To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

Mobile news gathering by Will Strauss S o, here’s a scenario. You’re a TV news editor and a story breaks. Your reporter and cameraman (or reporter/ cameraman) can get to the scene no bother. But all your satellite trucks are someplace else. What do you do? Umm…. Thanks to developments in transmission technology the ENG scenario described above is pretty much redundant these days. Not only can you now get satellite transmitters in a package that fit inside a backpack, you can also use multiple mobile phone networks to move video back to the newsroom – and it’s probably faster than using a truck, cheaper than utilizing satellite space, you don’t get as many problems with gusts of wind and you need less staff. Plus, perhaps most importantly of all, you can reach places that trucks cannot. That’s not to say there aren’t difficulties working this way. Once on location, cellular technology works brilliantly when the signal is strong. But there’s always a chance that the area in which the news is breaking is a cellular black spot. Then you’re stuffed. You’re also in trouble if there are lots of reporters present using the same technology and network as you. As a result of this, the really important research and development work at the moment concerns how to create lighter video codecs and better bandwidth scaling software and signal multiplexing algorithms. But there are plenty of products already available and several that are being used to great affect. Here’s my magnificent seven: JVC GY-HM650 camcorder A ProHD network-enabled camcorder, the GY-HM650 is an SD/HD shooter that records MP4, MOV or AVCHD to cheap-as-chips memory cards and meets EBU requirements for journalism. Importantly, it can capture full HD files to one memory card while simultaneously creating smaller, web-friendly files on a second. A built-in FTP client and network connectivity can then be used to get footage back to base without the need for a microwave or satellite connection. It must be a fairly compelling proposition as BBC News has just committed to 500 units. Teradek Link Panasonic HPX-600 camcorder It’s another camcorder innovation but this time utilizing LiveU’s uplink technology to allow a single operator to relay live video while shooting, in this case with the Panasonic HPX600. To make it happen software has been developed for the P2 camcorder so that it dovetails with LiveU’s handheld LU40 live video uplink kit, linking via SDI and USB ports. The application permits the uplink start and stop functions to be controlled from the camera and the LU40 transmission status to be displayed on its viewfinder. Panasonic is not the only company working with LiveU. Just last month Hitachi announced that it was collaborating with the New Jersey-based company on plans to incorporate the LU40 into its cameras instead of it being used as a mounted peripheral device (as is generally the case). A slightly different proposition this one. Teradek Link operates like a mobile hotspot. You stick it in a location with decent signal, connect your Teradek Cube or Brik encoder (or other 802.11 enabled device) to its dual-band MIMO WiFi network and, working at a range of anything up to 300 feet away from the Link, go live back to the studio. To cope with changing network conditions, Link uses Teradek’s Adaptive Bit Rate Streaming (ABRS) technology, its own development that dynamically adjusts the video bit rate and buffer of a stream. 38 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY076APR13.indd 38 26/03/2013 16:47