NAB Show – Review, part two

One of the other discussions was using LTE to replace existing Electronic News Gathering technologies that are decades old. ENG for many years made it easier to do live shots from the field and feed stories into newsrooms. ENG was a very complex method. For many years it wasn’t just the transmission method of microwave dishes being pointed to receive antennas or satellite dishes pointing to the stars. Most of this technology was based on transmission not for reception so hearing “return” feeds from the station, the interruptible feedback the earpiece to ether hear intercom or live program  (known better as the IFB), and seeing yourself required at least multiple phone lines from the field, a commercial two way radio with the station side having one or two channels completely open to broadcast the non delay feed of their programs, etc.

Due to the relevance of high definition, tapeless newsgathering, and sometimes the complexity making it hard to do a live shot in tight quarters; some companies are pushing for the idea for local TV stations to use their existing radio signals and turning them into their own 4G networks.

Sometimes 4g means LTE or Long Term Evolution or WiMax. It almost functions like a Metro area network for WiFi from what I know from the outside. Basically existing radio dishes on the ENG vans and receive sites would not need to be replaced, but the boxes that tie them up would, so there really isn’t that much rip and replace like the other stuff that was preached in the show.

A lot of local TV stations producing content are using a boatload of civilian 4G networks from the mobile providers, and by using this method, the costs would go down and any control of latency could be done through both a management system and intelligence of the device and app. Essentially if you have too many live shots going on at once the system will ether pick priorities or make you wait. If you have say 4 live trucks and 1 chopper, and the system is designed to take up to 7, then you’re all good because this type of software is pretty beautiful.