miniCASTER launches uplink streaming service

Michael Westphal, CEO of miniCASTER, is certain of one thing: Ka-band newsgathering is destined for rapid growth.

Michael Westphal
Speaking at this month’s IBC exhibition in Amsterdam, he looked around him in the outdoor area where OB and SNG vans were on display and said: “I promise that in about three years from now 80% of the vehicles here will be Ka-sat capable and only 20% will have the old-fashioned technology.”

And the reason? Pricing.

“People are surprised by the low cost and they can't believe the video quality. It's the same quality [as Ku-band],” said Michael.

Michael has been in the live streaming business for more than 15 years. His company in Germany produces the miniCASTER encoding unit which can be attached to a camera and is used for live streaming across IP networks such as 3G. But he is now launching a mobile satellite uplinking system aimed at broadcasters and webcasters.

“Broadcasters struggle with budgets,” he said, “so they have the need for more live content production for less money.”

“We have a flyaway system below 8,000 Euros and we have a car unit system fully-mounted on a small SUV below 16,000 Euros. That doesn't include the car!”

Michael explained: “The main benefit of this satellite uplink system is that you can get an internet broadband connection wherever you are. The satellite covers the whole of Europe, parts of the Middle East and northern Africa; you will be online within seven minutes and you get guaranteed bandwidth; that's the most important thing - it's dedicated bandwidth for you.”

Charging is done by data volume. 1Gb is approximately 45 Euros giving about two hours transmission time using 1Mbit/s bandwidth.

Michael added, “The only thing we can't provide is redundancy, so if you want to go to a HD soccer match, of course you go with the big vans because you have more back-up facilities inside but for smaller events and live stand-ups, this is the perfect solution and this is the future, there is no doubt about it.”
Live streaming crews

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