NAB Perspectives: LiveU Debuts Next Generation of Mobile Uplink Devices

The mobile-uplink business continued to blossom at this year’s NAB Show, with LiveU at the forefront of developments. The company unveiled an upgraded version of its LU backpack series, introduced a new handheld transmission device, and expressed optimism in the direction of the business.

At LiveU's NAB Show booth, Ken Zamkow, aided by booth assistant, shows off new LU70 and LU40i mobile uplink devices.

“We’ve seen somewhat of a shift over the last few years in the visitors to our booth and in general,” says Director of Sales and Marketing Ken Zamkow. “Early on, we had mostly the early adopters and the highly technical people who really wanted to dig in and understand the technology. Now we are getting more of the mainstream customers and more of the people who may never have considered cellular-bonding technology for their video requirements, and we are seeing them take it much more seriously. They are really interested in this type of application.”

At its booth last week, LiveU unveiled its professional-grade LU70 uplink solution with second-generation internal and new external antenna arrays. Chief among new features is the One-Touch-Live (LiveU OTLTM) mode, which provides automatic adjustment of video resolutions for live video transmission at the touch of a button, as well as point-to-multipoint distribution, whereby a single device can broadcast live to multiple, varied destinations concurrently.

Other new features include increased throughput, more than 10 Mbps of video quality; and an instant WiFi access point, providing wireless connectivity for areas with limited network connections. The LU70 hardware will also be able to fully power LiveU’s forthcoming H.265 codec implementation.

The increased mobility and accessibility have helped boost demand for LiveU products, specifically in the sports marketplace.

“In sports, we have moved on from teams’ being initially only interested in using us for big events here and there,” says Zamkow. “Now what they are saying is, can we have a unit at all times so that, every week, we will have our own live shows and our own live programming.”

LiveU’s major exhibit at the show was its handheld LU40i device, which has successfully transmitted live video from high-profile sports events, including this year’s Super Bowl.

Small enough to clip on the camera operator’s belt or be mounted on the camera itself, weighing under 1.5 lbs., and powerful enough to bond up to six 3G and 4G connections for professional HD-quality video uplink, the easy-to-use LU40i enabled production of unprecedented programming for online viewers.

According to Zamkow, the LU40i combines performance, size, ease of use, and cost-effective pricing to provide an attractive opportunity for a variety of organizations that traditionally do not produce their own live video.

Integration With Panasonic
Panasonic and LiveU announced a new collaboration to deliver an integrated camcorder and live-video-uplink solution, using the LU40i and Panasonic’s new AJ-HPX600 P2 camcorder with planned wireless integration. The LU40i will be linked via the camera interface, giving camera operators a real-time indication of LiveU’s transmission status and video-transmission quality. With the LU40i and HPX600, a camera operator will be able to manage the video uplink while shooting: a must for a one-person remote crew.

“We want to deliver solutions for our broadcast customers that evolve with the pace of new technology, and the upgradable HPX600 camcorder platform gives us the flexibility to do that,” says Michael Bergeron, business development manager for Panasonic System Communications Co. of North America. “When the operation of the LU40i is integrated with the camera, the complete system provides a high-quality video feed with the easiest remote operation yet.”

Panasonic and LiveU plan to offer the complete camcorder transmission system and will provide details as the AJ-HPX600 launch approaches.

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