—Going live from the
field has long been a critical part of our
nightly newscasts, and we wished to expand
live ENG capabilities beyond what
we could accomplish with our two news
trucks. We acquired a TVUPack a year ago
and its has given us more flexibility in our
live ENG than we’ve ever had before.
Our TVUPack has been a valuable tool in
obtaining live footage of important stories,
regardless of where they happen. Our journalists
like the pack too, as it’s very easy to
use; all they have to do is plug in the camera
and push a button to go live to air.
We use the TVUPack extensively for live
coverage of breaking news or to cover the
biggest newsmaker of the day. We also use it
two days a week to go on location with our
weather reports. For our most ambitious live
coverage, we sent our morning weather guys
to Chicago via Amtrak, with live segments
while the train was en route from Chicago to
Milwaukee. We had great pictures during the
entire trip, with the weather crew reporting
every 10 minutes from the moving train.
We also use the TVUPack extensively for
live coverage of press conferences from the
8th floor of our local municipal building;
something we were not able to in the past
with a microwave truck.
BEST ELECTION COVERAGE EVER
Election night was where the TVUPack
really shined. Our electoral district is so
geographically large that it’s difficult to go
live from every location where stories are
unfolding. This was especially true during
last year’s elections. Less than 24 hours before
polling started, we learned that one of
the main candidates decided to relocate his
election headquarters away from party headquarters,
forcing us to throw out weeks of
planning and adjust our evening’s broadcast
strategy on the fly.
By using a combination of our two ENG
trucks and four TVUPacks, we went live from
six different locations on election night—
something that’s really huge for our market.
We provided live coverage of election
news events throughout the night. In the
locations where we deployed TVUPacks, we
used a combination of six data cards and Wi-Fi, maintaining outstanding picture quality
for the entire seven hours of live coverage.
Although 3G/4G coverage can sometimes
be spotty, this doesn’t really affect us
that much if we do a little advance planning.
We’ve had very few issues arise during
our use of the TVUPack gear, but when we
did need some assistance, we knew that
TVU’s support team was there to back us
up. They’ve really been outstanding. Whenever
we’ve called, we’ve always been able to
speak with a real person and the company
has gone out of its way to make sure things
Jeff Clark is operations manager at
WIFR television. He may be contacted at
For additional information, contact
TVU at 650-969-6732 or visit www.tvupack.com.