Plan aheadWhenever possible, scout the location in advance to see in which spots there is better signal. On the day of, get all the equipment up and running several hours in advance and test.
Increase delayWe found that even in some of the most congested environments, you can still get a consistent video feed by increasing delay to about 20 seconds. This is especially useful for web content or for feeding back footage, where a few seconds of additional delay will not be noticeable to viewers. Higher delay can also help when going live from moving vehicles.
In extremely congested locations, see what other connections can supplement your bandwidthThe LiveU Xtender external antenna array can provide stronger signal inside a crowded venue, or wirelessly from outside the venue, to connect with cell towers that are not congested (Beating Cellular Congestion). Wifi, Ethernet, BGAN, KA-Band satellite, and other data connections can also supplement in areas with no cellular coverage.
Situate the unit for optimal receptionPlace your LiveU units in an elevated spot, or close to windows or doors to obtain stronger signal. Make sure the backpack is upright, not lying flat on the ground.
Make sure your software is up to dateWith every generation of our product, we are able to provide better picture quality using even less bandwidth, and we continually optimize performance for the latest data networks like LTE.
Consider your environment and protect your unit
Photos Courtesy of Justin Burks
Battery managementAt LiveU we've gotten a chance to participate in various live shows that went on all day long, some even around the clock for several days in a row. Battery management is critical. Charge all of your units and batteries fully the night before, and then, as needed, recharge empty batteries as soon as they drain by having a runner take batteries back and forth from the charging stations. Don't wait for the internal batteries to drain also, it's always better to use the external source and continue hot-swapping, rather than running on almost empty internal batteries before the swap.
Use producers and wranglers when possibleWhile not all productions can afford to have multiple people as part of the field crew beyond the cameraperson and the talent, we found that having afield-producer present helps create better content, especially in long continuous live shows, red carpets, and shows done on the move. The producer can line up the next guest, or pick the next location while the talent and cameraperson are busy on air. Also, if you plan on answering questions that come via twitter during a live show, the field producer can help filter the questions.
Have spares for everything, and test the entire end-to-end workflow in advance including audio, all the cables, lights, microphones, online video player, and moreThis is crucial. We've seen cases where a live shot was initially lost because the wireless mic ran out of AA batteries a minute before going to air, and no spares were on hand.
Publish a detailed schedule in advanceBy letting people know weeks, days, or hours in advance exactly when and where you will go live, what the topics are, and who your guests will be, you can create appointment viewing that will bring in more viewers, and make it more likely that viewers will spread the word in advance. Right before and during the live show, use social media to announce the guests and shows coming up, so more people tune in to the live feed. Also, you can create a live event URL in advance that people can link directly to and always find the video player.
Head of Marketing - US & The Americas