LiveU today announced a cloud-based network intended to tie freelancers and production crews more closely to broadcast newsrooms around the world.
The network, dubbed the LiveU Community, offers the potential for TV newsrooms to scale newsgathering resources dynamically by tapping freelancers around the globe in a fraction of the time needed to deploy their own reporters to distant locations.
Using the LiveU Community, broadcasters can identify LiveU-equipped reporters and videographers, book them as temporary stringers to cover a breaking news story and access footage shot and uploaded to any LiveU server.
The LiveU announcement reminded me of my early days covering ENG and satellite technology for Television Broadcast magazine when Ku-band satellite uplinks were new and exciting. Back then, Hubbard Broadcasting’s CONUS Communications gave member stations access to each other’s Ku-band-equipped field crews who would report remote stories taking place in their general locale and uplink finished pieces and footage to the distant member.
As I recall, this reporting cooperative became an important part of campaign coverage at CONUS stations for some time and may have given TV networks a nudge to deploy their own SNG resources for affiliates.
Fast forward to today’s LiveU Community announcement. While the technology is far different, the intent is similar: to leverage a new communications medium –this time, the cloud and not a Ku-band satellite- to make it faster and cheaper for a newsroom to cover distant stories of interest to their local audience.
CONUS-1, the first Ku-band SNG truck, eventually found its way into the Newseum in Washington, D.C., decades after it debuted in 1985. I wonder if I will be around when the LiveU Community or some other cloud-based news cooperative makes it into the Newseum exhibit.