The iPhone proved useful in an unusual situation at home, with NBC Today Show host Al Roker, revealing the use of two iPhones and an iPad as part of the remote broadcast setup.
Configuring Al Roker’s iPhone for outdoor broadcasts (via @ alroker / Twitter)
The coronavirus has forced many companies and organizations to keep their employees at home as much as possible, installing the people involved to do their work remotely. While many office functions can easily switch to work environments at home, broadcasters need to find other ways to broadcast and sometimes broadcast their stars live.
On Friday on Twitter, Al Roker revealed his schedule for the broadcast of NBC’s The Today Show, live outside his home. Roker appeared live on the program, which appeared to function as a typical outdoor show for viewers, but the tweet showed that it was not a normal setup.
Yes. Done until Friday. Here’s my backyard setup for @todayshow Today, the iPhone is on Live U, the other iPhone is back. The iPad is faster. And an LED light panel and an iRig / Sennheiser micro combo pic.twitter.com/DomHW57KTf
– Al Roker (@alroker) March 27, 2020
Roker said he used some iPhones to film his segments, using an iPhone 11 Pro as the main camera, while the other was a “comeback”. Using applications like LiveU, the live stream from the iPhone camera was sent directly to the NBC server, with the returned iPhone showing the video streams and selected clips from the production, allowing Roker to make eye contact with other team members.
In addition to the two iPhones, shown in parentheses, Roker also used an iPad as an indicator, a panel of LED lights and a combination of Sennheiser microphone and iRig hardware to provide the audio.
LiveU is a platform for transferring and streaming live video, a platform with which NBC has a lot of experience. After becoming a shareholder in Euronews in 2017, NBC News and Euronews found that they both used LiveU systems and have since shared video files between organizations on the platform.
Given the video quality offered by the iPhone’s camera and services like LiveU, it is likely that NBC has used similar iOS-based configurations for outdoor shows in the past, or at least considering doing so in the future.
As for home users who can stream live services like Twitch or video to YouTube, the tweet shows that a relatively small collection of high quality consumables can achieve high values for video production.