You are probably wondering what those takeout looking boxes are on top of police vehicles you see on Live PD. They are a part of a cellular based video distribution system that Live PD uses to send audio and video back to the headquarters in New York City.
The system uses up to eight 3G/4G cellular connections, two IP ethernet connections, Wi-Fi, and satellite mixing audio, data, and video links to the control room in New York. Producers in the control room can talk to the field producers directly over these links. The radio system does have channels available for drone use but that hasn’t been used on the show yet.
In an interview with CreativePlanetNetwork, Jim Jachetta, CTO of VidOvation explains
“Bonded cellular technology [is being used] to synchronously stream live video from police cruisers, handheld camera operators, and drones from six cities to master control in New York City,” explains Jim Jachetta, CTO of VidOvation.
“The major criteria was to transmit video and audio from up to five cameras in close proximity with perfect lip-sync and video synchronization between all cameras,” Jachetta says. The production is deploying AVIWEST’s DMNG PRO180-RA, using 34 systems across six cities. Two camera operators and a drone overhead, each with an HD camera and a DMNG PRO180 8 modem cellular transmitter, are covering the action outside the vehicle.
These antennas are not to be confused with speed enforcement laser systems or license plate capture systems like those pictured below.
This video explains the camera system in detail on a Live PD patrol vehicle: