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Streaming Media East '18: Teradek Talks New Contribution and Distribution Solutions

Teradek VP Sales Jon Landsman discusses live streaming problem-solving and new announcements at Streaming Media East 2018.

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media East 2018. I'm Tim Siglin, Contributing Editor with Streaming Media Magazine, and the founding Executive Director of the not-for-profit Help Me Stream. I'm here today with Jon Landman from Teradek. Jon, tell us first ... You stepped in and sort of saved the day for us. Tell us what the issue was that we were facing earlier.

Jon Landman: Well, what happens quite often when you get to a location that you have not scouted in the past, someone from IT will hand you an ethernet cable and say off you go, start streaming. What this provider forgot to mention is that it was a closed network that needed a password to get through their network in order to connect to the internet.

Tim Siglin: It looked as though we were connected because we had an IP address.

Jon Landman: Correct. As you saw, you couldn't get out.

Tim Siglin: Right.

Jon Landman: So, the workaround that I was able to bring today was a new product that we've actually just released called the Link Pro, which is an aggregated set on the back end of a WiFi network.

Tim Siglin: Ah, nice.

Jon Landman: What we actually did was bypass the internet that this location has provided and fed the cube and coder directly into the Link Pro over ethernet, that was then connected to the internet over multiple cell connections.

Tim Siglin: So, essentially, we're just completely bypassing the venue's connectivity.
Jon Landman: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Tim Siglin: As I was telling somebody earlier, is there a workaround like you go to a McDonalds or you go to a Burger King. Even in those places you have to click an "I Accept". You know? The terms and conditions.
Jon Landman: Splash screen, we call it.
Tim Siglin: Right. A splash screen. Is there a workaround with devices these days, or is that still sort of in the future?
Jon Landman: I have used, in the past, things that we call like a travel router. You can buy them very inexpensively from Amazon. Basically, what they are is a very small router that gives you that splash screen.

Tim Siglin: In fact, I have one of those up in my room because I have three devices I wanted to connect and I connect through that.

Jon Landman: Exactly. That device will give the splash screen, and then your encoder, such as Cube, will then either ethernet into the router, or WiFi into that router.

Tim Siglin: Just as a rule of thumb, it's always good to carry something like that so that you can get that midpoint access. Of course, assuming that you don't have your device, which is the cellular bonded back shadow.

Jon Landman: I would say that in the streaming world you can never have enough backups. You take your army Swiss knife of tricks, you turn up at your location, and you pray to the gods of streaming that you actually have a device that's going to get you where you need to be.

Tim Siglin: We used to carry kits of VGA adapters, RGB adapters. Essentially now, what we're doing is carrying kits of connectivity adapters.

Jon Landman: Absolutely.

Tim Siglin: Okay. What else are you all showing here at the show?

Jon Landman: We're demonstrating, basically, two different solutions. One for contribution to a switcher, and one for distribution from a switcher. We are demonstration the Bolt 10K, which is our latest in the line of uncompressed zero delay wireless transmitters. Ten thousand feet is a long, long way. We were recently doing a shoot from a helicopter down to the ground into a switcher that was switching with some other wireless cameras. It really opens up the kinds of things that one can do. Being zero delay means that it stays in sync with all your wired cameras.

That's really what we're showing on the contribution side. Distribution, as I mentioned, we've released the Link Pro, which is, again, an agnostic WiFi router with backended cellular bonds. That's cellmuxing capability. What's the sort of standard output bandwidth from something like that?

Jon Landman: I've been seeing that we're getting approximately 35-40Mbps. In the Link Pro that I have, I have two Verizon radios, a Sprint radio, and an AT&T radio.

Tim Siglin: Okay.

Jon Landman: That's giving me really good coverage.

Tim Siglin: All LTE.

Jon Landman: All LTE.

Tim Siglin: Okay.

Jon Landman: I know that in New york, Verizon and AT&T are the two strongest, so I'll definitely lead with those sims. If I was going to Denver for a job, I know that Sprint is really strong there.

Tim Siglin: Right.

Jon Landman: So I'll turn up with some Sprint sims. We manufacture our own modems. These are called nodes.

Tim Siglin: Right. Sure.

Jon Landman: If you were ever to look at a node, you'll notice something quite striking on them. As my Alabaman station called them, he said "Man, you've got some big ass antennas on that thing."

Those big ass antennas mean that I can reach cell towers much further away than a typical USB modem.

Tim Siglin: It's interesting that you say that because several years ago at Streaming Media Europe, which is now Streaming Forum, we actually had a conversation around the Arab Spring. Some of the problems that the news crews had that were carrying the backpack transmitters that had the USB modems, right around the square, I think that was Tahrir Square in Cairo, there was blocking of the cell service and there was a lot of overuse of the cell service on those towers. Those who had the ability to boost could actually jump to the next tower beyond, get the signal out. Essentially, that's what you're giving the capability to do as well.

Jon Landman: Yes. In fact, we have a US-based news organization. A three-letter news organization that has taken backpacks to Tahrir. Not our backpack, but another company's backpack. The Iranian government knows of this company and has actually shut the ports down on the servers that they're using.

Tim Siglin: Wow.

Jon Landman: What they ended up doing was sneaking into the country with a small Cube with a single Node.

Tim Siglin: That wasn't known at that point.

Jon Landman: That wasn't know. What we are doing is sending to a server in Germany that's then relaying to a server in New York, which is then pushing to a decoder.

Tim Siglin: Right. Okay.

Jon Landman: We have some very clever tricks that we can do with our gear.

Tim Siglin: Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure.

Jon Landman: That we don't like to talk about. None of that is true. None of that is true.

Tim Siglin: Yeah. Right. Exactly.

Jon Landman: It does not happen.

Tim Siglin: There are no VPNs coming out of Iran.

Jon Landman: Yes.

Tim Siglin: Alright. Well, Jon, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it.

Jon Landman: My pleasure. Thanks, guys.

Tim Siglin: We'll be right back.