Thursday, September 24, 2009

Livestream Launches Live Mobile HD Streaming with Livepack, Say Goodbye to Expensive Satellite Uplink Trucks

Today, Livestream launched Livepack, a totally wireless turn-key hardware solution for live mobile HD streaming. Through a partnership with LiveU, makers of hand-held video uplink devices, Livestream offers a unique bundled solution that combines a hardware device with their live streaming platform. This solution addresses the needs of video producers and video professionals who need to broadcast live anytime, from anywhere and on-the-go with video up to HD quality at 700-1000 kbps. 

Livepack is a portable device that fits into a backpack and includes six load-balanced 3G/EVDO modems for redundancy over three carriers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) with data plans are that covered within the price. It allows you to go anywhere with a complete roaming camera setup and aimed to replace the expense of a traditional satellite uplink truck and satellite time. 

While live mobile streaming is not new with companies like, Flixwagon and Bambuser having been on the market for a few years, according to Livestream CEO Max Haot, mobile phone streaming is not a viable option if you want to live stream an event. 

I spoke with Max yesterday and he pointed out that, 
"You're not going to stream a two hour event using a mobile phone due to the battery life, the quality of the lens, the zoom, but more importantly also the fact that's it's only one 3G network which is usually unreliable. So the other option that has been available to people needing to do wireless live streaming has been traditional broadcast satellite. This type of equipment is hugely expensive (up to $50,000 a day) and most live streaming events can't afford it. It's usually reserved for television."
Max added that if you're an event organizer and you want to live stream today you either have to make sure you have a wifi connection, laptop, camera or any sort of feed to encode reliably on the Internet using a platform such as theirs. But if you want to do it wirelessly where you don't have a connection available which is the case in most venues, or if you want to be on the move and create a roaming camera feed, there's been no solution out there at the quality you need to live stream something serious like an event. But now with their solution, Livepack is like having a satellite television truck in a backpack.

The technology was originally built by their partner LiveU really aimed to replace the satellite broadcast truck and the prime market was really broadcasters. LiveU has been building this technology for the last few years and have been selling it to NBC and others. So instead of bringing back an event feed from a truck they are bringing back the feed using a LiveU device. Max said that at Livestream they've paid attention to it and started to integrate it more and more over the last six to eight months. They actually announced the first relationship with LiveU at NAB in March and as both they and their joint customers used it more Livestream realized they needed to integrate it deeply into their service.

They way the service works is that Livestream bundles the hardware and service plan in either a monthly or annual rental fee. The Livepack device is easy to use and accepts a direct DV camera feed into the FireWire port. There's a touchscreen to control the box and three hours of battery life included or you can either have external batteries. Once you turn it on all you do is press the start button and it goes directly live into your Livestream channel. 

Max explained that their unique offering is possible through three real breakthroughs, 
"The first is the fact that it's fully integrated from one vendor including the CDN, the player and all the features of our (the Livestream) platform and the hardware. The second part is that instead of using a laptop at an event you now have a ruggedized piece of equipment with a touchscreen. There's really no moving parts, you can put it in a backpack which is pretty innovative instead of playing with laptops at an event. The third piece is the most important is the technology that we fully integrated with Live U which are six load-balanced 3G/EVDO modems over three carriers which are included, activated and the data plans are covered within the price."
Max noted that with a combination of these modems and the technology it takes the video feed internally from the encoder and splits it over all the available bandwidth on the six modems, sends it directly to their cloud where they recompose the feed and integrate into the Livestream's platform. It's a great application for red carpets, backstage at concerts, sporting events, town hall meetings, ceremonies, transmitting from a moving car, and a variety of enterprise applications. Livepack was recently used for coverage of the MTV Video Music Awards, NY Fashion Week, Harry Potter movie premiere and Pixie Lott Live.

So say goodbye to those expensive satellite uplink costs because wireless live streaming at HD quality just got better.

For more info visit

Availability and Pricing
Livestream Livepack is available in the U.S. for monthly or yearly rental directly from Livestream, and includes the hardware unit, custom designed backpack, dedicated IP address for the Livestream channel, all 3G/EVDO network charges, and 30 hours of streaming uplink time per month. Neither a DV camera nor tripod are included. Month-to-month rental without commitment is $2,500 per month plus the cost of shipping. Yearly rental is $1,500 per month plus the cost of shipping. To order Livepack, email:

About Livestream
Livestream (formerly Mogulus) provides everything needed to easily webcast live, build an engaged audience and monetize these efforts. Founded in 2007, the company is based in New York and includes Gannett Co. as a minority shareholder and investor. Producers can use Livestream to create live, linear and on-demand Internet television to broadcast anywhere on the Web through a single embeddable player widget. The service comes in two flavors: Free (ad-supported) and Premium (ad-free, white-label, higher-quality). Unique features include the ability to mix multiple live cameras, overlay graphics, and desktop streaming with 3D effects.