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LiveU's Mike Savello Talks Going Mobile with Hybrid, REMI, and Cloud Workflows

Learn more about mobile streaming workflows at Streaming Media West 2022.

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media East 2022. I've got with me Mike Savello from LiveU. I've known Mike for longer than I care to say, but we worked together both at Media 100, where I consulted, and then also On2, which obviously became part of Google. And then Mike's been with LiveU now for 11 years. So, Mike, for audience members who may not know what LiveU is, just give us a brief overview.

Mike Savello: To make a long story short, essentially what we do is we do live video acquisition over the public internet. And we've actually used mostly cellular devices since the inception of the company. And we essentially combine multiple cellular devices together and make what is inherently an unreliable technology cellular reliable for video acquisition.

Tim Siglin: Cellular bonding and multiplexing. And as I understand, if I remember correctly, you not just use one cellular companies like say Verizon, you could use AT & T as well.

Mike Savello: We use them all. In fact, the more the merrier, honestly, because of our heritage--we started off really as a cellular-based company. The technologies that we've developed--especially the transport and bonding technologies--become very applicable to even just the standard internet. Today, if you want the most reliable connection, even over just a hardwired public internet connection, our LiveU Reliable Transport (LRT) for short is really one of the best transports that's out there.

Tim Siglin: So, does LRT compete with SRT and Zixi, and some of the other sort of forward error corrections, or does it work in tandem with them?

Mike Savello: It works in tandem. I mean, it's our own proprietary one. We keep it for ourselves because we were a closed system, essentially because we have an encoder talking to a decoder. So we don't really compete with SRT. In fact, we actually embrace SRT in our system today. We support that as an output protocol, if you want to be able to have a transport into another system, essentially.

Tim Siglin: And I know in the early days there were stories about being able to use your backpack-type systems in news environments that maybe were not attuned to somebody rolling a truck in, you just want to carry a backpack into a square. I think during the Arab Spring, that was one of the things that we heard stories about. Is that still the case for mobile production?

Mike Savello: I'd say mobile production has advanced a little bit beyond there. Of course, having the mobility something that's clipped to a belt or on your backpack really makes it easy to go into those sorts of environments, of course, and to be mobile doing coverage, you're not tethered to a truck or whatever. So you get a lot of benefit from that, but I'd say the biggest benefit is, if you look at the sports world, for instance, being able to go into a venue now that has no connectivity, no Wi-Fi, no hardwired landline, and being able to produce that event and broadcast that event without the need for any connectivity at all really kind of opens up the the opportunities for the technology.

Tim Siglin: And those early systems were sort of single-camera connected to a backpack. When you're talking about going into a venue with no connectivity, like say a high school sports arena, do you have the ability to synchronize multiple cameras together as well?

Mike Savello: We do. We have a product that we introduced in 2020 called the L800, which actually has the ability now to connect four HD cameras to it. They're all fully frame-synced to each other. and they can transmit over one connection, essentially, up to 70 megabits per second.

Tim Siglin: So what session were you on today here at Streaming Media?

Mike Savello: I did a couple. I gave a presentation on on Remiin general, And then we we had an interesting panel later this afternoon on remote hybrid models really combining on-prem with remote production.We're talking to more and more customers that are building virtual environments in the cloud, and that's their main design point for their workflow. And so they'll put other things that aren't available in the cloud, 'cause the cloud can't do everything yet from a video production point of view. Everything else will sit in rack someplace in your physical environment. So that's why we talk about hybrid workflows. But there's lots of workflows or lots of projects where you just need to do clipping for highlights or whatever. You can send that into the cloud, do that from there, and just send it straight to social. So you never even have to leave the cloud in in that scenario.

Tim Siglin: Fair point.

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