Disaster City training facility streamed live video over IP using TVU Overwatch.

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS—TVU Networks recently participated in the Texas A&M Winter Institute, a training exercise for first responders at the Disaster City training facility in College Station, Texas. Participants used TVU’s IP-based video solutions to share live video from drone-based cameras documenting a simulated earthquake scenario, which improved response times to emergency situations and enabled medical techs to diagnose the injured.

Using TVU’s IP-based solutions, response teams were able to view live video on their mobile phones and tablets. During the exercise, a TVU One compact IP video transmitter was on site to stream the live video to a TVU server in Raleigh, N.C. From there, video could be accessed by first responders using TVU Overwatch, a secure browser-based viewer, with extremely low latency. According to Fred Poole, TVU director of government markets, about a dozen people at any given time were reviewing the live video feed during the exercise. TVU Overwatch can be customized to allow only specific viewers to access the live feed.

Dr. Walt Magnussen, director of the Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC) at Texas A&M University, said managing drone-based video is always a challenge because of  bandwidth requirements for HD video, which is required for structural integrity checks of buildings, bridges and towers by first responders, as well as news feeds for broadcasters. A big advantage of the TVU solution is that it can easily feed high-quality video to both news outlets and first responders, so it limits or eliminates potential air traffic issues caused by competing drones in the affected area.

“The feedback I got was that it was very easy to use, and the video quality was very good,” Magnussen said. “We’re looking forward to deploying the TVU technology in future exercises as well.”

“Law enforcement and first responders at every level of government can do their jobs more effectively when they have access to live video,” added Poole. “We are proud to provide solutions that help them get the audiovisual information they need when they need it most –and share that information with other agencies.”

The Winter Institute training exercise lets first responders test First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) technology to see what technologies are effective during emergencies. An independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce, FirstNet is tasked with developing, building and operating a nationwide public safety broadband network.

The TVU One offers a robust set of functions to meet the needs of any live video broadcaster. It delivers industry-leading video transmission resiliency and HD picture quality from an ultra-compact and rugged hardware chassis. With TVU One, government agencies can fully leverage the versatility of a lightweight IP-based video transmitter in the field as a part of an end-to-end workflow without sacrificing performance, features or picture quality.

TVU Overwatch enables first responders to monitor live feeds remotely without having to be in a central command center. Live video can be delivered to specified users who need to have access to that video wherever they are, with sub-second latency. This capability provides organizations with the real-time situational awareness needed to make informed decisions.