Getting live HD back to base usually involves some serious kit such as uplink trucks, satellites and microwave relays. New kit such as the TVU Backpack, however, does the job using 3G and 4G networks and, as the name suggests, does all this from a backpack that can be worn by the camera operator.
Now available in the UK via Procam Television, the TVU 8100 has the potential to open up a whole new area of flexibility, particularly for news operations. It weighs just under 6kg, boots up in less than a minute, and uses multiple wireless 3G/4G, WiFi, WiMax & BGAN data connections to deliver broadcast quality signals up to 1080i HD. Of course, much of what you can get out of it depends on network coverage, but in major urban areas at least it pretty much allows a news crew to chose the final location of their live feed at any time up to live transmission.
Outside of those areas, it has enough onboard, solid-state storage to record up to eight hours of footage and has a dual battery/hot swappable socket to let you do just that. It will also act as a wireless hotspot when connected to the internet, allowing crews to edit material in the field and then transmit back to base using the unit.
Also, unlike uplink, it also lets you broadcast from moving vehicles. Which, given some of the situations news crews can find themselves in, could be rather handy.