Two iPhones and iPad used for NBC 'Today Show' outside broadcast

The iPhone has shown its usefulness in an unusual work at home situation, with NBC Today Show host Al Roker revealing the use of two iPhones and an iPad as part of its remote cast configuration.

Configuration of Al Roker's iPhone for outdoor broadcasts (via @ alroker / Twitter)
Configuration of 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, the people concerned being installed to do their work remotely. While many roles in the office can easily shift to work at home environments, broadcasters need to find other ways to broadcast their stars, and sometimes broadcast live.

Friday on Twitter, Al Roker revealed his setup for broadcasting for NBC’s “The Today Show”, filming live from outside his home. Roker appeared live during the show, which seemed to work like a typical outdoor show for viewers, but the tweet showed that it was not a normal setup.

Yes. Done until Friday-yay. Here is my backyard configuration for @todayshow and @ 3rdhourhourToday iPhone is Live U, the other iPhone is back. The iPad is faster. And an LED light panel and an iRig / Sennheiser micro combo

– Al Roker (@alroker) March 27, 2020

Roker said he was using a pair of iPhones to film his segments, with an iPhone 11 Pro being used as the primary camera while the other was a “comeback”. Using applications such as LiveU, the live stream from the iPhone camera was sent directly to the NBC server, with the return iPhone showing the selected video streams and clips provided by the production, allowing Roker to make eye contact with other team members.

In addition to the two iPhones, pictured on the brackets, Roker also used an iPad as an indicator, an LED light panel and a combination of a Sennheiser microphone and iRig hardware to provide the audio.

LiveU is a live video transmission and streaming platform, a platform that NBC has extensive experience. After becoming a Euronews shareholder in 2017, NBC News and Euronews discovered that they were both using LiveU systems and have since started sharing video files between organizations on the platform.

Given the video quality offered by the iPhone camera, as well as by services like LiveU, it’s likely that NBC has used similar iOS-based setups for outdoor shows in the past, or at the very least, will consider doing so in the future.

As for home users who can stream live on services like Twitch or video films for YouTube, the tweet demonstrates that a relatively small collection of quality consumer material can achieve high video production values.

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