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CES Report: Livestream Announces Broadcaster LTE with Built-In Verizon 4G

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Livestream chose CES in Las Vegas to announce an upgrade to its popular  Broadcaster live encoder. The new version features a built-in battery, 5.4 Ghz Wi-Fi, and—most notably—a built-in Verizon 4G modem.

Heretofore, users needed an external 4G modem if they wanted to webcast without using Wi-Fi or Ethernet, as Streaming Media's Jan Ozer tested in August. Livestream will debut the device, which is the product of a partnership with Verizon Innovation Labs, at the Verizon booth at CES this afternoon, with a live webcast at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Further details were unavailable at press time, though we'll update this story with more information if it becomes available at the CES announcement. Based on the image on the Livestream site, the new Broadcaster appears to have the same form factor as the current model. As with the current version, users can also use the Livestream for Producers iPhone and Android apps to control the unit.

Given that battery life in Ozer's 4G tests was an issue, it will be interesting to see whether or not the built-in battery provides longer life than the AA batteries that the first iteration of Broadcaster used.

There's no pricing information available, either for the unit cost or the data plan, and the unit is not yet available for pre-order, though Livestream says it will ship this spring.

UPDATE: We spoke to Livestream co-founder and CEO Max Haot at CES, and he tells us that the Broadcaster LTE should be available by spring (he says the company is targeting NAB in April), and that it will rely on UDP for its transport protocol, rather than the RTMP that's used in the current Broadcaster.

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