Imagine being ABC News reporter Alexander Marquardt, reporting from a war zone in the Syrian capital of Damascus, apprising viewers of what he sees around him. Basically, that's what TV reporters do. But is it, really? That question has arisen more in the past year or so, because not only can a reporter working with a virtual reality (VR) camera still report about their surroundings, they can capture the 360-degree survey of the scene and bring the viewer along while doing so. That's where companies like Palo Alto, Calif.-based Jaunt enter the picture.
When a gunman opened fire Oct. 1 in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., KVAL had only two reporters in the rural town. ABC affiliate KEZI had just one. The vast majority of staff and resources for the two Eugene stations, as well as others in the closest TV market (DMA No. 120), were 72 miles north. They sent staff to the hospital and blood bank in addition to the school, while reporters on their own had TVU backpacks and sent content back. The stations dealt with rumors and national media requests, not to mention the aftermath of a tragedy in their backyard, but they nonetheless produced wall-to-wall coverage. "One thing we do not have is a small-market attitude here," said JR Jackson, KVAL Eugene general manager. "We don't think of ourselves as a small-market team."
Use of Dejero Software With New Bonded HDR Service via BGAN Gives Customers Twice the Bandwidth for Transmitting Video From Remote Locations Bonded cellular system provider Dejero has released an update of its LIVE+ NewsBook software for Mac notebooks, enabling users to bond portable Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminals to produce a live stream greater than 1 Mbps of video. This newest Inmarsat L-band service provides additional Internet connectivity and enables live video streaming from anywhere in the world covered by BGAN's satellite network, including extremely remote locations where no other network connections are available. Dejero's LIVE+ NewsBook transforms a Mac notebook into a highly versatile "go-anywhere" video uplink solution.
San Francisco station KRON has added Quadcopter 4 to its newsgathering toolkit. TVNewscheck reports the drone is flown by newscast director Mark Burnette. "It's great to get out of the control room and use my skills as a pilot for the station in this exciting, new way," Burnette said.
There's a new app called UPitch that helps video journalists find and report on stories from around the world, in a wide variety of categories. It's now available on the App Store! Simply download the UPitch app (at http://apple.co/1F8fgTo), put in your industry category filter(s), swipe through micro-pitches (400 characters) and discover great news stories and/or products to cover. The UPitch app is free for everyone. It's a utility for journalists across all media categories to interact and connect with stories and news announcements from PR Pros, Businesses, Organizations and People. It enables journalists to swipe anonymously through concisely crafted pitches consisting of: headline, summary, 400 characters & images on an easy and convenient mobile platform.
Comrex Corporation, based in Devens, Mass., has released a new firmware version for its flagship IP video codec, LiveShot that adds peer-to-peer collaboration and the ability to better manage multiple Comrex LiveShot devices in the field from a central location (e.g., the TV station). This new version (1.4) introduces peer-to-peer connecting via Switchboard for allowing LiveShot users to mix and match hardware easily. SwitchBoard server, a cloud server maintained by Comrex, delivers an active list of other LiveShots in the fleet and allows simplified connection to any of them.
As the upcoming elections continue to heat up, it's becoming more important for video journalists to keep up with the candidates. How else are we supposed to catch what Donald Trump will say or do next? LiveU, a provider of IP-based live video services and broadcast solutions, recently collaborated with Fox 5 News in New York to train reporters and cameramen on how to deliver 360-degree coverage of the elections on a budget.
New Zealand-based production company Kinetic Media used Dejero's LIVE+ bonded cellular mobile transmitters to stream live HD video from field locations to outside broadcast (OB) trucks during televised coverage of the inaugural Challenge Dubai triathlon. Mounted on motorcycles, the rugged and portable LIVE+ transmitters allowed Kinetic Media to transmit live video directly from the men's and women's swimming, running, and cycling courses. "Once again, Dejero's LIVE+ transmitters gave us a first-rate alternative to traditional satellite and microwave trucks for capturing the excitement of a triathlon," said Richard Sutcliffe, producer, Kinetic Media.
TVU Networks, a provider of live mobile IP newsgathering solutions for video journalists, has been traveling around the country demonstrating its range of technology, including its TVU One IP newsgathering video transmitter; MLink cellular 3G/4G LTE, satellite and microwave live video uplink transmitter; TVUPack TM8200 mobile uplink backpack transmitter; and the TVU Anywhere application that turns laptops and smart devices into transmitters.
Today's videographers want their gear packages light in weight and compact in size. This not only cuts travel costs, but allows videographers to work faster in high stress level video shoots. Late last year I traveled to the South to record some video interviews. As with many shoots these days, I was a one-man-band. After that trip — as I have done countless times before — I cursed the heavy weight of my video gear and slowly begin the process of lightening things up. I began by laying out the assortment of gear in an effort to see where all the unnecessary weight was. Much of it, I quickly determined, was in electrical cable and outlets, light stands, tripods and quartz light fixtures with their accessories. I knew it was cumulatively too heavy and I began to investigate how I could effectively replace the stuff with smaller, less bulky equipment for the road.
MOJO: The Mobile Journalism Handbook is the first book devoted specifically to training citizens, journalism students and media professionals to produce professional-quality videos with only a mobile device. As journalism becomes increasingly competitive, students and emerging professionals need a broader skillset to make themselves more employable, whether as mainstream or entrepreneurial journalists. This book by Dr. Ivo Burum and Dr. Stephen Quinn, world experts in mobile journalism, provides comprehensive coverage of all the skills and practices needed to be a mobile journalist.
Vizrt Helps Video Journalism Students Learn Graphics Creation With New Starter Program Viz Artist designers are some of the most sought after broadcast designers in the world. Vizrt is offering a special program for all aspiring broadcast designers to give their careers a head start in the media industry.The Vizrt Student License Program is offered to both freelancers and students (enrolled to educational institutions). The program has been created to provide special pricing for Viz Artist, Vizrt’s real-time 3D modeling and animation application that is used to design scenes for all of Vizrt’s graphics products. Using specially licensed software and a series of tutorials, you will become an expert in what’s become the design standard for broadcast.
The National High School Journalism Convention is a semiannual gathering of high school journalists and advisers sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and its partner, the National Scholastic Press Association. The associations partner to prepare hundreds of practical and professional learning sessions, from high-profile keynotes to specific, problem-solving breakouts, hands-on workshops and discussion groups. Other convention activities include an exhibit hall with vendors who sell to student media, JEA's on-site Write-off contests, NSPA's Best of Show contest, receptions, awards convocations, critiques, career roundtables and evening entertainment. The next one is Nov. 6-9 in Washington, D.C. Don't miss it.
A couple of months ago, I was intrigued by a new 360 spherical camera that I immediately realized would allow video journalists to enhance certain news stories, especially on station web sites and perhaps as huge images for projection on the background of news studio sets. Ricoh, the company making the new Theta camera, had the same idea for news acquisition and sponsored a contest called "Spherical Report 360" that asked journalists and wannabe journalists to post 360 degree images on a website controlled by CNN. The purpose of the project is to explore new expression methods and possibilities for news images by using the very simple, pocket-sized Ricoh Theta camera..