Israel’s LiveU to beam Summer Olympics events worldwide

The cellular broadcasting tech firm has been serving sponsors of mass broadcast occasions around the globe

A reporter broadcasts a live TV interview 'in the field' using LiveU equipment (Photo credit: Courtesy)
A reporter broadcasts a live TV interview 'in the field' using LiveU equipment (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The Israeli Olympic team may or may not win medals at the Summer Olympics in Brazil this year, but one Israeli start-up is tapped to come home with accolades.

Israel’s LiveU cellular-based live video transmission technology will allow broadcasters to beam images from Brazil around the world in real time, with little latency and superb picture quality, according to customer William Albarracin, who was responsible for technology at the 2014 soccer World Cup. also in Brazil.

“LiveU exceeded our expectations,” said Albarracin. “It gave us the mobility to go live from anywhere at any time. We knew the Brazilian landscape was challenging, yet we hit 9 Mbps in some areas. Also, the management system, LiveU Central, gave us flexibility and geo-location that allowed us to maximize the use of units in the field.”

Headquartered in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Saba, with a US office in Hackensack, New Jersey, LiveU has been around since 2006, and is still the only company offering a remote uplink solution for broadcast-quality video without requiring a satellite or wired Internet connection.

LiveU is currently the only company offering a robust transmission solution for broadcasters, consisting of up to 14 cellular (3G/4G — LTE/WiMAX) modems over multiple carriers, as well as multiple LAN and even BGAN satellite connections (as backup). The solution works with any camera, and the system’s bonded modems (both 3G and 4G) aggregate all data connections simultaneously to achieve high bandwidth and smooth transmission, even as bandwidth and signal levels change across the different connections.

Even though some of the connections from some of the carriers might suffer from fluctuations and slowdowns when there is heavy traffic in the network, LiveU’s software will compensate for that slowdown by drawing on other resources to keep the uplink going at the best possible quality, said Wassserman.

Because the Olympics is such a complicated event for broadcasters – with hundreds of events at different locations separated by many miles – LiveU will be deploying its entire portfolio of uplink solutions. Among them: backpack cameras, a signal boosting antenna, and access to its cloud management platform, where broadcasters will be able to simultaneously share live feeds with up to 100 sites worldwide concurrently.

“Since LiveU uses the cell network, our device can broadcast from locations where satellite use is out of the question,” said LiveU CEO Samuel Wasserman, adding that the leased systems that LiveU provides clients are a lot cheaper for broadcasters than renting a satellite van, or even using a satellite phone, usage of which “costs a lot of money per minute, with the hardware itself very expensive.

“We’re already seeing tremendous build up to this year’s Rio Olympics with multiple orders coming in from our customers worldwide,” said Wasserman. “Continuing our success supporting large global sporting events, we’re looking forward to playing a central role in bringing live action to viewers around the world.”

The company has hundreds of clients in about 60 countries around the world — among them Major League Baseball, the NBA, and NFL. The BBC, for example, has used LiveU devices for major events, such as the Queen’s visit to Ireland in 2011 and the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Over 30 organizations used it to broadcast the 2014 World Cup, and in the 2015 UK elections, Sky News used it to broadcast live results from over 270 locations.

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