Field Report: IMT microLite Takes WLIO-TV Wireless

Cost-effective 6.4 GHz microwave ENG solution from IMT simplifies field production work at an Ohio TV station, eliminating restrictive cables and the risk of people tripping over them.

When Lima Ohio’s WLIO TV was looking to upgrade the station to an HD microwave transmitter, chief engineer and vice president Frederick Vobbe turned to the Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT) microLite HD system.

Vobbe’s introduction to the microLite was when he and WLIO TV technician Jim Gillen happened upon the IMT booth at NAB 2015.

“We decided we were going to go shopping at NAB for a wireless transmitter that would help us escape the limitations of fiber-connected cameras,” says Vobbe. “After spotting the microLite HD transmitter and speaking with the company representative, we were immediately intrigued.  We knew instantly we had to have these wireless wonders and ended up purchasing two microLite 6.4 GHz models.”

As a respected and beloved TV station that takes pride in covering local Northwest Ohio events, the station's plans for using the new microLite transmitters were exciting.

“A lot of our field reporting involves recurring events, such as county fairs and parades, for which the microLite has been incredible,” Gillen said. “The biggest challenge of covering a county fair before purchasing the microLite was running cable.

The portability of microLite allows cameras and operators to move about and shoot with less to worry about.

The portability of microLite allows cameras and operators to move about and shoot with less to worry about.

The farthest we could go was 100 or 200 feet, not to mention the nightmare of trying to navigate through the crowd to get the right shots.  With the microLite, we are able to hand cameras to our videographers to take off all over the fair grounds. One cameraman was able to go an amazing 1,200 feet from where we were located. We could not see him, and we could just barely communicate with him on our intercom packs, but he was shooting back beautiful, clear pictures of the happenings throughout the fairgrounds.”

The microLite HD Transmitter is a superior portable system of wireless camera transmission links for high-quality video applications of up to one mile line-of-sight (LOS). It provides exceptional range at no cost to microLite HD’s signature portability.

Featuring superb H.264 SD and HD encoding capabilities and operating in the standard 2k DVB-T COFDM mode, the H.264 video encoder supports the main profile of the H.264 standard and therefore provides a 30% bit-rate reduction or video-quality improvement compared to encoders that only support the H.264 baseline profile.

“The ease of use of the microLite cannot be understated,” says Vobbe. “The unit mounts effortlessly on the camera and connects to the battery pack, making it all self-contained. It is extremely versatile and lightweight, and only requires one person to operate. Now that we are completely wireless, the possibilities are endless. The microLite has provided a cost-effective solution that has let us not only simplify workflow but take our viewers where we have never been able to go before to tell a story.”

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