NAB Hot Topics

IP Tech Tackles Workflow, Wireless Costs

The bonded cellular technology at the heart of today’s IP newsgathering systems has achieved such a level of maturity that many vendors have begun addressing the finer points, such as how to more closely integrate the workflow of reporters in the field with the newsroom and maintaining network speeds even when working within the confines of a VPN. At the same time, frenemy and outright competitors have arisen and are looking to make headway with stations by offering systems they say will reduce or eliminate ever-rising wireless data bills. Photo: LiveU. Click here to access TVNewsCheck’s NAB 2017 Resource Guide listing of ENG/IP Newsgathering vendors and products or here to download it as a PDF.
TVNewsCheck,

The shape of ENG has changed a lot over the past decade with the introduction and broad acceptance of bonded cellular systems for TV newsgathering. At the 2017 NAB Show next month, sources say this category of technology will enter a maturing phase where emphasis will be placed on finer points, like maximizing efficiency, integrating more deeply with newsroom workflow and minding operating costs, while competitors look to leave their mark.

“The crack cocaine of the news director is the bonded cellular system that we have all enjoyed so much over the last several years,” says Jim Ocon, VP, business development at Persistent Systems, a wireless networking system provider offering IP transceivers that can complement or replace bonded cellular systems.

Story continues after the ad

The yearly data charge for one ENG backpack equipped with two to three cellular modems and contributing 100 hours of news per month can range between $5,000 and $7,000, he says. “This is a huge pain point for our industry and it has everything to do with ever-rising data costs.”

At the NAB Show (April 22-27 in Las Vegas), Persistent Systems will show its MPU5 transceivers, which automatically find each other in an instant to form an IP Mesh Data Network using the company’s Mobile Ad hoc Networking (MANET) system.

While the Persistent System offering can be used to get a signal from inside a building out to a bonded cellular backpack or ENG truck for signal contribution to the station or in lieu of IP backpacks, Accelerated Media Technologies (AMT) offers an outright replacement for backpacks and satellite contribution with its ENGenesis wireless system that brings LTE technology to 2 GHz BAS channels.

“The idea is you build an infrastructure; you build the network” says Steve DeFala, AMT director of sales. “So, you are in network, and you are not paying per bit like the guys do with bonded cellular and satellite.”

Brand Connections

AMT officially introduced ENGenesis at last year’s NAB Show. Since then it has completed the installation of the system at WJXT, the Graham Media Group-owned independent in Jacksonville, Fla.

At this year’s show, the company will unveil “very user-friendly interfaces” for use in the studio and the news vehicle to make ENGenesis contribution a “one-button-push” operation, he says. “We are trying to make it so you don’t have to use all of your master control time dialing in a shot. It’s as automated as it could be.”

JVCKenwood will tackles the operational costs of cellular network data plans for bonded systems a little differently. At the NAB Show New York in November 2016, it introduced the ProHD Bridge, a wireless base station that can receive 5 GHZ Wi-Fi transmissions from multiple, untethered JVC cameras up to 2,000 feet away and turn those incoming IP camera streams for contribution to the station via bonded cellular connections.

However, the difference with the ProHD Bridge is that it can achieve robust connectivity to the station with two active bonded modems and two in reserve, says Dave Walton, JVCKenwood assistant VP.

“We don’t need to have eight modems [with eight data plans] in the unit,” he says. “It’s not necessary … because much better antenna arrays are positioned on the vehicle as part of the system.”

In April, the company will offer additional new products making use of this concept, says Walton, who declined to give additional details about the introductions.

Many major ENG camera vendors, including Sony, Panasonic and Canon, are building wireless and wired LAN connectivity into some of their models. For example, the compact Canon XF-205, which will be featured at the company’s NAB Show booth, is equipped with support for streaming via 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connections or a LAN cable.

Relying on Wi-Fi connectivity rather than wireless modems allows broadcasters to sidestep the data charges associated with cellular plans, says Larry Thorpe, Canon senior fellow. “Some companies are putting more and more into the powerful engines in their smaller cameras, essentially giving them a central interface to Wi-Fi networks,” he says.

Suppliers of bonded cellular backpacks and camera backs are fully aware of the data charges their customers face, and at the NAB Show there will be a special emphasis on efficiency, says Paul Shen, founder and CEO of TVUNetworks.

“We’ve seen usage [of IP newsgathering contribution] increase. Daily live news [at some stations] has grown from six or seven hours to nine-and-a-half hours,” he says.

Not surprisingly, growing dependency on mobile ENG equipment has accompanied this expansion, Shen says.

“As stations increase their usage, they want to be able to continue managing costs. In fact, they don’t want to see a significant increase in cost,” he says.

(Note: Click here to access TVNewsCheck’s NAB 2017 Resource Guide listing of ENG/IP newsgathering vendors and products.)

TVUNetworks will show several new steps it is taking to increase efficiency and manage costs at the NAB Show, including the use of H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding, which will dramatically reduce the number of bits needed to contribute video at today’s quality level.

Related Links

Tags

Comments (0) -

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for June 23, 2017
  • 1.
    0.9/4
  • 2.
    0.8/4
  • 3.
    0.7/3
  • 4.
    0.7/3
  • 5.
    0.5/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Gail Pennington

    A sweet little show, low key and more smile-worthy than hilarious, ABC's Downward Dog won't be for everyone. Animal lovers are likely to find it adorable; cynics, unless they really, really love dogs, probably should stay away.

  • Neal Justin

    Tina Fey will inevitably let down her legions of TV fans with a real stinker. But not yet. The comic maestro, whom Rolling Stone recently ranked as the third greatest player in Saturday Night Live history, is following 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with NBC’s Great News, yet another fast-paced, perfectly absurd sitcom about a single woman trying to maintain a personal and professional life with Mary Richards-like spunk.

  • Jeanne Jakle

    Don’t go into the new round of Fargo expecting the grab-’em-by-the-throat shocks that opened previous seasons of TV’s chilliest crime anthology. The latest incarnation of the FX series from Noah Hawley takes its time worming into your mind and getting you hooked. Season three establishes its characters at a much more leisurely pace: the central quartet, the unscrupulous locals who surround them and the sinister interlopers who make these drab Minnesota lives more complicated and, eventually, scary as heck.

  • Daniel Fienberg

    In Brockmire, Hank Azaria's Funny or Die sportscaster works surprisingly well as a regular series lead on the new IFC show, costarring the excellent Amanda Peet. Over the course of the eight episodes, Brockmire moves through a trio of arcs, delivering underdog sports shenanigans, a relationship that makes more sense as it progresses and Brockmire's sad and probably doomed search for redemption. That's all propped up with enough low-brow jokes, raunchy baseball references and disreputable hijinks that the show never wallows. I reached the finale and was surprised at how much I wanted to see more from a character I initially thought couldn't sustain more than five minutes.

  • Maureen Ryan

    It’s appropriate that The Good Fight on CBS All Access has a slightly more jagged and splintered atmosphere than The Good Wife, the long-running CBS drama that starred Julianna Margulies. In the opening minutes of the first episode, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), watches as Donald Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Before the 50-minute pilot is over, the jarring changing of the guard in Washington is the least of her troubles. Baranski brings a heartbreaking rawness to her performance as Diane, who never got enough meaningful screen time on The Good Wife. Diane’s plight is thus personal but also metaphorical: She likens the collapse of every pillar of her supposedly solid and trustworthy world to a nightmare.

  • David Wiegand

    It’s hard to say which is more excessive in the new CBS crime thriller, Training Day: the action or the dialogue. But in either case, the series from Jerry Bruckheimer and Anthony Fuqua goes a long way toward waking up broadcast TV’s mid-season. There is plenty of action, enhanced by fast-paced editing, in the three episodes made available to critics. And there’s violence. But most of all, there is dialogue so rich and colorful, it almost evokes the stuff of guys like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, or at least Sgt. Joe Friday. Training Day just may get away with murder on Thursday nights when the numbers are counted.

  • Hank Stuever

    Well, they only had to remake a jillion TV shows from yesteryear to finally get one exactly, perfectly right. Not only is Netflix’s reimagined One Day at a Time a joy to watch, it’s also the first time in many years that a multicamera sitcom (the kind filmed on a set with studio-audience laughter) has seemed so instinctively comfortable in its own skin. It doesn’t try to subvert or improve on the sitcom format; it simply exhibits faith that the sitcom genre can still work in a refreshing and relevant way.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad