Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

The recent riots across the UK were viewed by a nation spellbound by the unbelievable scenes being broadcast from such channels as Sky-carried Sangat TV. This live coverage of the violence as well as the heroic community outreach efforts—described as “jaw-dropping” by the Guardian—were made possible courtesy of the broadcaster’s earlier decision to lease two of LiveU’s LU60 units from local UK distributor Garland Partners Limited for a completely unrelated event.

In these fast-moving, volatile situations, LiveU’s flagship LU60 product cost-effectively provided Sangat TV with the ability to deploy camera operators quickly and with a mobility that satellite trucks simply could not do. With cameras hooked into a video-over-cellular uplink unit all carried by the camera operators in a backpack, images were able to be relayed instantly from the very heart of the riots.

This ability to broadcast these events might not have happened had Sangat TV—normally a Sikh religious channel—not leased the LiveU units from Garland Partners. The station had intended to use the units to provide live coverage of a visit of a famous Sikh preacher. However, Sangat TV was contacted by a local councillor in the Handsworth area of Birmingham who wanted to warn the local community and help them work with the police.

Rather than having the councillor come to the studio, reporter Randher Singh took an LU60 unit with camera attached, and broadcast the councillor live using 3G connectivity from outside a local temple. From that point on, the station brought live pictures of the riots to Sky viewers that others simply could not, all due to their use of the LiveU technology.

 The LU60 is the industry’s first bonded 3G/4G LTE video-over-cellular uplink backpack with proprietary RF technology for superior resiliency, with up to 1080 HD video. The units—provided in the UK through LiveU’s partnership with Garland Partners—have been used to broadcast numerous high-profile events as they happen, including the royal wedding, sporting events, political uprisings, and large-scale entertainment events.



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

3 thoughts on “This is how Sangat TV produced live pictures during the Birmingham riots

  1. This is clearly ground breaking technology, although I am surprised that full bandwidth HD pictures can be transmitted in this way. Any indication of costs?

  2. Better since their last update but still really too sensible for a guaranty feed without interruption.
    What’s about the multi frequency cast onto the cameraman ? Is that safety healthy prove to get 6 GSM cards “broad”casting in the time on your back ?
    Have you get a word about their marketing way to get their product ?

  3. I would expect the RF to not be significantly different from the normal camera to sat truck microwave links.

    Engineering wise it would be nice to have the antenna up over the body as otherwise the body is going to block ~40% of the possible arc which is not what you want if you want to use as many cell sites as possible but of course then those might get knocked when moving around.

    I suspect that the antenna are on the outer part of the backpack so they are not screened by the rest of the gear so that in itself will screen the operator.

    Looks like a good bit of kit.

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