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Bloomberg TV features programming daily where the anchors co-host the show from both London and New York at the same time. Interaction between the co-hosts at the different locations are instantaneous and there is no noticable latency whatsoever, despite the distance.

However, when they have an interviewee on-air that is not in any one of the main studios, via what seems to be internet video or satellite, there is a noticeable latency.

How does Bloomberg TV and other major media manage to do co-hosting, in regards to latency?

Is London–New York latency not a big issue in live television? Or do they rent bandwidth on some sort of super-speed internet connection over the Atlantic?

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There are two key ways to deal with the inevitable latency of live video from the other side of the world:

  • Ignore the video, at least for talent or guest queuing purposes. The person is fed mix-minus audio through their IFB. Since it is just audio, and historically was sent over a POTS telephone line, it can have virtually unnoticeable latency to the viewer.
  • Practice, practice, practice. For geographically separated anchors, they will rehearse until they can get the timing of things right. They'll know they need to start talking just that little bit early for it to be seamless to the viewer.

Other technical things that can be done are to rely on terrestrial (fiber optic) transmission of the remote location (significantly lower latency than satellite, but physics still prevents zero latency) and avoiding compression or using codecs designed for low latency and high quality.

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