As NBC’s Al Roker works from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, two Apple iPhones, a MacBook Pro, and an iPad Pro comprise the mainstays of his setup for remote live shots.
In a Twitter post on Friday, Roker showed off his broadcast setup for NBC’s The Today Show, live from his backyard. Roker’s live shots looked like a normal outside broadcast to viewers, but the tweet revealed his special Apple system for broadcasting live remotes.
Yes. Made it to Fri-yay. Here’s my backyard setup for @todayshow and @3rdhourhourToday iPhone is Live U, other iPhone is return. iPad is prompter. And a LED light panel and an iRig/Sennheiser mic combo pic.twitter.com/DomHW57KTf
— Al Roker (@alroker) March 27, 2020
Roker’s camera is an iPhone 11 Pro. Another, older iPhone, is used as the return video, so he can see his co-hosts and the rest of the broadcast’s video.
As well as the dual iPhones, pictured on stands, Roker also used an iPad as a prompter, an LED light panel, and a combination of a Sennheiser microphone and iRig hardware to provide audio.
LiveU is a live video transmission and streaming platform, one that NBC has extensive experience using. After becoming a shareholder of Euronews in 2017, NBC News and Euronews discovered they both used LiveU systems, and have since started to share video files between the organizations on the platform.
Given the video quality afforded by the iPhone’s camera, as well as services like LiveU, it is probable that NBC has used similar iOS-based setups for outside broadcasts in the past, or at the very least, will consider doing so in the future.
MacDailyNews Take: Here’s Al Roker using his iPhone and iPad Pro to conduct his daily weather briefing for The Today Show in his kitchen:
Here’s another setup, with a MacBook Pro, of Roker ready to go for a live shot from his dining room:
And, another, earlier setup with his MBP and iPad Pro:
Here’s an actual broadcast:
"This show's been around a long time. … but never has this happened before." @savannahguthrie and @alroker discuss what it's been like working from home while @hodakotb holds down the fort in Studio 1A pic.twitter.com/uhCdmAVp4Z
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 18, 2020