Advanced Television

BT Media Live boosts ITN’s London newsgathering

November 6, 2014

By Colin Mann

BT’s Media & Broadcast unit has agreed a new multi-year contract with news and multimedia content specialist ITN to provide its location news teams with wireless transmission technology across London.

The new camera-mounted system, called BT Media Live, will allow ITN camera crews to broadcast live or transfer footage wirelessly to its studios from locations throughout the capital – including the top ten most filmed sites in London – without the need to deploy traditional satellite trucks.

The service will give the broadcaster a faster, more flexible coverage footprint for its mobile camera transmissions – improving its ability to respond to fast-developing news items throughout the city.

BT Media Live is a radio frequency based video transmission solution. Footage can be transmitted instantly to a number of receive sites across London, including the iconic BT Tower, where it can then be distributed to a broadcaster’s location. It can also be easily distributed from the BT Tower to multiple UK and international news agencies and broadcasters via BT’s Global Media Network.

Mark Wilson-Dunn, Vice President of BT Media & Broadcast noted that 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.”

Bevan Gibson, CTO, ITN said the service was a significant development for its newsgathering, adding a fast and flexible option for live reporting which was not undermined by contended transmission networks or challenging logistics. “This new solution gives our news teams 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 efficiencies that BT Media Live provides mean we can cover more ground and more breaking news, all the while being more efficient in the way we work.”

The BT Tower London hub is the first of a number of BT Media Live hub locations to cover major cities across the UK, with hubs in Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff planned for the near future.

BT Media Live employs state-of-the-art, multi-diversity Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (COFDM) technology to receive the signal. It will use specialist transport stream switches to receive multiple inputs and to ensure seamless service across the coverage area.

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