Weigel Broadcasting Group Empowers Cellular Newsgathering with LiveU Xtender Antenna
Weigel Broadcasting Group has deployed LiveU’s latest cellular connectivity solution, the LiveU Xtender external cellular antenna. The LiveU Xtender is mounted on Weigel vehicles for full-HD live video traffic reports while in motion including in areas with low cell coverage or high congestion, where connectivity was difficult to sustain in the past. The new deployment will complement the Group’s use of LiveU LU70 and other LiveU backpack solutions in operation at the group since 2011.
The LiveU Xtender connects to any LiveU device, and adds six additional wireless modems, with a high-gain multi-directional powered antenna that significantly increases the cellular range and bandwidth compared to USB modems or passive antennas. The Xtender connects to the LiveU unit either wirelessly, or via a single cable, for a streamlined deployment. Boosted by the Xtender, the LU70 backpack supports up to 13 cellular links simultaneously.
WDJT (CBS 58), Weigel’s station in Milwaukee, WI, is using LiveU’s LU70 backpacks in conjunction with the LU-Xtender to transmit live from its iCam traffic truck every weekday morning, showing the driver’s eye view of the congestion on the roadways. In parallel, a GPS unit in the vehicle provides real-time mapping of where the vehicle is on the roadways, which the station broadcasts on screen in a double box shot as well.
“The Xtender gives us more peace of mind when we know we are going to be in a low cell coverage area, or congested cell sites” said Jim Hall, VP & General Manager, WDJT. “LiveU’s focus on finding new ways to improve reliability when using existing cellular infrastructure has saved our live shot in several congested and remote areas.”
“We are excited to see Weigel’s results with the Xtender,” said Avi Cohen, LiveU’s Co-Founder and COO. “Reliability is the first aspect that broadcasters look for in using cellular uplink, and LiveU continues to push the envelope in getting the most out of cellular networks, even in difficult coverage areas. The Xtender is another key component in our always-on connectivity strategy.”