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NAB Perspectives: LiveU’s Zamkow on the New LiveU MultiPoint and the Growing Partnership With Panasonic

April 15th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Brandon Costa

As cellular-bonded streaming backpack technology continues to shrink in physical size and more live content is being created, LiveU (Booth SU4405) has continued to expand its business to make distribution of that content all the more seamless. At NAB 2015, the company is demonstrating its new internal and cross-organizational IP video-distribution service, LiveU MultiPoint. The cloud-based system integrates into the company’s unified management platform, LiveU Central, allowing broadcasters to share incoming live feeds simultaneously with multiple end-points.

In addition, the company is showing its new LU200, a smaller transmission device introduced in late 2014.

SVG sat down with Ken Zamkow, VP of marketing in the Americas, to chat about LiveU’s latest developments.

How has the new LU200 changed things up for LiveU and your clients?
We’ve had our backpacks for a number of years now. We’ve had multiple generations, where the current flagship product for us right now is the LU500, which is considerably smaller than anything else we have ever made and any other product in the category. It has our highest possible performance with six to eight modems inside, has a longer battery life, etc.

[For] anyone currently using LiveU for newsgathering for pre- and post-game onsite coverage, the LU200 is a way to deploy more units [for] two reasons. One is the cost. Two, it’s small: it weighs about 1 lb.. It can be clipped on a belt; it can be mounted on even a pro-sumer camera with a camera shoe that we provide. It’s so small and portable that you can throw it inside any camera bag, and it doesn’t add much to your footprint.

Just the way that stations initially supplemented satellite trucks with LiveU backpacks and now the backpacks became a primary method for news coverage in the field, we are seeing [the LU200] used as a supplement for the LU500. We believe that more of our customers will add LU200s — whether it’s a news station, a sports station, or a sports franchise. They will continue using the LU500 devices because those have more modems inside and [are] more robust, but, for most day-to-day things when you are not in the midst of peak congestion inside the stadium with tens of thousands of fans, the LU200 will do the job. It’s a great add-on unit. So, for our customers looking to just produce more live content, the LU200 is a great supplement for them.

The other use case that we have identified with the LU200 is as an encoder only. Some customers are actually purchasing the LU200 without any cell cards and without paying any monthly fees for the cellular data. Just plug it in with Ethernet or use WiFi.

How about the new LiveU MultiPoint? What new does this bring to the table?
Our new MultiPoint feature is basically a way to share from one location to multiple other locations. In the case of a news station, it could share with other markets. If you are a regional sports network, you can share your LiveU feed with all of the regional sports networks in your group. If you are a professional team, you can share your content with your own Website, [and] you can send it to the league, other content partners, and so on.

Your integration with Panasonic just seems to get tighter each year. What’s the latest in your work with them?
We’ve had a partnership with Panasonic for some time now, and we have a much more detailed integration. One is streaming directly from cameras, file transfers directly from cameras. We’re partnering with Panasonic to enable their connected cameras to stream directly to LiveU servers, LiveU Central, and to also be controlled from LiveU Central. If you are a one-person band in the field, someone from another location can control not only the streaming from your camera but also things like zoom in and zoom out, white balance, iris, record, and stop record. All of the footage coming from those single connection cameras can go directly into a LiveU server. So we have LiveU software integrated inside the Panasonic camera.