In order to place our reporters at the center of the action for the best coverage of breaking news, WDIV has been using LiveU’s cellular bonding video uplink backpack, LU500, for a while. When LiveU recently launched its even-smaller LU200 device, we jumped at the opportunity to test it out. The LU200 weighs 1 pound and provides two built-in modems with integrated powerful antennas in a bonded solution. And, we discovered, we can even use it as a standalone video encoder, without using cellular cards.
The first thing you notice about the LU200 is how small it is. We can clip it onto the camera and go live without being tethered to anything, which is particularly useful in free-for-all or crowded situations where our photographers need to be agile and responsive to any breaking news. The LU200 has fit quickly and perfectly into our fleet of LiveU backpacks in multi-camera shoots. We set the same delay on LU500 and LU200 and the shots are perfectly synced.
We have used the LU200 to create more active live shots in a way that was simply impossible until recently. This winter, for example, we attached the unit to a GoPro using HDMI output. We used the GoPro+LU200 on a zip line, snow hill and ski lift with no issues and delivered some really great live action shots for our viewers.
Originally, we saw our LiveU backpacks as transmission devices, as a means of getting uplink signal in places with fluctuating cellular connectivity, or as a more flexible and lower-cost alternative to ENG trucks. But the LU200 offers additional capabilities, acting as an extremely portable yet very efficient video encoder, even without needing cellular cards. The LU200 has worked perfectly for us as a video encoder using the Ethernet port. It is especially useful when we take it to our local sports arenas, because we can use it in the media room to feed post-game press conferences and footage.
Livecast from Anywhere, Anytime
The LU200 is a surprisingly small and lightweight device that allows us to go live from almost anywhere. It gives us a distinct advantage to cover news in a way we never have before, letting us focus more on our content and less on technology or workflows.