The power of one
LiveU-enabled coverage of the Welsh elections displayed the power of this unique, live broadcast solution.
Behind democratic elections lies the concept of the power of one: one vote can make all the difference. In the recently held Welsh elections, that power of one was extended to the technology surrounding the election’s coverage. One broadcaster — ITV Cymru Wales— was able to provide viewers with content quickly and efficiently. And one Garland technical operator was able to manage all the live video content coming via LiveU units across Wales.
Election coverage is complex: numerous parties and candidates must be covered; candidates, voters and voting sites are spread out over a wide area; the results can come in rapidly; and, viewers’ interests cover a vast spectrum. Broadcasters need to spread out their limited resources to manage all competing issues.
Garland provided broadcaster ITV Cymru Wales with LiveU’s award-winning technology to enable live HD video transmission from across Wales. Camera operators and journalists in various locations used a total of 11 LiveU LU400 units.
These compact, lightweight, video-uplink devices offer a range of features and capabilities for live news gathering including: low latency for interview-mode; Store & Forward; file transfer (FTP); video and audio indicators; under one minute boot-up time; and, the ability to control the unit from its touch screen, the server or from any web enabled device.
Another remarkable feature was LiveU’s ability to bond and optimise all the connections, no matter where in Wales they were being used. One person, Garland technician Ollie Sargent, managed, controlled and monitored all the units from a single location — ITV’s outside broadcast (OB) production van located in Cardiff.
From the same OB site, ITV’s Operations Manager, Nia Britton, was able to cut between all 11 video contribution feeds being received for live coverage throughout the nine hours of overnight broadcast.
“The Comms and picture quality offered by the LiveU devices was consistent with our satellite trucks,” says Nia. “The mix of both technologies allowed us to be adaptable and cost efficient in how we covered the election counts.”
Maximising coverage, quality and reliability was made possible by LiveU’s adaptive technology that allows for load balancing and the use of different connection types. Garland used a combination of 3G/4G modems, KA-satellite connections, hard-wired Ethernet broadband connections, and even WiFi. As a result, all units achieved solid and constant bitrates, which in turn permitted consistently high-quality video to be aired live.
“I would definitely look at using Live U’s for any large projects like this in the future,” stated Nia.
By the end of the May 5th election date, more than a million Welsh came out to vote. No coincidence then that the powerful coverage provided by ITV, LiveU and Garland was one in a million.