BT has unveiled a new service which will help news broadcasters bring viewers live coverage of the latest developments without needing to deploy traditional satellite trucks.
The new BT Media Live service allows cameras fitted with a wireless transmitter to beam footage direct to the BT Tower for onward distribution to the broadcaster’s own production facilities or internationally to news agencies.
Content is sent over secure radio frequencies reserved for broadcasters, making it faster than using mobile broadband and data services.
BT’s Media and Broadcast arm worked with ITN over the past year to test the system at ten of the news gather’s most reported sites – including Downing Street and the Royal Courts of Justice – and says it can be used at any location which has a direct line of sight to the BT Tower.
Speaking to SEENIT, ITN Chief Technology Officer Bevan Gibson said the service would help bring live coverage from areas which are hard to get to, including where events being covered have forced road closures or caused traffic congestion.
Gibson added that being able to get crews on site without the need for a satellite truck could help reduce the use of amateur footage or footage shot on mobile phones.
He described BT Media Live as “another option to facilitate our core strength which is producing timely, excellent news content for programmes including ITV News, Channel 4 News and 5 News.”
The company has signed a “multi-year contract” to use the service.
Mark Wilson-Dunn, Vice President of BT Media & Broadcast said: “There are so many news stories in our cities, but covering them can be a logistical headache when you have to secure a connection, find somewhere to park the truck and book satellite space.
“Add the costs of maintaining your own receive sites and the challenge for broadcasters is clear.
“BT Media Live offers a fully managed service which can eliminate the need to find connectivity or carry bulky equipment during outside broadcasts. It enables news teams to concentrate on what they do best – getting to the heart of their story and being the first to cover it.”
BT plans to extend the service to other major cities across the UK, including Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff and Wilson-Dunn suggested the service could also be rolled out internationally at a later stage.