RTÉ delivers Irish General Election coverage using Europasat’s satellite service

Dublin, March 2016:  RTÉ, Ireland’s national public service broadcaster, delivered its most comprehensive coverage of the Irish General Election in February, working with Bigblu to use its satellite newsgathering service, NewsSpotter. The NewsSpotter service, using the latest generation KA-SAT satellite, transmitted live coverage and interviews from 17 counting stations and political headquarters across Ireland, where there was limited or no access to high-speed terrestrial broadband. The project was an addition to the two-year agreement between RTÉ and Bigblu, announced in June last year, for the public service broadcaster to use Bigblu’s satellite newsgathering service.

RTE use NewsSpotter Ka-band IP SNG system to cover Irish elections.
Bigblu engineers set up the antennas and managed the bandwidth for the broadcasts. Bigblu's broadcast specialist partner, Auriga Kore Networks, controlled the terrestrial routing of the IP signal via London Telehouse North to the RTÉ studio in Dublin.

Piotr Kaszynski, Technology Manager, at RTÉ News and Current Affairs said:  "The Bigblu NewsSpotter service allowed our teams to cover more counting stations than ever before, in areas where it would have traditionally been more difficult and costly to report from. During the marathon 17 hour TV Election 2016 results coverage we had simultaneous live streams available from 15 different IP KA band Bigblu locations working alongside 17 KU band satellite newsgathering trucks." 

The NewsSpotter service has transformed the ease and economics of satellite newsgathering. The latest generation of lightweight equipment, with guaranteed bandwidth up to 10 Mbps, supports transmissions of live video and audio in SD and HD. As a completely IP-based service it is adapted for quickly sending store-and-forward files and FTP. It can be used in combination with IP codecs, such as, M-Link Live-X or M-Link News Caster for video and audio.

Flexibility and mobility are at the heart of the Bigblu’s broadcast service. Bandwidth can be reserved on a pay-as-you-go basis through an online booking system. Users simply log in and enter their terminal number, location, time slot and the desired bandwidth.

Bigblu’s satellite terminals are available as Flyaway models or Autopointing versions. Bigblu manufacture their Flyaway Kits designed for operation in harsh environments. The drive-away, motorised terminal is available with dish sizes from 75 to 120 cm, small enough to be mounted to the roof of a car.

Bigblu is currently delivering services to more than 50 broadcasters, including large organisations such as the BBC, CNN and RTÉ, and many small production companies and freelancers.

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