can’t afford to buy a truck and they have to shoot live video.

Check out the Luve U Website.


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