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CASE STUDY From newspaper to broadcaster: VG (Norway) and LiveU by Ronen Artman V G is a tabloid-format newspaper established in Oslo in 1945. Faced with the challenges that all newspapers face in the age of the video and the internet – fresh competition for readership and rapidly changing viewer expectations of what news is and how it’s delivered – VG began using video online as early as 2001. Through the next decade it grew its use of video clips but there was always the desire to expand the use of live content to provide real value to readers and viewers. Pal Rune Hansen, Head of Operations, says, “We started to work with streaming video and very early on we also worked with some live video, all kind of live stunts. We have grown from one person then, to 61 people now, working on the TV channel.” The TV channel was launched in November 2014 as a linear broadcast offering and is also called VG. It’s a national news channel, free-to-air, with live news as the primary content, but also some documentaries in the evening and at night time. It isn’t available on the internet, though of course VG runs footage – breaking news in particular – online and that’s been a core part of its digital business for many years. The channel is widely available. The launch of VG, with its high percentage of live news content, has been facilitated by cellular uplinking technology, specifi cally LiveU’s. Hansen says, “We were very early adopters when it comes to portable video transmission and LiveU. We looked at the various competing solutions at the time and we examined products in detail but we found LiveU had the best solution, not only for backpack technology with cellular bonding, but also its technology roadmap including the potential to use a smartphone.” VG started using LiveU around 2010 and it now uses products from across the LiveU portfolio to create a whole platform powered by the company. Hansen says, “We can start recording as reporters leave the building and that brings the audience into the action immediately, drawing them in with the reporter as the story unfolds. You don’t have to wait for a link at the location. It’s a totally different – and immersive - way of working and reporting.” VG now uses LiveU’s fl agship lightweight LU500 backpacks as well as the mini form factor LU200s. “We do still have a couple of older LU60 backpack too at regional offi ces!” says Hansen, adding, “The benefi ts of the technology are that we can go live anywhere, with very few exceptions. And we can deploy the technology incredibly quickly. It puts the viewer at the heart of the action, providing a dynamic experience.” Hansen highlights that with LiveU, VG can also use the technology in conjunction with portable Ka-Sat solutions to provide even more fl exibility, using LiveU technology as the encoder. VG also uses LiveU’s Xtender solution on a six- camera OB truck (which includes production capabilities), with the Xtender providing additional cellular bandwidth via extra modems, along with satellite connectivity too using Ka-Sat. “We are currently building another, smaller newsgathering truck for fast response. We are using a lot of LiveU technology – really the whole LiveU platform.” Of course managing these units in an easy and clear way is also very important. VG can manage all the incoming feeds and play them out again centrally, using the LiveU Central Management System. “To be able to use a unifi ed platform 72 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 100 APRIL 2015