Bonded Cellular Spring 2020 Update

Need a live shot from inside an unmarked moving rental sedan during a thunderstorm? No problem.

Sometimes a solution can be slightly ahead of its time. When early bonded cellular backhaul began about 14 years ago, nationwide cellular service providers weren’t always up to the task. Digital artifacts such as blockyness and audio dropouts were high cell traffic issues that were easy to recognize on TV and typically increased with the size of the unexpected news event. 

Over the years since bonded cellular launched, the number of cellphone towers nationwide has grown about 10% annually, while bonded cellular HEVC cuts HD bandwidth requirements in half. Today’s typical cellular service provides dependable data transmission nearly everywhere, even at the recent Super Bowl LIV. Improved cellular coverage and HEVC compression are rapidly changing how live TV news and sports is gathered and produced.

April is the usual time for the annual Las Vegas NAB Show, a milestone event that typically recalibrates the state-of-the-art in virtually all categories of broadcast technology, including bonded cellular manufacturers. The 2020 show was cancelled, but bonded cellular technological progress continues marching forward. Following in reverse alphabetical order is a snapshot of the newest products and technologies leading bonded cellular manufacturers consider state-of-the-art.

The new TVU One 4K supports 4K60P, 10-bit, 4:2:0 and 1080P encoding with HDR/HLG.

The new TVU One 4K supports 4K60P, 10-bit, 4:2:0 and 1080P encoding with HDR/HLG.

TVU Networks was founded in 2005, has over 3,000 customers worldwide and is committed to revolutionizing the media supply chain. TVU’s 2020 theme is “Efficiencies of an AI-Driven, Story-Centric Workflow for Tailored Content Production.” The company was also recently awarded a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for excellence in engineering in the “Video Over Bonded Cellular Internet” (VoCIP) category.

TVU's entire product line and complete portfolio of integrated cloud and IP-based remote production solutions are ideal for REMI/At-home applications. 

The new TVU One 4K is the company's flagship solution. It has 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 video inputs with two channels of embedded audio. It can simultaneously aggregate up to 12 data connections including internal/external cellular, WiFi, Ethernet, IP Microwave or Satellite (Ka/Ku/BGAN).  It includes up to 6 embedded CAT12 3G/4G/LTE modems, embedded 2.4/5GHz WiFi, Ethernet, 4 USB connections for external modem connections, and has a SD card slot for up to 256 Gb of local HD-only storage. It also has a built-in 3.5”, 16:10 LCD touchscreen.

TVU recently introduced several significant upgrades and continues integration of AI, automation technology and metadata within its TVU MediaMind media supply chain platform. MediaMind is an AI real-time search engine capable of indexing all media content from the beginning of the video production process. MediaMind has voice and object recognition technology that can locate and index down to the precise frame within live video clips to automatically find the exact content needed to help produce a story for a specific audience.

All of TVU’s 5G-ready portable and rack-mount 1080P60 HD and 4KP60 HDR transmitters can be used for REMI work, including the TVU One mobile transmitter with HEVC and patented IS+ technology. With support for true 5G protocol, TVU equipment has been successfully used with 5G transmissions around the world, including in the U.S., China and Korea. Most recently, TVU transmitted from within the stadium of the premier, annual American football championship using the mmWave 5G network.

Of greatest interest during the current challenging conditions in the TV industry REMI/At-home. Other TVU REMI solutions include RPS, a cost-effective solution for live, remote, synchronized multi-camera production for news and sports that uses a broadcaster’s existing control room and public Internet connection, and the TVU Anywhere mobile app for capturing and streaming live video from anywhere. Other solution s include TVU Producer, a multi-camera, cloud-based live video production from a web browser, and TVU Timelock for automatically synchronized transmission from multiple remote TVU mobile transmitters to an existing studio.

The LiveU worked with the NBA, AT&T, and Ericsson to produce NBA Summer League coverage using 5G.

The LiveU worked with the NBA, AT&T, and Ericsson to produce NBA Summer League coverage using 5G.

LiveU was founded in 2006 and has over 3000 customers worldwide. LiveU is also currently focused on REMI/At-home solutions. Precision measurement of end-to-end delay allows LiveU’s wireless at-home production solution to cover multi-camera live events at a fraction of the cost, with simplified logistics. LiveU's latest applications include Tally Light and LiveU Control, enabling simple remote control of LiveU units via smartphones.

The NBA, AT&T, and Ericsson teamed up with LiveU to bring 5G to the NBA Summer League’s live production in 2019. LiveU recently announced increased collaboration with leading European partners on 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, testing and validating content contribution and media production use cases over advanced 5G Release 16 testbeds.

Major sports and news broadcasters including CBS, CNN, Cox Media Group, Fox Sports, Meredith Corporation, Quincy Media, and Sinclair Broadcast Group are curating their content with LiveU Matrix. It makes live content sharing with multiple destinations and TV stations easier and more cost-effective. 

LiveU's full portfolio of HD/1080p60 and 4K HEVC video solutions include its flagship LU600 HEVC portable transmission solution. The LU600’s HEVC 4K-SDI edition offers professional 4Kp50/60 streaming for top-quality production, supporting VR and 360 applications.

The company also offers the LU300 HEVC unit for live HDTV streaming. The LU300 can also serve as a standalone video encoder or be used as a LiveU DataBridge mobile hotspot for general connectivity in the field. LiveU also sells the 1U 4K HEVC rackmounted LU610 4K HEVC for vehicles and fixed locations. This powerful encoder, based on LiveU’s LU600 4K HEVC technology, offers the perfect hybrid solution for SNG trucks, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint distribution.

LiveU is also busy incorporating AI. The complete LiveU AI service, powered by newsbridge, offers a comprehensive set of contribution and AI-based video indexing tools for enriching, searching and accessing live or file-based content. Operating within the LiveU Central cloud management platform, it enables editors to search and find their required footage faster than ever, easing daily workloads and making real-time production far more efficient.

Liftoff

LiveU recently announced it will assist NASA TV with transmitting live video of the journey of NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center on May 27th, 2020. The historic event marks the first time US Astronauts travel to the International Space Station from US soil in nearly nine years. The NASA TV crew will use a LiveU LU600 4K HEVC field unit to document the astronauts’ trip from the holding area to the rocket ship launch pad and subsequent launch. LiveU Matrix, the company’s IP content management and distribution solution, will power the worldwide distribution of multiple positioned pool cameras – provided by the Central Florida Media Committee – to cover the milestone launch.

The WayPoint 204 receiver is the first Dejero solution to support SMPTE ST 2110 standards for professional media.

The WayPoint 204 receiver is the first Dejero solution to support SMPTE ST 2110 standards for professional media.

Dejero was founded in 2008 and recently received its second 'Technical' Emmy. The award is attributed to the development of its patented Smart Blending Technology and unique Hybrid Encoding Technology. Last year, Dejero was awarded its first Technology and Engineering Emmy for 'Excellence in Engineering Creativity.'

Dejero's newest solution is its EnGo 260 mobile transmitter. It features Dejero's Smart Blending and Hybrid Encoding technologies, weighs 30% less than its predecessor, features a screen that is 85% larger, and now includes a 3-hour internal rechargeable battery and global modems for simplified international travel. Built with aircraft aluminum construction and polycarbonate ABS bumpers, the professional-grade EnGo is designed for durability to withstand on-the-go daily use by news, sports, and live production crews.

The company also recently introduced a smaller form-factor CuePoint server for use in field environments where it can be easily racked into mobile carts or vehicles. This follows the launch of the 1RU CuePoint 100 at the 2019 NAB Show. The return feed servers simplify talent cueing, production and confidence monitoring, and real-time teleprompting in the field with as little as 250 milliseconds of latency.

The WayPoint 204 receiver supports SMPTE ST 2110 standards. It reconstructs video transported over multiple IP connections from Dejero transmitters, decodes HEVC or AVC, delivers four channels of balanced IFB, and provides four outputs supporting SMPTE ST 2110. For workflows, Dejero will debut a new, smaller form-factor of the WayPoint for use in field environments.

The new Dejero GateWay 200 is a fanless networking appliance for nomadic and mobile connectivity. It provides fast, reliable, and secure access to the public Internet, private networks, and SaaS providers in the field. Recently added features include increased reliability on any type of IP connection and faster file transfer methods. The GateWay can be used for backup connectivity as part of a disaster recovery plan, and in other use cases that solve first- and last-mile connectivity challenges of broadcasters and media organizations.

The company also sells its IronRoute for Media solution. IronRoute blends broadband and cellular (3G/4G/5G) alongside satellite connectivity from Intelsat’s global network. The cloud-based solution simplifies the simultaneous distribution of live and file-based content to multiple locations anywhere in the world.

Dejero recently announced that it has again been selected as the primary field contribution solutions provider for Canada's national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada (CBC). As part of this renewed multi-year agreement, Dejero will help with CBC’s transition to IP workflows.

The latency of the AIR Series encoders and transmitters is down to 0.5 seconds.

The latency of the AIR Series encoders and transmitters is down to 0.5 seconds.

AVIWEST is a French company more than 10 years old that has more than 1000 bonded-cellular customers worldwide. AVIWEST was awarded a 'Technical' Emmy in 2018 for “Pioneering a Reliable Transmission Method for Live Contribution and Distribution of TV Feeds,” known as Safe Stream Transport IP Bonding Technology protocol.

The AVIWEST flagship is its proprietary Safe Stream Transport (SST) IP Bonding Technology protocol, It is used in a wide range of AVIWEST solutions for live and recorded video contribution over bonded unmanaged IP networks such as 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, satellite and the public internet. One of the many benefits of SST enables producers to deliver perfect video genlock and lip synchronization across multiple cameras through the public internet or unmanaged networks.

AVIWEST transmitters include the 5G compliant PRO3 Series Ultimate Camera-Mounted HEVC Mobile Transmitter, and the AIR Series Advanced Ultra-Compact HEVC Mobile Transmitter. The PRO3 camera-mounted series comes with built in H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC hardware encoding and features up to 8 embedded, world-wide compliant, cellular 3G/4G modems. Two models of the AIR Series will be on display, the AIR3 for HEVC and AIR2 for H.264 AVC encoding. AVIWEST encoders on display include the HE Series 4K and Multi-HD Video Contribution Encoder, the RACK1 Series Advanced H.264 Contribution Encoder, and MOJOPRO Series iOS, MacOS and Android Live Video apps.

AVIWEST also sells its QUAD Series High Performance External Cellular Antenna Array, the StreamHub Flexible Receiver, Decoder and Distribution Platform, and the Manager Advanced Network Management System.

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