Lotsa Luck: Colts will Have Live Mobile TV Cam Following Top Draft Pick

In a new, mobile twist to the 24/7 NFL Draft coverage idea, the Indianapolis Colts will have a live, mobile TV camera following top draft pick Andrew Luck from the moment he’s picked Thursday throughout his Friday welcome-to-Indy activities.

Partnering with mobile camera technology supplier LiveU, whose camera modems are finding more fans in the sports world, the Colts will be breaking new ground by providing a Luck’s-eye-view to the hoopla surrounding the top draft pick. No info yet on where the feed will be posted, but you can check the Colts’ official website as well as the LiveU Facebook page, where more info is sure to be posted.

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the streaming page. Apparently not quite 24×7, but still cool.

The Colts will also host a Google+ hangout with luck, according to this release. We will also update this post with more info as we get it, so stay tuned for live, mobile coverage of Andrew Luck’s million-dollar-plus day.

The Colts are also not the only NFL team taking advantage of LiveU’s technology, which is basically a bunch of cellular modems in a backpack (or a beltclip) that allows users to broadcast live, professional video content from just about anywhere at the fraction of the cost of using a satellite truck. Though LiveU couldn’t name the teams, several more are expected to be broadcasting their own draft news and views live Thursday, so check your team’s home page to see if they have a LiveU feed running. For fans of always-on info, the revolution has now reached the broadcast TV market.

Panasonic, LiveU Team Up for Mobile Cellular TV Cams

Panasonic announced Sunday that is is teaming up with cellular-modem camera pioneer LiveU to build a pro TV camera with a cellular connectivity unit bolted to the back of the camera, to make live mobile broadcasting easier and cheaper.

As we said last week we here at MSR think that cellular-equipped broadcast cams are a big thing going forward. For professional broadcasters and networks they theoretically can enable more live broadcasts from more places, even at major events and stadiums. And then there’s also an entirely new segment of broadcasting that they might enable — such as a small school streaming live to the Internet, without the need for a satellite truck or other expensive broadcast gear.

The Panasonic-LiveU deal, announced at the NAB show in Vegas, calls for “an integrated camcorder and live video uplink solution, utilizing the groundbreaking LU40i video uplink device and the new AJ-HPX600 P2 camcorder with planned wireless integration features.” So basically it’s a cellular modem bolted onto the back of a camera. Though this isn’t the finished product this demo version picture gives you an idea of what it might look like, and it’s a big improvement over cellular backpack modems or even the belt-holster thingy that LiveU recently announced.

Anyone else at NAB see any more cellular camera stuff? Let us know in the comments. Would like to get some more granular details about costs for the cell modem connections.

LiveU’s New Cellular TV Camera Modem Passes Super Bowl Test; LiveEdge Still MIA

LiveU's belt-sized modem in action at the Super Bowl. Credit: LiveU

Mobile TV camera modem supplier LiveU said Wednesday that its new belt-sized cellular modem was used for live camera shots at the Super Bowl in February, according to a press release issued by the company. We here at Mobile Sports Report expect cellular cameras to be a big thing going forward, to enable more sports content live from where it happens without the expense of a satellite truck.

While LiveU has done the mobile/cellular thing before for sports its previous solutions were backpack-based to house the equipment that included modems and batteries. The newer LU40i unit, the company said, weighs in at around a pound and a half and can combine up to six 3G or 4G cellular connections to support a “professional HD-quality video uplink.” Our big unanswered question (we have a call in to the company and plan a longer look at mobile cameras soon) is how much does it cost to run one of these babies, since we are guessing that a live video stream would chew through a regular cellular data plan after a few plays. Our guess is that LiveU has some kind of deal with the cellular folks but we’ll know more soon.

The debut of the LU40i unit, which LiveU said was also used at the NBA All-Star Weekend, the Grammies and at CES and SXSW, begs the question of where are its competitors, especially the high profile LiveEdge, a company funded in part by Verizon and one of the companies selected to participate in Verizon’s “incubator” program for startups.

LiveEdge proposed modem unit, which snaps on the back of a pro TV camera. Credit: LiveEdge

LiveEdge, which originally launched with the idea of putting a WiMAX modem on the back of TV cameras, morphed toward LTE when it became apparent that the major cellular providers were moving to that technology. Last year, the company was highlighted by Verizon’s CEO at CES as one of the new apps for LTE services and scored the unspecified investment from Verizon as well as the incubator spot.

But since then there’s been nothing but crickets from LiveEdge, whose former CEO, Robert Klingle, has apparently left the building since he’s no longer listed on the company website. In fact the About page looks like it’s recently been truncated; it used to show other execs even after Klingle’s name was taken off earlier this year but now it’s blank. Repeated calls and emails to both Verizon and LiveEdge have gone unanswered, though one LiveEdge spokesperson who asked to remain unidentified did say several weeks ago that an announcement would be forthcoming soon.

Maybe at next week’s NAB show in Vegas? That’s where LiveU will be showing off the LU40i, which looks like the leader in the space for mobile, broadcast-quality TV.