Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In broadcast engineering, a remote broadcast (usually just called a remote or a live remote) is broadcasting done from a location away from the regular studio. A remote pickup unit (RPU) is usually used to transmit the audio and/or video back to the station, where it joins the normal airchain. Other methods include satellite trucks, and even regular telephone lines if necessary.
In radio, remotes are often some from a special event, such as a concert or a sporting event. The entire show (including live or recorded music) may be broadcast from the location, or only "spots" which advertise the event. Most often, the host of the event pays the radio station to be there, which covers the expense of personnel and equipment. If the event is recurring – such as a weekly at a nightclub – there may also be a one time installation fee for the local telephone company to put in lines.
Originally, analog audio was sent through a telephone hybrid, however the low quality was only acceptable for voice, such as announcing from a sporting event. Frequency extenders were later developed to use an additional line or two, shifting higher treble audio frequencies down on one end and back up on the other, to provide a reasonable-quality reproduction of the original sound. Later units were digital, using ISDN or DSL to send compressed digital audio back to the studio. Newer units are very portable, and have such advanced compression (often MPEG-4) that they can run single-channel (monophonic) FM-quality audio over regular phone lines, using a built-in modem.
In TV, live remotes are an almost daily part of news broadcasts in the U.S. As a part of electronic news gathering (ENG), remotes are meant to bring the audience to the scene of the action, although often nothing directly related to the story is happening there anymore. In some cases live remotes have even taken ridicule, particularly for reporters who stand out in the middle of a hurricane's winds, risking their lives while telling viewers not to do the same.
To get to the scene quickly, a live remote may be done from a helicopter.
Live TV remotes may often be used in a manner similar to radio remotes (and vice versa) as well.
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