Colorado’s KOAA Ups Its ENG Game with JVC ProHD Portable Bridge Wireless Cellular Uplinks
KOAA, the NBC affiliate for Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo. (DMA #88), is using three JVC Professional Video ProHD Portable Bridge wireless cellular uplinks to produce live ENG shots from across its viewing area. KOAA has been using JVC ProHD cameras with built-in streaming capabilities since 2013.
Quentin Henry, KOAA chief engineer, said the Portable Bridge units, which were purchased in Summer 2017, have essentially replaced its Verizon mobile hotspots and LTE modems. He said the Portable Bridge’s integrated high gain antennas and bonded cellular redundancy provide a big improvement over single path streaming technology.
Most of the time, KOAA only uses the ProHD Portable Bridge with one camera, but Henry said the station has streamed live footage from multiple cameras on occasion. “It’s a great advantage to have that capability,” said Henry.
The Portable Bridge also doubles as a secure, high-speed hotspot, which was another selling point for Henry. He said the Portable Bridge is a “portable office” for the station’s multimedia journalists, because it allows them to connect mobile phones and laptops to the internet.
Some KOAA MMJs have found creative ways to use the Portable Bridge to deliver unique footage. For example, they mount a JVC camera on a tripod in the back seat of their vehicle, then shoot weather and traffic coverage through the windshield live from their car while narrating from the driver’s seat. “It’s our morning crew’s favorite tool. They use it for everything,” Henry said. “It’s just solid as a rock. There’s no dropout. It’s great.”
While Henry is not ready to eliminate the station’s satellite and microwave trucks, he said the Portable Bridge has been a boost for KOAA’s live ENG workflow. “It doesn’t have a monthly operating cost except for the data you use,” he explained. “That was very attractive. And it gives us more tools in our toolbox to use. With all of the functionality benefits wrapped up, in addition to the financial advantages, it just made so much sense for us to go in that direction.”
Using Peplink’s SpeedFusion VPN Bonding technology, the PB-CELL200 ProHD Portable Bridge is a self-contained, remote broadcasting hub powered by AC or attached Anton/Bauer battery. Unlike other bonded solutions, the Portable Bridge allows live streaming from multiple cameras to HD-SDI decoders or servers at a central location, as well as CDNs like JVCVIDEOCLOUD and Facebook Live. Its dual cellular modems with redundant SIM slots support up to four different cellular providers for bandwidth bonding, data overage protection, or blind spot elimination.
JVC Professional Video is a division of JVCKENWOOD USA.