Akaku, Maui County’s public access television station, has added a new LiveU unit to its repertoire, giving the station the capability to cablecast live in real time. The LiveU unit does all the transmission work of a satellite truck from a 12-pound backpack by harnessing and aggregating cellular links or wireless networks into a seamless broadband transmission.
Viewers experienced the station’s new capability two weeks ago during their first live broadcast of the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) regatta. In less than a second, the regatta video was transmitted to Akaku’s Kahului receiver and instantly streamed on Channel 54 and the station’s website.
“Akaku’s live broadcast of our high school regatta is a remarkable opportunity to share our sport with the families and friends of our student athletes who are unable to join us at the beach,” said Race Director/Assistant Coordinator Mahina Martin. “This is especially exciting for the families of our paddlers from Molokai and Lanai. Akaku’s ability to reach out to our neighborhoods and families continues to be a valuable asset to our county. We appreciate Akaku’s support of our high school athletes.”
The station has also already provided live coverage of the dedication of the new airport facilities and the dedication of the new PV facility at the Aquatic Center in Kihei.
Next Saturday, the station will cover the last race of the MIL paddling season on Maui using LiveU, following a live video broadcast from the Makahiki Festival on Molokai using LiveU with a mobile phone. In a press release, Akaku introduced plans to live broadcast coverage of the Whale Day Parade in Kihei, Maui Friday Town Parties, East Maui Taro Festival and MCRA Canoe Racing, among others.
“Our goal for Akaku’s new LiveU unit is to cablecast live community events, including sports, community meetings, government meetings, breaking news and civil emergencies,” said Suki Halevi, the station’s Director of Development. “We will cablecast these events live on the Akaku channels. In the future, we plan to send live video to and from public access channels and broadcast outlets on Oahu and the mainland, including NBC, FOX, CNN and Univision. The unit gives us the possibility of video streaming live events on the web as well.”
Shawn Michael, the new Programming Director, is currently testing their ability to provide live RSS feeds and uploads of videos and stills directly to their channels. The station is also developing a LiveU smart phone app to allow people to send live video to channels. Akaku currently uses Facebook and Twitter to connect the public to events, and the akaku.org website contains a blog.
The station is welcoming suggestions from the community about scheduling. Anyone interested can call them at 808-871-5554 and ask for Sayble, the Production Director. Also, anyone who would like to be on a LiveU shoot as a community producer or submit content with a LiveU mobile phone app, should also contact Sayble.