Cable Technology Feature Article
New iPad App Supports Crowdsourced Video Feeds for Broadcast News, Military Uses
By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor
When it comes to digital era news reporting, increasingly the eye-on-the-street view of the action as events unfold has become an important part of the mix. From the importance of Twitter (News - Alert) in understanding the Arab Spring to the pervasiveness of crowdsourced reviews of concerts, the eye of the participant is becoming a mainstream source of information.
Livewire Digital is porting the concept into a mainstream broadcast environment with the launch of NetCaster, a low-cost iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad app that can be used by groups of untrained personnel to send in real-time photos, sequences of stills and video directly to a producer or a command center. The company sees it as being ideal for broadcasters, event organizers, emergency services, the military and nongovernmental organizations that can use the application for breaking news coverage, sporting events, documenting expeditions and for situation awareness. The app uses the Inmarsat (News - Alert) satellite service to transfer media globally.
The app also offers bandwidth control that allows NetCaster to efficiently deliver media to the production hub, be that photos, real-time sequences of stills or full-motion video. Producers or command center staff at base can determine how the footage from multiple field personnel is presented to the viewers. The accompanying production facilities offer split-screen functionality that enables the producer or command center staff to view media from up to six contributors at any one time and to manage their audio feeds.
“NetCaster is ideal for special events, situation awareness and broadcast applications,” said Tristan Wood, managing director at Livewire Digital. “Readily deployed to untrained staff, it is quick and easy to install, simple to operate and offers low capital and operational costs.”
The app can also be combined with other items in the Livewire Digital portfolio. For mainstream broadcast applications where high-quality video transmission is a prerequisite, the M-Link suite of products can deliver video and audio over any IP circuit, including Inmarsat BGAN, WAN links or VSAT.
“Whether the requirement is for first response news reporting, live interviews from mid ocean or special event coverage, M-Link provides an ideal solution for a wide range of applications,” the company said.
Livewire Digital also offers a hosted service for organizations without broadcast infrastructure that need to interface with TV, radio, corporate video conferencing or Web streaming audiences.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey