What is the definition of Video Contribution? Is it the same as live streaming?
Live Streaming is a generic term and can apply to any part of the process from capture on the camera where video is immediately streamed, to the process of playout on any device. Playout is a huge subject in itself. However "video contribution" is considered the terminology used to capture at the camera end, and to deliver live video from the camera to where ever it needs to go. Normally in an outside sports environment this maybe to use RF links to an Outside Broadcast Truck, or in a live news environment the feed may go back to the studio via a satellite dish on a SNG van.
What about using LTE links to do outside video contribution instead of satellite or RF links?
The 3G and 4G network is very capable of streaming live video, especially if good compression is utilised. The issue of course is reliability. Telco providers vary in coverage and signal strength, so picking a single provider for the whole of a cycle race for example, may prove unreliable. What can be done is to "bond" multiple providers together to form a single connection. If one of the providers loses signal strength, then the others can automatically compensate, assuming the right bonding technology is utilised that can act in real-time.
What does Soliton do in outside Live Contribution?
Soliton Systems is technology company that manufacturers mobile encoders and decoders for video contribution. Used by many sports companies, news gathering and other live event production companies, their Smart Telecaster range of products will encode to H.265 (HEVC) and rather than using satellite or line of sight antennas with RF, it can simply use multiple 3G/4G mobile phone providers to live stream over the internet. It is cheaper and has less latency than satellite. It can deliver live video to any decoding server with a global IP address, typically back at broadcast centre or command centre. Also given the Zao is a lightweight and rugged mobile device, the Zao can be placed on motorbikes, bicycles, cars, vans, helicopters and drones to stream live video to anywhere in the world.
Will this make satellite and OB Trucks obsolete?
It will certainly eat into that market. But the issue is to guarantee a Quality of Service to be provided by the mobile phone network. As mentioned, signal strengths go up and down and coverage is not always guaranteed. Also within a stadium environment, if 80000 people are accessing Facebook then again bandwidth availability may be limited. However one advantage of Soliton over their competition, is their H.265 over traditional H.264 offerings. At the Olympic opening ceremony, the Zao was still delivering video. When 5G comes of age, then video contribution across the mobile phone network will become much more the norm.