The annual NAB event always affords School Video News the opportunity to meet our partners and learn in depth what they are doing to help the education market.
This year we spent time with George Klippel, Director of Channel Sales for LiveU.
1. Can you tell us more about LiveU’s education programs and the LiveU value for both university’s and students?
LiveU is committed to education and doing our part to help prepare students for their career once they graduate. LiveU offers great educational pricing, training, online student and faculty certification courses, an internship program and much more. But our real value for schools and students is all about using the technology being used in the real world. LiveU has about 80% of the market for bonded cellular worldwide. That means if your students go to work for CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, Bloomberg and many, many others, you will be working with LiveU equipment. Knowing how to use LiveU and working with our software gives you an edge over those who haven’t had a chance to use our technology during the hiring process. The operation managers have added confidence that you don’t need additional training on the technology, just on their internal processes and that’s a huge advantage in today’s marketplace.
2. Can you tell us about LiveU products and how universities are using the technology?
LiveU offers products for schools and Universities of all sizes. From High School multimedia classes, to Community College and four-year Universities. The most popular configuration we offer is our LU200 field unit. It has 4 cellular modem connections plus Wi-Fi and Ethernet. This unit sends the stream to a LU2000 server which comes in a single, dual or quad configuration. Once the server receives the feed it can send it out to your router as an SDI signal, NDI and RTMP. The server also supports traditional IFB so you can communicate from your control room to your talent or camera operator. We’ve also put together some educational bundles that are very popular which feature the LU200 unit, the LU500 and our brand new LU6000 HEVC unit. These bundles include everything you need, the unit, server, transmission data plan and our LU-Smart application for contribution from your Android or iPhone’s. These bundles have been very popular as well. The most common uses for our systems in Universities are in Journalism and Communication programs, Athletics, Public Relations and advanced degree programs where streaming special events or guest lectures are important.
3. How are universities using the technology for special events and milestones such as commencements this spring?
This is one of the most popular uses of LiveU gear. Most schools do multi-camera shoots for commencement and other special events. They want to output to screens in an auditorium and to the webpage or a CDN for those who can’t attend the event in person. The setups vary widely from gymnasiums or indoor or outdoor stadiums, to concert halls. Some locations will not have any cellular connectivity available to them and LiveU is used to provide that connectivity for the stream. The additional, and maybe even more exciting aspect of LiveU at commencement and special events, is the ability to cut the cord and get in to the action. To have audience engagement like never before. Typically, these events are locked down cameras, or fixed positions, and you cut from one shot to the next it’s very generic. LiveU gives you the ability to roam around, go anywhere and get shots. Go behind the scenes, get reaction shots, on stage shots, from places you can’t get with a large camera connected to a fixed cable position. It makes for a much more engaging, exciting and memorable event for the students and everyone watching. Most of these are also recorded and given to students or sold as moments or keepsakes after, so having the ability to provide more of the action, and get more 2. of the students sharing this one last memorable moment together, LiveU is made to capture those types of moments.
4. Can you share some advice for schools looking to incorporate more live into their strategy?
The most important thing to examine is your workflow. Just adding live in to a newscast or to an event is very easy, but doing it the smartest way requires some consultation and thought. New production capabilities and workflows like what we call “At Home Production” really open up opportunities for schools to look at things differently. Sharing content among other institutions or networks using LiveU Matrix open up many other possibilities as well. I would say bring us in early to for a free consultation to discuss the possibilities. Also, test the technology, make sure to use it in your environment and see that it works the way you want it to. Don’t always believe what a manufacturer tells you, see that it works as advertised, the way you need to use it. The other nice thing about LiveU is you can always start out small and grow. We have trade up programs, so if you purchase an entry level unit for one year and find your needs change, the following year you can upgrade and we will give you a trade in credit. We have lease, lease to own or purchase programs, and 24x7 365 support with your purchase so anytime you need us or something goes down, we are there to fix it or send an overnight rma. We have a very strong reseller channel throughout the U.S. and Canada who not only sell our complete product line, they also provide local service and support as well.
5. What can schools do this summer to prep their classrooms for new curriculum including new technology like LiveU?
The first thing they can do is realize that it’s no longer cost prohibitive to use the same technology the professionals use.
Use the summer break to do some research, testing, and preparations for the new school year. Attend InfoComm and other technology/education events.
Get a demo and see the gear in action and start planning for your next budget cycle. See how the technology can fit in to your environment. It’s a complement to what you already have, and can give you enhanced capabilities that you don’t have today, or improve greatly on the process you have in place with for what you are doing for live shot production now.
George Klippel is the Director of Channel Sales for LiveU driving sales for the online market and managing LiveU’s network of reseller and distributor partners. Prior to joining LiveU, he was a Partner and Strategic Account Manager at Avid Technology. He has worked in Higher Education as the Manager of Classroom Technology and Distributed Education at Carnegie Mellon University and Case Western Reserve University. He also served in the United States Marine Corps as a Broadcast Journalist with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. George has been involved in the Broadcast and Post-production industry for over 25 years.