The LiveU LU-30 backpack is a device that can stream directly to the internet, Master Control, or support a mobile production truck. I had a chance to speak with Avichai Cohen, VP Professional Services with LiveU, about the LU-30. The underlying technology was developed over 2 ½ years ago and they began deploying the backpack about 8 months ago. The unit accepts standard definition DV video via Firewire, encodes the signal using adaptive bit rate compression and sends the encoded file out over 6 internal cell modems. At the other end, the signals are aggregated into one high quality stream. The LU-30 provides the rough equivalent of a portable broadband connection.
The potential for this technology in a social media context is mind boggling. Think about what 50 of these units could do when deployed around the country. The LiveU product does have a bit of a split personality, however. The marketing is aimed at GenX and Millenials but the pricing is in the range of other professional solutions. LiveU leases the LU-30 portable backpack for one year with an option to opt out after the first month, in the event the technology does not work for you. There are two tiers of service; 1mb bitrate for 30 hours of streaming per month, and 2mb bitrate for 30 hours of streaming per month. Both tiers include carrier service for the cell modems.
Let’s compare satellite technology costs/ features to what the LU-30 can do today:
• Guarantees a broadband connection
• Provides a low delay
• Higher quality
• Guaranteed quality of service (QOS)
• Costs about $5,000 a day
• Line of sight not required
• Delay approx 20 seconds @ highest available bitrate
• Delay approx 5 seconds @ lower bitrate, user selectable
• Provides live video while moving
• Costs about half of satellite to provide service for a whole month of service
LiveU has partnered with a few CDN’s that bundle this device with their services. Israel based LiveU plans to introduce an HD backpack, the LU-35, with an HDMI input in about a year. TV Technology recently published a story about the LiveU product, “NBC Says ‘Just Phone It In’” and Tony Klejna wrote a story on the LU-30 at Streaming Media.com.
By the way, if you plan on deploying a large number of these units, give me a ping.
Your comments are welcome…