APN News uses Soliton H.265 Smart-telecaster for live news gathering
By: Fergal Ringrose
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:38 pm

APN News is today one of the most watched and respected news channel’s in India. Based in the bustling media hub of Noida, APN has been at the forefront of each news revolution, whether delivering breaking stories or new technologies behind its reporting.

Part of the success of its newsgathering operation is by being one of the first to broadcast with the latest news from location. Delivering live news feeds in realtime has always been a challenge in India. Traditionally this would be done via satellite SNG trucks, but their expense and bulkiness makes this difficult.

APN News then tried to use mobile encoders to take the live video streams from the camera and transport that over multiple cellular phone networks simultaneously. But this proved unreliable. That is until they tried the Smart Telecaster range of products from Soliton.

Rajshri Rai, the Managing Director of APN News explained “We are always on the lookout for innovative methods of live streaming from the field which is easy to use by our journalists. Satellite trucks proved not to be as agile as we hoped, and so we looked at cellular to live stream. But the mobile phone network in India is not very reliable so we were experiencing a lot of dropouts, especially in 2G areas when trying to live stream back to our broadcast centre.”

Rai continued “Soliton are innovators in live streaming and it was the first product we used that utilises H.265 as a method to encode. The reliability was amazing, even working well at very low bit rates, which is quite common in a country like India. We have now invested in many units of both the Zao and the Zao-S.”

The Zao-S is a mobile H.265 encoder that weighs 400 grams and can be fully manged by a remote browser. It can support up to 3 SIM cards from different mobile phone carriers which are bonded as a single connection. Latency back to the broadcast centre,  can be as low as 240ms, and can even work when bit rates drop below 500kb per second.