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Streaming with Cellular Bonding | How we use Teradek products at Videocraft

Streaming video from point A to point B has become more commonplace for all kinds of online content creators and also never been easier to set up by just about anyone. Using just an Internet connection, a PC, smartphones, and some simple cameras we can go live with just a few clicks. 

And since most forms of live streaming are done on smartphone handsets with a single LTE connection or at home with an internet connection, live streaming is commonly accepted in the video consumer market with audiences tuning in on streaming platforms every day.

When Videocraft is asked to set up streaming systems for major event broadcasting or live media productions especially in remote-location publishing, a single Internet connection often won’t cut it. Instead, we use an innovative piece of technology called cellular network bonding. 

Why Videocraft chooses to use Teradek products like the Bond, Bolt and Cube:

The Teradek cellular bonding products like the Bond or Bolt are incredibly portable with a very small form factor, and when compared to traditional live video production equipment, small units offer way more versatility in the field for broadcasting major events. For example,  we used this solution for the Red Bull Wings for Life Global Race held in Melbourne. It’s not just about saving physical space on the camera setups or in the rack though, it provides us with the flexibility to integrate with other suppliers workflows and achieve really quick setups on live event productions where being on time is paramount. It would also be ideal for run-and-gun scenarios like live news crosses saving time and money on uplink costs. 

Participants seen during the Wings for Life World Run in Melbourne, Australia on May 8, 2016. // Mark Dadswell for Wings for Life World Run // P-20160508-02570 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

The most important reason content creators we work with rely on products like the Teradek Bond is for its core purpose: network bonding. Teradek’s Bond system combines several 3G/4G/LTE modems into a single Internet connection for deploying live video. The Bond, for example, is designed to aggregate Ethernet, WiFi and up to 5 USB cell modems to create a really robust pipeline for delivering video from point to point. The combination of several network connections allows Videocraft to reinforce the quality of moving video signals between two points by sending traffic over multiple routes, repackaging it at the destination with automatic failover ensuring that the live stream runs continuously and smoothly throughout the broadcast.

But the Teradek product range isn’t limited to large event broadcasting. For smaller workflows, the Teradek Bond allows content producers and ENG operators in the field to publish reliable H.265/H.264 video straight to live platforms such as YouTube or Facebook Live or studio decoder destinations. So even if you need to send the video to a studio hundreds of kilometres away using the Teradek Bond it can upload to Teradek’s cloud system where the video can be redistributed to wherever you choose, even multiple destinations. As long as your mobile cell signal is viable, you can stream.

Traditionally when broadcasting live on location, costs for bandwidth on venue internet connections or satellite trucks can be costly, making live streaming high-quality video a bit of a challenge, that’s why it is worth incorporate cellular bonding into the workflow. Several bonded 4G/LTE connections could potentially save thousands of dollars. In addition, a mix of cellular carriers means that even if one carrier encounters connectivity issues, the failover to other carriers would fill in to maintain the stability of the stream. Plus the use of the latest H.265 codec means that while 1080p video costs an average of 5 Mbps to deliver consistently using H.264, H.265 can achieve the same results at potentially 3 Mbps improving your data consumption efficiency. 

When it comes to broadcasting from the field, traditional video transport equipment like satellites and ENG trucks cost an arm and a leg to employ, not to mention you need to find personnel and time to get that equipment out to the location. The cellular bonding streaming kits available to hire from Videocraft offer a low-cost alternative to these situations. Starting from under $500 per day, the Teradek range can deliver fast and broadcast-quality video for your streaming project.

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