LiveU Pro's and Con's


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we just got an updated live-u after a few uses I'll let you know how it goes...but from using it once or twice the connection seems stronger and you can use SDI instead of firewire....we only use it once in a while but I'll post any issues!


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9News explanation is not a valid excuse in my opinion. I simply don't understand how the top stations in the top markets don't have at least one Cam-Wave HD (or similar) system available for situations like this where they can go wireless from the camera to the ENG/SNG truck. The $6k investment seems like a small price for these top stations.
Just following the herd...

Like every other new technology gadget that comes out, news directors everywhere are jumping to buy "backpack live units" because, "everyone is using it, and they say it works". No, not EVERYONE is using it, and no, it doesn't ALWAYS work.

We've been trying the LiveU pack for the last 6 weeks, and like everyone who's actually USED the thing says, sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't work at all! Like all the posters here are saying, there is no guarantee that you'll have (or maintain) the bandwidth to keep a clean signal. All it takes is a few people to get on their cell phone and call their buddy to say, "hey dude, ____ news is here going live", and your live shot glitches out.

It's a good tool when it works, but it's just not guaranteed to work when you really need it. Is it worth the $35 grand to most stations, probably, but sorry news directors, there's no cheap replacement for the live truck just yet.:p

Flaca Productions

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As stated here ( by a KUSA employee, they had the LiveU on the 18 sec. delay. Seems to me, that you'd put it on the 60 sec. delay to ensure the highest quality. That SHOULD have taken care of any bandwidth issues by buffering sufficiently. I wasn't there, but that would have been my approach - I'm curious as to why the LiveU folks (apparently, according to the info in that link) suggested the 18 sec. delay. In this instance, 1 minute isn't a deal-breaker like a situation where other cameras are also there getting it up and out quicker.


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By the way, my enthusiasm for the Teradek has fallen off the cliff too. Just doesn't seem to be working most of the time now. The other day we were attempting a live shot and had a good signal on four of the five cards. Everything was good....UNTIL myself and the reporter used our phones to dial into IFB. Instantly dropped us to one card and three are needed to get a LIVE shot. When we weren't on our phones a was good. However, Teradek doesn't do us any good if we don't have IFB.


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Oh...yea...and there's that problem of wireless carriers THROTTLING high data users.


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I'm not sure if it's been mentioned here, but take a long look at the Colorado shooter's first appearance. I'm GUESSING that was a LiveU? Horrible break up at a scene of HIGH cell usage?


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I've used both LiveU and TVU. They are essentially the same. The far better solution I've found is the Teradek system. It's 5 grand to BUY, not lease - and it's the size of two Lectro wireless receivers.


Cell Bonding in general has matured since this post was made. Not so much because the tech has changed but just availability of wireless broadband overall.

The FCC announced today the start of the deployment of 5G.

From The Verge:

"For years we've been hearing that super-fast 5G wireless is on the way. This week, the Federal Communications Commission will start to make that happen".

"On Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will circulate a proposal to kick off 5G wireless proceedings. If passed, the commission will begin to identify and open up swaths of high-band spectrum, which is capable of delivering data at much higher speeds than what's currently used for 4G and LTE".

Full Article here:

Will this make bonding an antiquated notion if a single card can sustain double digit throughput? Maybe.

The HEVC (H.265) Codec which is much more efficient than the more common AVC (H.264) was ratified two years and if finding its way into the marketplace. Apples Face Time uses it now. Adtec and Erricson both have encoding boxes that use it.

So in the semi-near term we will have a much better codec and more available bandwidth and once again is the entire idea of cell bonding going to even be necessary.

For the first two pressers after the Orlando shooting the stringer there provided (for a very large news agency) live coverage of the pressers with his iPhone and an external mic using an App his client provided. Wow. All you have to do is look at what Periscope is doing and you will see part of the future.

The satellite truck business has a niche and bonding has a niche and all I am saying is stay ahead of what is in the tech pipe before you commit to a long term lease or a purchase. We are not Shoe Clobbers. Things change.


Well-known member
For me Live-U is my preference. We have the smaller backpacks, and they don't way anything. You can pull it out and mount it to the back of a camera if needed as well. Although that makes it crazy back heavy. But of the big three Live-U, Dejero and TVu I think live-u is the lightest, most portable and most reliable overall.
This is something I have been trying to wrap my head around. Regarding the bonded systems.

1) Which ones will sell you a unit as opposed to a lend lease. I am a freelancer and have been contemplating the thought of adding one to my kit assuming the numbers work.

2) Are all of the major systems exclusive to whichever receive server is on the other end or is there a protocol for things to talk among themselves. Seems to me that if the video is generally all h.264 than that would be possible. If not do all major broadcasters generally maintain at least 1 receive site for all of the major players?

Most of my live work has been shipping me units for the last couple of years but a few have inquired about my ownership. At this point everything is theoretical as I would have to develop out the client base and sell it.


Well-known member
Any cellular-based device is dependent on
- Signal strength
- Tower congestion/assigned bandwidth
- Every carrier licenses a specified amount of bandwidth on each antenna sector, which can differ with the same tower but different direction. So even if you have "great signal," if a tower is overwhelmed with a thousands of users connected to it during a large event like a concert, parade, protest, etc. nothing will help you. In Canada, Industry Canada (US has the FCC) publishes a technical list of licensed antenna locations including bandwidth allocation - the data helps when pre-planning live hits.

FWIW, every 5Mhz spectrum can handle ~200 users. So finding areas or being aware of which tower you're connected to with 10 or 20Mhz bandwidth is helpful.

- Backhaul
- Data aggregated from all the antennas on the tower is sent down a backhaul to the carrier. This could be a direct 1Gig fiber or multiple microwave hops in rural areas. And your overall throughput is also dependent on how congested the backhaul is.

The government does have a very limited amount of "commandeering" of cellular spectrum. In Canada, it's limited to a very small circle of critical decision makers and law enforcement. Even then it's only valid for voice calls, users are screened, authorized and pay a subscription fee - and only then, if you require priority access, dial a special prefix before the phone number in order to use the service.

All these factors are beyond our control. It really comes down to which carrier your company prefers vs their reliability in your specific location. Then which device they believe is best.

And as far as I'm aware, none of the current 'solutions' allow for data connectivity through their bonded service, only video? It's limiting as I'm sure most of us usually send our stories via file transfer.