We have reported on mobile news gathering equipment before, mostly because we’re amazed at how quickly the technology to deliver high resolution video and audio from the field has advanced. Back in 2009 we marveled at the power of the Livestream Livepack, and things have moved on a lot since those days.
Which made us very interested to learn about this new product, the Mobile Viewpoint CellMux Backpack. The product was used to cover the recent London Olympic ceremonies, and delivers a highly sophisticated system for capturing video in the field and then transmitting it live to any place in the world.
The difference between 2009 and now is in the high quality of the video and the resilience of the signal, meaning you get a clear stable picture even under the most adverse conditions, due to excellent buffering and compression. The signal is delivered using 8 bonded SIM cards running whatever data network is available, hence the need for the long antenna to keep all that concentrated signal away from your head and above the crowds.
The kit is not cheap, at around €27,000, but you’re talking about replacing a satellite truck or other mobile news system which can cost a heck of a lot more. The company has a range of products including a real ‘citizen journalist’ option using an iPhone and app, but the future is definitely going to revolve around many more local scene situations where one man and a backpack will deliver the work of a news team of yesteryear.
Here’s a *very* Dutch example of the type of footage you can grab with a rig like this.