jan 15, 2024

Election Year 2024: LiveU’s Key Role in Real-Time Global Coverage

Part 1 of 2

2024 is set to be one of the biggest election years ever, with more than two billion people heading to the polls. Beyond the headline-grabbing US Presidential Elections, countries and regions like India, the UK and the European Union are among the 70 territories hosting elections.

Elections in general are pivotal times for news outlets – long hours, lots of travel, quick turnaround times, and coordinating with different political parties. Following the campaign trail, debates, primaries and conventions requires detailed planning and resources with election day itself representing one of the most complex productions in the news cycle for all broadcasters.

LiveU has been at the forefront of election coverage for over 15 years, supporting the biggest names in global broadcasting. Take a look at this clip from 2009 with NBC using LiveU for President Obama’s inauguration, where the reporter talks about the “new cellular technology.” Sky News even set a Guinness Book of Record for its election coverage in 2015 using LiveU technology.

Journalists using LiveU solutions for mobile 2024 election coverage

We’re now gearing up to support our customers with everything they need for the 2024 elections, helping news teams and embedded multimedia journalists (MMJs) to deliver the stories in real-time in the most creative, agile and cost-effective manner.

With this in mind, we have prepared two blogs around our election coverage to help you in your preparations. In this blog, we will explore LiveU’s role, outlining our expanded EcoSystem and the LiveU advantage as you set out your plans for 2024.

In the second part, we will dive deeper into the primary (linear) and secondary (digital) workflows, with more details on how our solutions add efficiency and speed up the time-to-air. Let’s start!

So much more than backpacks…the LiveU EcoSystem

Live video production is now faster, easier, and more cost-effective with our expanded EcoSystem, for news, sports and other live events. From contribution, through cloud production and on to distribution, LiveU’s IP-video solutions cover the entire video production workflow, incorporating multiple first-party modules and third-party integrations. This hybrid EcoSystem supports both on-prem and cloud deployments combining hardware and software, underpinned by our LRT™ (LiveU Reliable Transport) protocol for rock-solid reliability and performance.

Whatever you need, we have a solution for you, from our field units for real-time live storytelling on the campaign trail to our cloud-based solutions for speeding up the time to air and engaging wider audiences for your election content. Our EcoSystem’s open architecture enables you to seamlessly adapt the workflow with your existing set-up (check out our EcoSystem technology partners for further info on our collaborations).  

Let’s have a recap of our solution highlights so that you can explore what’s suitable.

LiveU's LRT solution for 2024 election broadcasting

LiveU’s reliable 5G/4G bonded encoders (portable and fixed, multi-cam and single cam) are essential components of the MMJ toolkit, used to cover the candidates, press conferences, interviews, speeches, debates and much more. Our field units (backpacks and pouches) are highly portable live transmission solutions so that camera crews can follow the candidates wherever they are, transmit live from press conferences, debates and other events, and go live from any location with broadcast-quality live video. No production truck is needed – everything you need is available in an affordable pack!

Complementing the hardware encoders is our LU-Smart mobile app, a simple app which enables the highest quality video transmission from your smartphone. LU-Smart includes LRT™ bonding of internal WiFi and 4G/5G cellular connections for optimal video quality and resiliency. Any mobile journalist can cover live HD news from the field using their own smartphone device so they’re always ready to capture all the action! In this way, your newsgathering capabilities can easily and cost-effectively be expanded across your news fleets.

2024 election coverage stage equipped with LiveU broadcasting technology

LiveU’s encoders are supported by LiveU’s rich production tools. These include: IP Pipe, letting operators remotely control a wide variety of network-based equipment; Video Return, enabling field crews to see current program feeds and/or receive teleprompting information during live sessions; Audio Connect, cloud-based audio solutions enabling news anchors and producers to communicate easily with camera operators and talent in the field; and Tally Light, enabling field reporters and camera operators to know instantly when they’re live on air.

But that’s not all. Our cloud solutions have a key role to play in election broadcasts, adding efficiency, automating and shortening production workflows, increasing the value of your assets – all natively compatible with your resources. These include: LiveU Studio for 100% cloud video production; LiveU Matrix for IP cloud video management and distribution; and LiveU Ingest for automatic recording and story metadata tagging.

In terms of set-up, our new On-site Production solution complements our remote production (REMI) solution. It brings new efficiencies to the workflow and is not dependent on local resources – no need for line-of-sight infrastructure, cabling and pre-sourced internet capabilities. Featuring our Mobile Receiver and LU-Link, the solution enables high-quality feeds to be delivered from the field straight into your production truck and/or temporary production facilities.

Set-up is minimal and you can go-live in seconds. The production is completely self-contained, for example it can be used inside a mobile trailer with a high level of redundancy. It can also serve as a reliable back-up to satellite and fiber transmissions.

Finally, in places where network conditions may be challenging or in areas with no cellular reception, these solutions can also be combined with our tried and tested OmniU suite of live IP-video bonded connectivity solutions, including private 5G for dedicated bandwidth, network slicing (both of which were used for the UK Coronation coverage) and Low Earth Orbit satellites, such as Starlink.  

The LiveU advantage

Quality, reliability, cost-efficiency and our 24/7 customer service are core values that we are particularly proud of. Here we would like to drill down into what differentiates LiveU for election coverage and other live productions in general:

  • Budget-friendly: budget is an issue for everyone. LiveU addresses this issue by providing cost-effective and efficient solutions, enabling you to produce more creative content for less cost and time, without sacrificing on quality. LiveU’s IP-video technology is far more cost-effective than satellite and fiber, and has a much faster set-up, enabling your journalists and editorial teams to go live instantly from any location.
  • Tailored Solutions: We understand, of course, that one size doesn’t fit all. Supporting embedded MMJs in leading networks, we can tailor our solutions to meet the unique needs of different organizations: field units to cover the candidates on-the-move; fixed units at the conventions; cloud-based production and ingest to speed up your time-to-air; and cloud-based distribution to different linear and digital platforms. Whatever you need, we can put together a workflow that works for you.
  • Increased Workflow Efficiency: LiveU’s technology shortens workflows, so you can get your story out even faster, while saving on editing time. Journalists can contribute their feeds directly from the field in broadcast-quality without a delay. No need for them to call someone to check that the feeds are being recorded, whether using live feeds, store and forward or any other solution. Live feeds can be automatically recorded on LiveU Ingest, while applying the respective metadata generated by a News Room Computer System (NRCS). The same feeds can also be automatically fed into LiveU Studio for efficient production, adding graphics and distributed to up to 30 digital destinations via the cloud. Studio can also output LRT™ so you can transmit the produced feeds directly into your LiveU receiver (cloud or on-prem). LiveU Matrix is an integral part of the LiveU EcoSystem enabling the feeds to be received and shared to the widest audience worldwide at a fraction of the cost of satellite or fiber.
LiveU Technology Supports Comprehensive General Election Coverage for Singapore Media
  • Scalability: During the campaign, and especially before election day, you must be able to scale up. Bringing more content from more sources, quickly adapting to changing needs. Our technology allows for seamless scalability so you can start with fewer units and a minimum number of channels at the beginning of the campaigns and then quickly scale up to tens of units nationwide and numerous channels before election day itself. For example, with Ingest, you could start using four channels to cover your daily usage and then scale up to over 20 channels during the Conventions and more for election day.
  • Openness and Adaptability: LiveU’s open IP+ architecture integrates with any broadcast systems, including NRCS and Media Asset Management (MAM), providing a comprehensive solution for any newsroom. Our solutions resonate with customers due to their adaptability and ability to change configurations, fitting into their existing workflows. For example, our new Transceiver for controlling contribution and distribution simultaneously with four in/out channels offers the ability to change configurations as needed!
  • Renowned 24/7 Support: In many ways, our commitment to customer success is key to our success and a key differentiator. We’re proud of our support team and they’re ready to support all your production needs, remotely and on-site, giving you peace of mind at the most crucial times.

Working in lockstep with our customers over many years has given LiveU the unique insight required to allow us to develop a rich set of solutions, optimized for the fast-paced rigors of news and election coverage.

By supporting embedded journalists, addressing budget constraints, and providing adaptable technology, we are poised to play a crucial role in the upcoming elections. As election fever ramps up, we are here to support our customers along every step of their journey.  

In the second part of this blog, we will dive deeper into the primary and secondary workflows around election coverage. Read now!