HEVC technology has undoubtedly had a huge impact on global newsgathering and live sports coverage. The availability of hardware-based HEVC encoding solutions has enabled flawless live coverage at a fraction of the cost of satellite and fiber transmission – combined with extreme bandwidth efficiency and low power consumption. Ensuring high-quality video performance, the technology has allowed camera crews to use portable units to cover breaking news and other types of events anywhere, including in remote and congested areas.
Widely deployed around the world, the technology has also been adopted by India’s leading broadcasters. For example, last year, Asia’s premier news agency Asian News International (ANI) upgraded its entire LiveU fleet with LiveU’s flagship LU600 HEVC unit. This year, TV18 Broadcast Ltd., one of India’s most popular television broadcasting networks, signed a multi-year lease agreement for more than a hundred LiveU units, which have been stationed in various locations in over 20 Indian states. In addition, Republic TV, one of the biggest names in Indian news broadcasting, extended its capabilities for high-quality TV and online coverage, and NewsJ, a news channel of Mantaro Network Pvt. Ltd., catering to the Tamil speaking population in India, replaced its OB vans with HEVC units.
The sports sector in general has also seen huge growth in HEVC, offering dynamic, flexible, and high-quality coverage, at a cost-effective price point. For example, WRC promoter GmbH, the company that is responsible for all commercial aspects of the FIA World Rally Championship, has been using LiveU’s HEVC cellular bonding technology across 10 rallies this year. HEVC technology is being deployed generally to generate engaging coverage of a wide range of live sports events, including second- and third-league football coverage, mountain bike racing, marathons, and more. Covering the Ballito Pro International Surfing event in South Africa last year, roaming cameras with LiveU units were used on the beach, around different venues, and even on a jet ski to capture the surfers riding the waves close up.
HEVC technology is also at the heart of wireless at-home production, which is a growing trend worldwide because of the tremendous cost savings and simplified logistics involved. High-quality, reliable wireless solutions, such as LiveU, remove the need to deploy costly field production trucks and satellite uplinks and use expensive bandwidth at the venues themselves. Sports and event producers can deliver multi-camera live events without spending a fortune on production facilities, satellite uplinks, and travel expenses. Customers can simply produce live shows from their centralized studio control room, using existing equipment. As well as sports, remote at-home production addresses the needs of many other verticals, such as ad hoc news studios in remote areas, brands, and music.
We believe that HEVC bonding solutions will continue to play a central role in live broadcasting. Next year’s summer games in Japan are expected to be another major milestone with hundreds of units on site being used to follow the athletes and interact with the fans in and around the stadiums. In the same way that we have been covering every winter and summer games since Beijing in 2008, LiveU units will be on the ground providing daily live feeds for our worldwide customers.