Reprinted from VideoEdge. Original article here.
by Jeffrey Franck
WSU-TV is Wichita State University’s full-service video production team. It’s our job to cover events for on-campus organizations—we do everything from script planning to postproduction. This February, the WSU athletics department asked us to cover the Herm Wilson Invitational, a two-day track meet held at Wichita State University. High school and college teams from across Kansas come to compete, so this event has wide appeal. We were asked to stream the second day of races live, in a format that could be shared to fans of WSU Track and other track teams competing at the meet.
Before joining WSU, I had worked in radio for years. At the Clear Channel/iHeartMedia affiliate for Wichita, I had used Comrex ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs and knew that they were great products. When the WSU athletics department asked us to cover the track meet, I immediately thought to research the Comrex LiveShot. I called a Comrex rep, who lent us four demo pairs of LiveShots to cover the event.
For this shoot, we wanted to use our existing WSU-TV studio control room and switcher. In the venue, we set up four cameras, program audio, two-way intercom, two-way IFB, and used the video return feed program back for a confidence monitor at our talent table. The LiveShots were connected to the cameras, and plugged into a power source for the entirety of the broadcast.
Before the event, I bench tested the LiveShots for a week and a half, streaming continuously for hours at a time, and encountered no issues. On event day, they shined! Each LiveShot streamed for the entire day, with no hiccups. I was concerned that we would have video sync issues, but all four devices were consistent and worked very well together when switching between sources. On average, each LiveShot operated with about 200ms delay from encoder to decoder, with about a half-second delay on the return feed. The output video from the switcher was high quality and beautiful.
The live stream attracted plenty of interest. By the end of Saturday, we had over 1,900 views of our broadcast on LiveStream. As of the following Monday, we had more than 2,400 views of Saturday’s broadcast and nearly 4,000 views of each broadcast combined. Our client was happy, and we were impressed.
LiveShot was able to do everything we wanted it to do. After using the loaners, we bought our own units immediately and they were in our possession by the next week. We’re constantly thinking of new ways to use them, and we’re already getting requests from the athletics department to do more events from other venues. It makes my job super easy when everything works the way it should, and LiveShot certainly exceeded my expectations.
Jeffrey Franck is a broadcast media technician for Wichita State University TV.