Tricks of the Trade: Making a Great Tool Work Even Better

July 11, 2014

If you’re in the electronic newsgathering business, chances are you’ve heard about bonded wireless transmitter solutions—and you’re likely even using them in your mobile newsgathering. These solutions are a great way to get news crews right to the heart of a breaking news story and put the feed on the air before the competition. And if you know a few “tricks of the trade”, you can make the technology work even better.

We wanted to share with you some of the best practices our customers have discovered for getting the most out of our trasmitters, specifically the LIVE+ 20/20 Transmitter. There’s plenty you can do to maximize available networks for transmission, especially in areas where the cell coverage is weak or spotty. And, as with most things in life, the best tips are really just common sense. 

First of all, never lay a transmitter unit face down or face up, but on its feet (like a briefcase ready to be carried). Just like your mobile phone, the built-in modems are somewhat directional and they’re located behind the screen. If you try to transmit with the unit on its side and your news crew is standing right over the box, chances are that reception will be weaker. Also, the higher off the ground you place the unit, the better the reception will be—and the easier to see the screen. If you need to be mobile, use the  shoulder strap that comes with your transmitter; it makes it easy to do walk-around live shots and keeps the unit in an ideal position for transmitting.

Moving the transmitter to the left or right can also instantly improve the connection by giving the signal access to a different cell tower. Think of the times you’ve tried to make a mobile call and were able to connect just by walking a few feet away. If you’re indoors, put the transmitter near a window and away from a crowd of people who are taking up bandwidth using their mobile phones (keep a longer cable handy for covering news in these situations).

The upshot: strong cell coverage is not always a given, especially in adverse weather or crowded areas where lots of users are hogging the bandwidth. But relocating the bonded wireless transmitter, if only a few feet, can make the difference between a strong, live signal and a missed opportunity. Be mindful of the conditions going on and be prepared to move—which you can easily do.

Do you have stories to share about your experiences working with bonded wireless newsgathering? We’d love to hear them, and any other tips your tricks that have helped you be successful with the equipment. Let me know, we love to hear your stories! You can email me at

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