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LIVESHOT Next-Generation Live Multi-Stream HD Video Multi-Codec

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Comrex LiveShot is a compact camera-mountable Multi-Stream HD codec that sends video and audio from the field to the studio using the public internet whilst providing separate return video and audio plus IFB Comms with full-duplex intercom/cue channel.

LiveShot is specifically designed to perform on challenging networks and provides the next-generation solution for video uplink for live remote Outside Broadcast for Sport and ENG.

With LiveShot, it is almost possible to leave the OB truck at home. Weighing less than a kilogram, it can be mounted between the camera and its battery or fits easily into its shoulder holster for on-the-go shooting consuming less than 7W. LiveShot comprises an HD/SD/Composite video codec with stereo audio to send programme back to the studio and provides a return video and audio feed back from the studio end. In addition, there is a separate audio codec providing live 2-way audio for comms.

It has in-built Ethernet plus multi-USB connectivity with bonding and diversifying between multiple connections to ensure sufficient and reliable data bandwidth, with clever throttling to ensure that delay is not introduced just because of one path with latency or poor connectivity.

A smartphone can be used for local control and monitoring plus the LiveShot Switchboard Server lets users see previews and control all codecs in their fleet using a normal web browser. Full status information is provided including details of the data connections, packet loss and latency. Users have their own account on the Switchboard Server, provided at no additional cost and without annual subscription, which lets them see the status of all the codecs in their "family" including preview, delay and CrossLock multi-streaming status.

The Comrex LiveShot uses many of the clever Dynamic Jitter Buffering, Forward Error Correction, Error Masking and Congestion Avoidance techniques learned with the industry-standard ACCESS-IP Audio codec. This, combined with intelligent multi-streaming, results in stable ultra-low delay video and audio even when working over poor and mediocre IP connections that can occur when 4G, 3G and wifi connectivity deteriorate or become congested.

Whilst the comprehensive forward error correction, error masking and congestion avoidance take care of the transmitted data, using H264 High Profile encoding ensures better-quality video and audio whilst using less data bandwidth which of course is more likely to get through the public internet unscathed. Often an external unit is needed to combine mobile signals (3G, 4G, etc.) to have sufficient data bandwidth but this capability is built-in as standard with the LiveShot which has the possibility to plug in multiple USB dongles to provide multi-datapath bonding and diversity. A secure end-to-end VPN is set up using CrossLock – a Comrex technique specially developed for LiveShot.

The ultra-low latency (typically around 100mS), enhanced stability and additional connectivity providing reverse video and audio as well as comms, helps things run smoothly, all without the infrastructure of having an OB Vehicle at the location.

Specially designed for studio use, the 1-U rack-mounted LiveShot Rack provides a reliable hardware back-end which is fully-compatible with the portable unit. Portable-to-portable or Rack-to-Rack can also be used for connection.

Contact Vortex Communications in London for a full run-down and hands-on demonstration.

Image: LiveShot in use with multi-dongle connectivity plus return video and audio.

This article also features in the December edition of Broadcast Film & Video.


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