IP newsgathering at TV2 Denmark

The technology behind newsgathering has changed out of all recognition in the past few years giving journalists the freedom to roam in ways that - not long ago - were unimaginable.

Morten Brandstrup
In the year of the US elections, that freedom for one reporter at TV2 in Denmark has meant getting on a bike and cycling 5,000 kilometres across the country.

“He is travelling just by himself,” said Morten Brandstrup, TV2’s Head of News Technology. “I had to provide him with all the equipment to broadcast live, to make daily stories for TV and to update websites. My choice was an iPhone and an iPad. That’s all he got. He can edit on the iPad and he can do the lives when he’s riding on the bicycle.”

The availability of fast broadband networks and the development of IP transmission equipment has totally changed the way TV2 gathers its news. “Half of all the material coming into our newsroom is streamed back using broadband connections,”said Morten. “For example, currently we are covering two live events in Denmark. The transmitting vehicles have no dish on the roof - only modems for 4G.”

Faster IP networks are offering TV2 new opportunities. “The big issue is that we as a broadcaster have to work closely with the telcos,” said Morten. “We are not used to having this type of dialogue with them. We have to learn their language about how a network is designed and how they work - and that’s new to us. But when we come to understand, then we’re able to do a lot more. They have more tools in their toolbox which they can provide us with.”

He added, “When we use a broadband connection, everyone talks about ‘best effort’ but actually it's possible for them to make Quality of Service. How much will I pay for a SIM card with Quality of Service? Quite a lot!”

As well as 4G, TV2 sees Ka-band as playing an increasing role in transmitting news and sports events. He said, “For big events, for sports events we will still have sat-trucks but instead of having five Ku-band trucks, we might have one Ku-band and four Ka-band.”
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