Remote broadcast

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In broadcast engineering, a remote broadcast (usually just called a remote or a live remote, or in news parlance, a live shot) is broadcasting done from a location away from a formal television studio and is considered an electronic field production (EFP). A remote pickup unit (RPU) is usually used to transmit the audio and/or video back to the television station, where it joins the normal airchain. Other methods include satellite trucks, production trucks and even regular telephone lines if necessary.

Broadcast engineering is the field of electrical engineering, and now to some extent computer engineering and information technology, which deals with radio and television broadcasting. Audio engineering and RF engineering are also essential parts of broadcast engineering, being their own subsets of electrical engineering.

Broadcasting distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio or visual mass communications medium

Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum, in a one-to-many model. Broadcasting began with AM radio, which came into popular use around 1920 with the spread of vacuum tube radio transmitters and receivers. Before this, all forms of electronic communication were one-to-one, with the message intended for a single recipient. The term broadcasting evolved from its use as the agricultural method of sowing seeds in a field by casting them broadly about. It was later adopted for describing the widespread distribution of information by printed materials or by telegraph. Examples applying it to "one-to-many" radio transmissions of an individual station to multiple listeners appeared as early as 1898.

Television studio installation in which video productions take place

A television studio, also called a television production studio, is an installation room in which video productions take place, either for the recording of live television to video tape, or for the acquisition of raw footage for post-production. The design of a studio is similar to, and derived from, movie studios, with a few amendments for the special requirements of television production. A professional television studio generally has several rooms, which are kept separate for noise and practicality reasons. These rooms are connected via intercom, and personnel will be divided among these workplaces.



The first airing of a remote broadcast came in 1924, when Loew's Theater publicist and WHN (New York City) station manager Nils Granlund leased telegraph lines from Western Union to provide the first link in what became called cabaret broadcasting." [1] By early 1925, Granlund had established remote lines between WHN and more than thirty New York City jazz nightclubs, including the Silver Slipper, The Parody Club, the Cotton Club, the Strand Roof, and Club Moritz. These big band remotes would become a staple of the old-time radio era, lasting well into the 1950s.

Loews Cineplex Entertainment theater chain

Loews Theatres, also known as Loews Incorporated, founded on June 23, 1904 by Marcus Loew, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America until it merged with AMC Theatres on January 26, 2006. From 1924 until 1959, it was also the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM). The Loews name was used until 2017, when AMC simplified their branding to focus on three main lines: AMC, AMC Classic and AMC Dine-In after their purchase of Carmike Cinemas.

Nils Granlund American broadway producer

Nils T. Granlund was an American show producer, entertainment industry entrepreneur and radio industry pioneer. He was a publicist for Marcus Loew who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Although his birth name was Nils Theodore Granlund, he later used Thor as a middle name, and after appearing on early radio was commonly referenced only by his initials, N.T.G., on the air and in print.

The Western Union Company is an American worldwide financial services and communications company. Its headquarters is in Meridian, Colorado, although the postal designation of nearby Englewood is used in its mailing address. Up until it discontinued the service in 2006, Western Union was globally the best-known American company in the business of exchanging telegrams.

Nils T. Granlund cited the 1925 WHN airing of Senator James J. Walker's announcement of his New York City mayoral candidacy through a remote broadcast from the New York Press Club as the first such remote link for a political forum. [2]

In Latin America, on October 27, 1920 Dr Sussini made the first remote transmission in Argentina from the theatre El Coliseo in Buenos Aires. In Mexico on September 27, 1921, Adolfo Gomez Fernandez made a transmission from the Teatro Ideal, Mexico DF [3]

The very first live remote broadcast to the nation was by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1938 when Frank Willis reported on the Moose River Gold Mine disaster in Nova Scotia

On June 11, 1955, NBC, The National Broadcasting Company, provided the 1st live remote broadcast to the nation from Niagara Falls, New York. [4]


In radio, remotes are often used for special events, such as concerts or sporting events, where either the entire event or advertisements for the event are broadcast on location. The cost of personnel and equipment is usually paid for by the host at each performance. However, if the event is recurring, such as a weekly broadcast from a nightclub, then dedicated lines are usually installed by the local telephone company in order to save on costs. With low range radio stations, and at events with no telephone lines, several radio stations will call into the studio request line with a cell phone and microphone setup. From there, another DJ in the studio will put them on-location live on the air via the studio request line. Some stations use this method when doing live broadcasts in areas where the signal is weak.

Originally, analog audio broadcasts were sent through telephone hybrids, which, although low quality, were found to be acceptable for voice broadcasts. Later, frequency extenders were developed that used additional lines, shifting higher treble audio frequencies down on one end and back up on the other, providing a reasonable reproduction of the original sound. Currently, digital lines, such as ISDN or DSL, are used to send compressed digital audio back to the studio. In addition, modern remote pickup units have become extremely portable and can transmit single-channel monophonic FM-quality audio over regular telephone lines using built-in modems and advanced compression algorithms (MPEG-4, etc.). See POTS codec.


In TV, live television remotes are an almost daily part of television 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.

To get to the scene quickly, a live remote may be done from a helicopter.

Live television remotes may often be used in a manner similar to radio remotes (and vice versa) as well.

Late night talk shows commonly used remotes for recurring segments. They are mostly unscripted comedic routines and interviews in public areas.

See also


  1. American Babel; Doerksen, Clifford J.;University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005; Page 32.
  2. Blondes, Brunettes, and Bullets; Granlund, Nils T.;Van Rees Press, New York, 1957; Page 102.
  3. Radio World Magazine, edited in USA, January 2, 2002, page 15
  4. Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, NY June 11, 1955

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