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The Best Kept Secret In Outside Broadcast

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Squeezed in between the camera and the battery, LiveShot really is the best-kept secret in Outside Broadcast. When first spotted, the assumption is that it is being used to link the camera back to the OB Vehicle which, of course it can do. But closer study reveals that it can equally stream back to the studio directly using its multiplicity of data capabilities, also making it ideal for use as the main streaming codec from the OB Vehicle itself.

LiveShot is a second-generation multi-stream High-Profile H264 HD video and audio codec. It has a unique combination of capabilities; it multi-streams in HD (up to 1080i) directly to other codecs (both hardware and software) without the need for complicated network setup; it streams also to its on-board SD card for later store-and-forward. Data bonding and diversity is also incorporated as is a reverse video and stereo feed plus a two-way comms codec, all within its small 2kg package that consumes only about 8W.
Designed specifically for contended connections, the LiveShot handles fluctuating data rates with sophisticated error masking and forward error correction techniques that work in real time, learnt from years of experience with the ACCESS-IP industry-standard IP Audio codec. When you ask a reporter the other side of the-back-of-beyond how they are, it is nice to know straight away without having to wait five seconds whilst the question arrives. LiveShot's low-latency coding and robust connectivity deals with all that.
The LiveShot Portable has HD/SD-SDI, HDMI and Composite Inputs which it streams with high-quality (AAC-ELD) stereo audio to the LiveShot Rackmount studio unit. It receives return video and stereo audio from the studio – plus there is a two-way audio comms codec built-in as standard with both cabled and Bluetooth connectivity to the headset.
It has its own in-built WiFi Hot Spot which allows local control and setup from smartphones, or connection can be instigated at the touch-of-a-button to a pre-configured destination. Control is of course possible from the studio end or via the Central Switchboard Server, which also provides a preview feed of all the codecs in the family account.
Remote control from a smartphone or tablet also gives access to a variety of profile settings which are fully adjustable so that you can achieve the best quality at low bitrates. The app also comes with video status updates and connection statistics so you know just how much bitrate you need for streaming.
Connection between LiveShots is direct without the need to use a server, though users automatically have their own account on the Switchboard Server which acts as an address translator. Difficult to explain but probably the key to real-world connectivity, the Switchboard Server manages the IP connectivity of units that are behind NAT routers and firewalls by keeping track of the public address and port, even when it changes.
Connections between units on mobile networks or on shared WiFi connections are all handled seamlessly without the user having to know the complex IT task that it is carrying out. By browsing to the user's dedicated page on the server, complete setup of all units can be carried out – as can the control of connections between LiveShots. Streaming, of course, is direct from LiveShot to LiveShot.
Multi-stream connectivity is also incorporated within the same package with the possibility to directly plug-in up to six USB dongles of any mix of 4G/LTE/3G or WiFi which, with the cabled ethernet connectivity, the LiveShot automatically bonds/ diversifies. Plugging in a USB hub to the extension port allows connection of further wireless interfaces, all of which are handled in the same way. The WiFi capability of the LiveShot makes it the perfect partner to our V3X range so you don’t need to worry about additional dongles taking up space. LiveShot is also compatible with Luci Video, which allows you to stream video from your phone or tablet straight to the rackmount at the studio using any IP connection.
LiveShot is genuinely jaw-dropping; we have seen the same expression when the penny drops as to what it can actually do; its unique combination of two-way multi-streaming; its return video/stereo feed; its two-way comms; its ultra-low delay even over a ropey internet connection; its easy operation needing just the touch-of-a-button to connect; its lack of artifacts when the connection deteriorates; its small size and weight; lots to be surprised about.

The article is available in BFV online.

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