Abr 25, 2024

NAB 2024 – Live and Unlimited

LiveU – Live and Unlimited. Those words were written in large font across the top of our booth at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

The ‘Live’ part was easy to see – representatives from our sales, customer success, product, marketing, R&D and leadership teams were on hand to meet with our customers, face-to-face, to discuss ways in which the LiveU EcoSystem could help shorten workflows and add efficiency. 

Thousands of people took time to visit the booth, either to meet with the teams, have a product demo or to catch one of the many stage presentations that covered a wide range of topics and featured cases studies from many of our customers and partners.

It was during these interactions that the ‘unlimited’ element of the brand tagline became evident. As visual storytellers, producers, engineers, operations teams, content creators and public safety professionals engaged with the themes that we showcased on the booth, new possibilities, fresh solutions and emerging potentials abounded.

Highlighting the LiveU ecosystem at NAB 2024

Here’s a short recap of those themes in case you missed them or were not able to attend the show.

The migration to IP-video continues, with Devoncroft estimating that the adoption of SMPTE 2110 is now at the tipping point, crossing from the domain of the early adopters and moving into the mainstream. With the promise of greater flexibility, scalability and efficiency, coupled with the benefits of simplified interoperability that comes from standardization, the growth drivers of 2110 adoption are very similar to those of cloud-based workflows.

LiveU LU4000 ST 2110 rackmount receiver

The LiveU LU4000 ST 2110 rackmount receiver is unique in that it offers a single box solution (saving space, power and money) for moving from LRT™ direct to SMPTE 2110, making it highly efficient to bring remote contributions directly into a 2110 production facility.

Indeed, IP-video, including 2110, and cloud production, are two of the tools that will enable broadcasters and content creators to serve their audiences with the volume of quality live content required to keep pace with a record-breaking year of elections, socio-political events and sporting contests.

Story-centricity is a workflow ‘ethos’ that LiveU shares with a number of our LiveU EcoSystem partners.  It revolves around the understanding that for content to be truly impactful and valuable, it must be contextualized and discoverable.  That means that from the point of story planning, all the way through to MAM storage and playout, the story, be it a news slug or a sports highlight, is the focal point. 

Minimizing human error by enabling increased automation, particularly in the generation and persistence of story metadata is one key element. Thanks to seamless integrations with a number of story planning tools and NRCSs, like Dina, Wolftech, and Avid iNews, metadata and story taxonomy is automatically populated and assigned throughout the workflow. This allows for easy and accurate collaboration right the way through the production pipeline as everybody in the chain can see and select the story they want from a single, centralized system, LiveU Ingest.  Here the growing file (no need to wait for the recording to be finished) can be clipped and shipped for immediate use across multiple delivery platforms, great for creating highlights, social media stings and trails.

LiveU Ingest, cyclical recording that runs 24/7 highlighted at NAB 2024

With LiveU Ingest, cyclical recording that runs 24/7 means that users will never miss a moment again, and the intuitive layout of the control screen means that field crew and control room crew alike can see and access the stories that have been planned.

With the increasing competition for viewer attention, production values are on the rise.  More and more remote or REMI productions are adopting a multi-camera deployment to allow for more creative freedom, leading to greater audience engagement. The LU800, our flagship portable field encoder, supports up to four inputs, and thanks to LRT™ (LiveU Reliable Transport – the original IP-video transport protocol designed specifically to optimize video transport over austere wireless networks using IP bonding) offer resilient, low latency video encoding and transmission from wherever the story is breaking or the game is being played. 

Now with native NTP timecodes, frame perfect synchronization in a cloud production environment like LiveU Studio is fully supported, and the addition of one-touch switching direct from the field unit make remote multi-cam productions even easier to orchestrate.

Another fresh feature of the LU800 is Transmission Mode.  This utilizes ethernet connections (bonding them together if more than one is used) to deliver high quality and ultra-low latency encoding (down to 300ms).  This adds additional flexibility to the use cases for the unit, making it ideal for many sports storytelling applications.

Live streaming NAB 2024 highlights

At NAB, our LiveU EcoSystem partner, AWS showcased «NAB Show LIVE News Desk» in partnership with NAB and the official broadcast partner, Broadcast Beat Studios. The program included a combination of live segments from the AWS News Desk and immersive reports from the Show Floor with exhibitors and attendees. All of the video contribution was done using LiveU’s field units, with 15 feeds provided by a handful of multi-camera LU800s and the smaller, ultra-portable, single camera LU300S

This full-scale production was timed to mark the inclusion of LiveU’s Cloud Channel SaaS offer in AWS Marketplace, making it even easier for customers to move their video from the ground to the cloud in a highly reliable way.

LiveU Studio (the cloud native video production solution) now includes the ability to insert SCTE-35 ad markers into the program feed, providing powerful monetization and branding opportunities.  Along with the multi-format frame synchronization, plus transition blocks, media player channels, playlists, audio mixing and more, LiveU Studio is fast becoming the go-to, easy-to-use on demand production solution.

REMI or remote production has quickly become a firm staple of production solutions, enabling smaller field crews to be deployed and many control room functions to be centralized. Lightweight productions look to take this one step further by fully leveraging cloud-based production solutions, like LiveU Studio, to offer greater efficiencies and nimbleness.

European League of Football have successfully used lightweight workflows within the LiveU EcoSystem

No longer the preserve of secondary or digital content, forward-looking brands like European League of Football have successfully used lightweight workflows within the LiveU EcoSystem to broadcast their live American Football games for fans, saving 300 tons of CO2 in the process.  When you add in the fact that they calculate that they also saved close to $1 million in the process, the business case soon stacks up.

At the heart of lightweight productions, in their simplest form, are two elements: a LU300S bonded IP-video field encoder, offering up resolutions up to 4K, LiveU Studio for program production and distribution to 30 digital destinations like TikTok, YouTube and Twitter (X) simultaneously.  These two components allow a single person crew to create and distribute a broadcast quality live program swiftly and easily, allowing them to acquire their content on the ground, move it to the cloud for production and then distribute it to their audiences (the crowd) swiftly and easily.

Collaboration is a recurring theme in the LiveU EcoSystem.  Our IP+ approach means that the LiveU EcoSystem is open to many IP protocols, such as NDI, SRT, 2110 as well as LRT™ and many more. In this way we seek to make it simple for our customers to use the best-of-breed tools that they wish, without having to step outside of the tried-and-trusted environment of the EcoSystem.

Another form of collaboration that is central to the design of our EcoSystem is the ability to collaborate with production crew members regardless of their location. This adds efficiency and makes it possible to recruit and retain the right talent for the job, free from geographical constraints.  Our new Video Return via Link makes it very easy to share a video return feed with selected crew members by simply sending a link to their connected device. The duration period of access to the video return is manageable for each individual link, giving complete control to the customer.

Story-centricity extends all the way to the MAM (media asset management) solution, with metadata automatically passed to and preserved by it.  This makes finding and repurposing content much simpler with new integrations to Mimir and Bitcentral joining those of Interplay, Marquis and Vantage. 

LiveU Matrix, the world’s largest private IP video distribution network, allows media owners and ‘takers’ to share assets in a very agile manner, while typically avoiding up to 70% of the cost of traditional leased line or satellite distribution.  Plus, it now has a cloud recording function (Matrix DVR) making easy to grab a feed, drag it into a recording location and save it for future use.

The ability to get a story out in a timely manner is key to commercial success for many content creators and in the world of bonded IP-video this often relies on cellular connectivity. For some this is a commodity, to be bought on price, but for LiveU it is an essential ingredient that warrants special attention.

LiveU has purchased petabytes of data plans from network operators around the world and has amassed a wealth of expert knowledge in this field.  This insight has been used to optimize the way that our hardware and software operate as we strive to deliver the best possible reliability and performance. 

We work closely with our connectivity partners to provide diverse and resilient options for every type of connectivity scenario, and this was evident at NAB in a number of ways.

LiveU at NAB 2024

With our partner Neutral Wireless, we secured an IABM BaM Award for our contribution to the world’s largest pop-up private 5G standalone network that was deployed with the BBC for the coronation of HM King Charles III. 

LU300S that was mounted on the back of a remote sensor platform UGV (uncrewed ground vehicle) that we called LRD - LiveU Robot Dog

We also utilized a private LTE network, provided by Pente, and used this to connect to a LU300S that was mounted on the back of a remote sensor platform UGV (uncrewed ground vehicle) that we called LRD – LiveU Robot Dog. This quadrupedal drone was deployed, along with its 4K capable, mini-ENG camera to roam the crowded halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, utilizing its onboard LIDAR system to avoid collisions. Freed from the need to compete for cell tower capacity with the tens of thousands of connected devices at the show, the single Pente SIM installed in the LU300S delivered stable upload speeds of 20Mbps, providing artifact free streaming video back to the LiveU booth for play out on our main stage.

Working with our partners OneWeb, Network Innovations and Intellian, a broadcast-grade, cost-effective solution for use in scenarios where cellular connectivity alone is not sufficient has been created

Also on the booth was a small form factor LEO (low earth orbit) satellite receiver.  Working with our partners OneWeb, Network Innovations and Intellian, a broadcast-grade, cost-effective solution for use in scenarios where cellular connectivity alone is not sufficient has been created, and we are excited to bring you more details about this soon.

And finally, before we bring this wrap up to a close, we do need to touch on the subject of AI. From the robot dog to customers like WSC Sports feeding data from LiveU units into their AI platform, AI is fast becoming an integral part of many of our workflows, and we anticipate its prevalence will continue to grow. 

Like story-centric, IP-video and cloud-based workflows, AI has the capability to deliver on the two key objectives of the LiveU EcoSystem: to shorten workflows – that is to reduce the complexity of live production – and to add efficiency so that more content can be produced for less time, effort, resources and cost. 

If you’d like to learn more about our new developments or the LiveU EcoSystem, sign up for our updates.