Neumann University uses LiveShot to give student broadcasters real world experience


In my job as media director, I oversee an FM broadcast station, our sports network, our television studios, and our student magazine. I was originally a radio guy, but as I spent more time at Neumann and learned more about student broadcasting, I got the TV station up and running. We’ve started to receive recognition for what we do – we won some national awards through CDI, a $10,000 award for a PSA for Blue Cross, and a student Emmy for our sports coverage with LiveShot.

Sean McDonald of Neumann Media with live coverage using Comrex LiveShot

I learned about LiveShot when it debuted at NAB in 2011. The minute I saw it, I knew I could use it to teach students about remote web video broadcasts. Essentially, it’s a satellite truck without the truck or the satellite. So I thought it would be a genius way to teach students how to transmit remotely from the field in a cost-effective and flexible fashion.

For sports coverage, we used LiveShot to create a pathway between our old TV studio and our arena, so we could do a pregame, halftime, and postgame show for our NCAA basketball team. LiveShot connected our hosts to our play-by-play announcers in the arena, and we used the return feature to provide them with studio feed during the game. Using LiveShot in this capability won us a Student Emmy.

We also have a relationship with Greater Media Philadelphia, so last year, our students had the opportunity to cover Campout For Hunger. Campout For Hunger is the single largest food drive in the country, and it’s covered by the most popular morning show in Philadelphia. Our students had a chance both to network, and to get a sense for the urgency of live programming. For this event, they had one chance to do it live – that’s not an experience we can replicate in the classroom. We used our primary LiveShot to cover stunts, and transmit video over 4G networks back into our field studio. Our second LiveShot was used to send program feed to our main station, WMMR.

Neumann Media covering graduation live

LiveShot is easy to use. It’s been great, especially in a learning environment, to be able to control the equipment with an app. I can get it up and on the air in seconds. LiveShot is one of the unsung heroes of bonding technology – it provides so much capability in such a small package, we find it invaluable.

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This story was originally published in Broadcast Engineering Extra.

The author is Director of Neumann University Media.