Satellite trucks could become a thing of the past for ITN, the independent TV news group and multimedia content provider that supplies bulletins to ITV and Channel 4, which is to deploy a wireless transmission system from BT.
The BT Media Live service is a camera-mounted wireless transmission system that enables camera crews to either broadcast direct from their location or transfer footage back to the studios.
Delivered with support from BT’s media and broadcast department, the service will initially centre on London.
ITN’s most frequented London locations are Whitehall and King Charles Street (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Horse Guards Parade, the Ministry of Defence, New Scotland Yard, Trafalgar Square, the Jubilee Gardens, the Royal Courts of Justice, Leicester Square, the Old Bailey and the Bank of England.
ITN said the service would give it a more flexible coverage footprint and enable it to respond quicker to breaking news stories in the capital.
It will be able to use a number of receiving sites across London, including one at the BT Tower, from where it will be able to distribute footage to a broadcaster’s location, and to various UK and international news agencies or broadcasters via BT’s Global Media Network.
“BT’s Media Live service is a significant development for our newsgathering at ITN, adding a fast and flexible option for live reporting which is not undermined by contended transmission networks or challenging logistics,” said ITN CTO Bevan Gibson.
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“This gives our news teams another option to facilitate our core strength, which is producing timely, excellent news content,” he said.
“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.”
BT's vice-president of media and broadcast, Mark Wilson-Dunn, said covering news stories was a logistical headache for content providers such as ITN.
“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,” he said.
“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,” added Wilson-Dunn.
BT plans to deploy Media Live hub locations in other cities around the UK, starting with Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff.