M-Link™ Mobile News Gathering Software Selected for ITN HD Upgrades

Reporter taking advantage of new M-Link with RazorLink aggregation features

Following a comprehensive review of products from a range of manufacturers, from both a technical and commercial perspective; Livewire Digital’s M-Link™ package of live and file-based laptop news gathering applications have been selected for use by journalists and news crews reporting from around the globe for ITN.

ITN produces ITV News, ITV News London, Channel 4 News and 5 News, the news programmes of the UK’s terrestrial commercial broadcasters. Completing ITN’s upgrade of all news gathering, production and broadcast facilities to full HD, all ITN’s mobile journalists are now equipped with a MacBook Pro running M-Link™ Live X for live links anywhere a crew can get connected, and M-Link™ NewsCaster for reliable, high quality transfer of edited news packages and rushes back to the studio over the Internet.

M-Link™ Live X and NewsCaster
Ideal for reporters on the move, M-Link™ Live X and NewsCaster, complete with fully integrated BGAN HDR Control, maximise the quality of the video delivered regardless of the link conditions. Dynamic feedback from the network provides real time information on the available bandwidth and is used to manage the live Adaptive Bit Rate encoder as well as accelerated file transfer.
M-Link™ Live-X and NewsCaster work equally well over Ka band satellite technology, VSAT, BGAN, 4G, 3G, DSL, and other broadband connections. 


Reporters using M-Link™ NewsCaster, the professional solution for the delivery of HD and SD store and forward video, can make use of advanced features such as automated background encoding, automatic transmission, MXF encoding, aspect ratio and orientation correction, and choice of transmission protocols. The NewsCaster Mobile iOS app, available in the iTunes App Store, integrates with existing M-Link™ workflow to add options for all iPhone-equipped staff to contribute video from the field.


M-Link™ Exchange
A quarter of the size of its predecessor, the M-Link™ Exchange Server is designed to operate on the Windows Server platform, and occupies just one unit of rack space, helping broadcasters better utilise space, power and cooling within their server rooms. With considerably more processing power, the new 1U Exchange server will provide the backbone of future M-Link™ receiver systems utilising HEVC encoding and handling multiple live calls. The new M-Link™ Exchange server allows users to simultaneously ingest live video streams and to play out files on the same piece of equipment.

Commenting on the positive outcome for Livewire Digital, Richard Aylmer-Hall, Product Manager, Livewire Digital, said, “Recent updates to M-Link™ dramatically improve performance and workflows for our broadcast and other news gathering customers, and ensure that the M-Link™ product suite cements Livewire Digital’s position as a market leader in mobile news gathering solutions. ITN set us a challenge to prove that M-Link™ met their needs, and within their budget, and we are delighted to continue working with them.”


ITN                                                          Independent Television News

HD                                                           High Definition

BGAN                                                      Broadband Global Area Network, Inmarsat’s Global satellite data service

HDR                                                        High Data Rate, an enhanced version of BGAN using the same satellite network

VSAT                                                       Very Small Aperture Terminal, another portable satellite broadband solution

DSL                                                         Digital Subscriber Line, probably the sort of broadband you have at home and in the office

MXF                                                         Media eXchange Format, and common file format for encapsulating recorded video and audio in a file container that also includes metadata about the media contained therein

1U                                                           One unit of computer rack space (Livewire’s old server took up 4U)

HEVC                                                     High Efficiency Video Coding, the next generation of video encoding technology which is more efficient than H.264 AVC (which most current consumer video cameras, Blu-Ray disks and online video sites now use).