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Applied Technology:  Vislink’s Newsnet, A Bi-Directional IP-ENG Link

There are several approaches to transmitting live and file-based content from the field to the studio. Traditional microwave Electronic News Gathering (ENG) provides high bandwidth, high quality transmission with low latency, while using secure dedicated BAS spectrum keeps control in a broadcaster’s hands.

The past few years have seen a paradigm shift in video technology toward acceptance and now adoption of IP-based links into ENG workflows.

Lower cost, less complex bonded cellular networks have become increasingly common. These easy-to-use, bi-directional links can be quickly deployed providing multiple access points.

While the internet, IP technology and bonded cellular networks have radically and positively changed the way ENG is performed, too often broadcasters are connecting remote sites to the studio via unsecured, at-will broadband infrastructures they do not manage. Such infrastructures often suffer from contested or insufficient cellular bandwidth, high costs and in some locations, no service.

An IP-centric BAS solution

Vislink has pioneered newsnet, an alternative IP-centric technology resulting in a technological ecosystem that establishes a secure, reliable, high-speed bi-directional IP network for ENG use.

Newsnet allows multiple ENG locations to operate simultaneously and on the same BAS channel, while enabling a high-bandwidth IP connection to studio computer systems. This IP connection can be leveraged to enhance news production values through high-speed file sharing while supporting other IP-centric tools.

Key benefits include ease-of-use; high-speed multi-use capacity that provides dependable, high-quality transmissions; the security and predictability via a privately managed IP network; the ability to perform tasks such as editing and prompter updates from the field; and compatibility with MOS protocol-based news systems.

Vislink Newsnet creates a bi-directional IP-ENG Link between the remote site and studio. The BAS system enables a wide range of IP-centric functions to be carried out over the links.

Vislink Newsnet creates a bi-directional IP-ENG Link between the remote site and studio. The BAS system enables a wide range of IP-centric functions to be carried out over the links.

Newsnet uses the 2 GHz BAS-licensed spectrum, which allows for an increase in the number of live ENG transmissions and workflows that can be performed from the field. The system consists of one or more mobile high-speed IP network nodes that easily connect with a base station. These nodes are typically located at existing ENG receive sites. Each mobile node not only offers high quality video transmission capability, but also a private and reliable ingress point for other IP-centric edge devices. This allows users to control their own private high-speed IP licensed wireless network while ensuring that newsgathering workflows and intellectual property are never at risk.

Enhanced production values

The network supports high-speed file sharing while enabling other IP-centric tools needed in remote locations such as phone systems, closed captioning, automation and remote asset management. IFB and talkback/comms can operate over the same link. A field crew can access the studio network via secure Wi-Fi or a wired connection allowing them to update social media accounts from the field.

Editors can create video packages by combining clips from the field with studio assets and media archives. Only field clips and the final edit need to be uploaded prior to conforming with studio content.

A mobile app allows a crew to easily set up microwave links and assess connection strength without contacting the studio. The system manages the radio network to provide dependable links and prioritize video and data bandwidth based on studio systems feedback, with dedicated screens for monitoring and control for the gallery. An intuitive drill-down map based user interface shows deployed assets and infrastructure, with graphical control and monitoring of the whole system.

Newsnet increases the number of live ENG transmissions and workflows a station can create. The results are higher production values, lower operational costs and channel resilience from the use of the BAS-licensed spectrum and the dynamic allocation of bandwidth.

Vislink is implementing the product with select broadcasters with encouraging results. This solution offers broadcasters the ability to maximize their coverage while fully leveraging studio assets. The result can be a more engaging and immersive experience for viewers.

Vislink Newsnet

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