At Tanana Valley Television Company in Fairbanks, Alaska, we are host to the CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates, along with two local stations for the surrounding area (KFXF FOX 7, KTVF NBC 11, K13XD CBS 13, 96.9 KYSC and 93.5 KDJF). We were looking for a live newsgathering solution that was more versatile than our microwave truck and that would work in sub-zero temperatures (which is typical for us!). About a year ago, we found Comrex’s LiveShot and decided to try it.
Integrating LiveShot with our studio setup was simple. The base unit goes into the stack and waits to be contacted by the portable unit, and it connects to the production switcher. An operator presses a single button on the camera, and video and audio from the unit appear in our news production control room. The remote unit has a feedback system to confirm that the link was set up, and we get low-latency IFB back.
We frequently use LiveShot for a variety of live news situations. Not too long ago we used it to cover a police standoff. We successfully covered the situation, got that crucial footage of the hostage walking out of the car, and managed to conduct a cell phone interview with the suspect from the scene, with no advance preparation. (Fortunately, everything was resolved peacefully.)
It’s nice to not have to roll out the truck and set up the mast. Sometimes it’s the difference between deciding to do a shot and having to pass it up.
Thomas Bohnet is the chief engineer for Tanana Valley Television Company.