Looking for Cheap and Easy Hookups in Las VegasNews orgs shopping for faster, less-expensive newsgathering options at NAB 4/11/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
Anyone who still needed a reminder of how
much news cycles have sped up got it in recent
months, with waves of protests washing
over the Middle East and the tragic Japanese earthquake
and Tsunami unfolding at breathtaking speeds.
With news organizations struggling to provide almost
instantaneous coverage of these events, technologies to
help newsrooms cope with the immediacy of breaking
events and the need to get that news out on multiple
platforms will be top-of-mind at this year’s NAB.
Newcomer news technologies include smaller, lighter
HD cameras; less expensive editing systems; systems to
transport video back to stations over 3G and 4G networks;
products that streamline or automate file-based workflows;
and cloud-based solutions, according to executives at a
number of major station groups, broadcast
networks and cable channels interviewed by
B&C in recent weeks.
Much of this interest is being driven
by the twin imperatives of reducing costs
while trying to cover more news for more
newscasts and for additional platforms.
“Many news organizations have been tightening
the belt and at the same time trying
to adapt to distributing more news content
over various platforms,” says Mark Kraham,
news director at WHAG-TV and chairman
of the Radio Television Digital News Association,
which will be hosting several sessions
at NAB on cross-platform newsgathering
Amid the effort to produce more news
for less, demand has gone up for Chyron’s
cloud-based graphics solutions,
which have been deployed at
Gannett, Sinclair, Fox, Scripps
and other stations, says Todd
Martin, VP of strategic partnerships
and professional services
Working in the cloud, Martin
says, not only cuts capital expenses
and operating costs; it
also makes it easier for station
groups to improve the quality
of their graphics and deploy
those graphics on more platforms.
File management and news
productions systems that allow
news operations to move files faster from cameras in the field to the newsroom are also
in greater demand, reports Fred
Fourcher, president and CEO
“Some are looking to cut costs,
but others are thinking about
how they can leverage technology
to streamline operations and
reallocate resources so they can
put more people in the ! eld and
deliver more content to more
platforms,” he tells B&C.
As stations move people out
of newsrooms into the field,
they are also looking for ways at NAB to equip them
with less expensive editing systems and cameras. “The
days of the $30,000 to $40,000 HD camera are gone,”
says Larry Librach, VP of broadcast and public sector at
JVC Professional Products.
To make it easier for JVC users to bring more video
back from the field, the company will be demonstrating
at this year’s NAB a prototype of a camera that can
transmit video directly to the newsroom over wireless
networks. The vendor will also be launching a module
that can send a live signal from the camera directly to a
microwave or satellite truck.
A number of other companies, including LiveU,
Streambox and Nomad Innovations have also developed
systems that attach to cameras to bring content back from
the field over 3G and 4G cellular networks, providing a
less costly alternative to microwave or satellite trucks.
Harvey Levin, founder and managing editor, of TMZ,
says the show uses several units from LiveU to bring
back video from the field to its website via cellular networks.
“It’s a game changer,” he says. “It is just not economical
for us to do things the way they were done 30
The LiveU units were also widely used in the Middle
East and Japan recently and have been adopted by a
number of station groups, including CBS.
CBS has also tested Nomad Innovations’ LiveEdge,
which uses Verizon’s 4G. Nomad CEO Bob Klingle says
the solution is about one quarter the cost of a satellite
truck. “They can either save money or quadruple the
live coverage they have” so they can produce more content
for more platforms, he explains.