BNN Uses Quicklink Mac Live In UK Election Coverage

This month saw the U.K. elections commence. News before, during and after the elections have been covered extensively by the world’s press. Even the most northern parts of the UK — The Orkney and subarctic Shetland Islands — needed a solution for low-latency, high-quality live transmissions.

Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, was the U.K.’s most northerly election count. The seat is a Liberal Democrat stronghold held by Alistair Carmichael MP and was of particular media interest as the last stand for the party in Scotland.

Heavy seas and bad weather proved a challenge for Canada’s Business News Network (BNN) team getting to the island. However, BNN’s setup included a MacBook Pro running the Quicklink Mac Live 5.9 software encoder. The Eutelsat NewsSpotter Ka network was used for the satellite transmission link. The video/audio was captured using a Sony FS700RH camera, Blackmagic Design TV Studio and Blackmagic Design mini recorder via a thunderbolt cable. Audio Talkback was also available with the Quicklink IFB talkback.

Despite the bad weather, BNN achieved superb quality footage, according to BNN’s Bobby Nelson: “I have compared the quality to previous transmissions and we were not able to differentiate any quality difference between the content that came out of a little island far north of Scotland in the middle of nowhere compared to what is produced daily in the City of Glasgow. The picture and sound quality were excellent.”

The Quicklink Mac Live solution gave BNN the opportunity to transmit live two-way audio interviews both to the studio in Glasgow and also the ITV Network studio.

The Quicklink Mac Live continues to be used at BNN and is certainly going to be used in future projects, Nelson said: “We’ve used Quicklink over many major events now and it has worked very well for us. It’s a robust piece of software, so we have a lot of faith and that’s why we continue to use it.”


The Quicklink Mac Live offers a new, improved codec, improved Inmarsat satellite functionality and customized audio bitrate selection if a higher audio quality is desired. In addition the software also automatically protects the stream over high-loss networks and offers superior quality on low bandwidth networks.

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