USC Broadcast Journalism Program Adopts Streambox for IP-based Newsgathering | Streambox Inc

USC Broadcast Journalism Program Adopts Streambox for IP-based Newsgathering

By February 11, 2009Success Stories

Streambox® ACT-L3T Software Encoder Enhances
Reporting Capabilities for Evening Newscast

SEATTLE — Feb. 11, 2009Streambox, Inc. today announced that Annenberg TV News (ATVN), the student-run television news organization at the University of Southern California School of Journalism, has broadened and enhanced its remote newsgathering capabilities with a Streambox® ACT-L3™ Software solution. Streambox encoding enables broadcast journalism students to file live reports from any field location for ATVN’s evening news.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the ATVN news program involves up to 280 USC students each semester and its live show airs at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Previously, the ATVN production crew had no live, remote reporting capabilities. “Our students had to return to campus with the footage to get it on the show – and if the news was late-breaking or too far away, we just couldn’t cover it since there was no way to get the video back in Los Angeles traffic,” said John Goldsmith, production coordinator for Annenberg TV News. “When I saw the Streambox system demonstrated at NAB a couple of years ago, I realized that this technology would help prepare our students for their first jobs in television news.”

The Streambox encoding software runs on an off-the-shelf laptop and the network connection is usually an AT&T 3G wireless card. Depending on location, student news crews file their live reports via the wireless card or use the USC Ethernet connection if they are reporting from campus. A Streambox SBT3-5100 Decoder installed in ATVN’s control room decodes the video feed for playout during the broadcast.

As an example, students used the Streambox encoder to transmit interviews of homeowners fleeing the recent Los Angeles-area wildfires. “We needed to move very quickly because the fires were advancing. We were just ahead of patrol cars that were warning people that they had 15 minutes to get out,” said Christian Martinez, a sophomore broadcast journalism student at USC who serves as the Streambox technician for field crews. “But, because the Streambox system is so portable and easy to use, we were able to do quick interviews as people were leaving and transmit video back to the newsroom over a low data rate IP connection. We even set up a live shot right next to a street that had been closed and weaved in the interview footage for the 6 p.m. broadcast.”

In another example from the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, ATVN aired three hours of live coverage from the Obama victory celebration in a downtown Los Angeles hotel. “The best thing about Streambox is that it gives the seniors a chance to ‘work out their nerves’ by doing live shots before they graduate, so they’re more confident when they get their first real jobs in broadcast,” said Martinez.

Added Goldsmith, “Thanks to Streambox, the hands-on experience our students are gaining with live reporting will give them a distinct advantage in the job market. The Streambox solution is reliable, effective, and easy to use – and it’s an extremely cost-effective choice when compared to alternatives such as microwave trucks which require a lot of resources, equipment, and staff.”

“ATVN’s choice of Streambox for live reporting is a clear example of USC’s commitment to give its students the best-possible broadcast experience,” said Bob Hildeman, chairman and CEO of Streambox. “The fact that the ATVN student reporters have embraced the Streambox platform and use it for most newscasts is a real demonstration of its ease of use and flexibility for low cost, low data rate IP-based newsgathering.”

More information about the Streambox® ACT-L3 Software Encoder and the Streambox platform is available online at

About Annenberg TV News
An organization of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, Annenberg TV News is USC’s student-run, television news multimedia operation. ATVN students generate a live nightly newscast broadcast campus-wide and manage an ever-evolving website. ATVN is an outlet for USC’s aspiring journalists to develop skills in news gathering and production, while covering stories of importance to the USC community. Away from commercial influences, students resolve the ethical dilemmas of daily news, defend the ideals cultivated in their classrooms and obtain the hands-on experience that will prepare them for the professional world. ATVN students tackle a wide range of topics including community, political, international and sports news. For more information, visit

About Streambox, Inc.
Streambox provides a single software-based platform for live and file-based video transport and acquisition over IP. The platform comprises clients — from small form factor mobile devices and laptops — to rule-based video management and playout systems. The company’s scalable end-to-end solutions can be integrated into all IP centric broadcast and broadband operations.

Streambox solutions are based on the industry-leading ACT-L3™ codec which provides unrivaled performance, reliability, and quality over low data rate IP networks for fast transmission and playout of video streams in HD and SD. The company’s platform enables broadcasters, government agencies, enterprises, and other users to enhance content ownership, simplify operations, and increase operational efficiencies.

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