Wednesday's plane accident, which crashed into an Upper East Side apartment building, Fox News
delivered early live video to its viewers from the crash site using a Windows
Mobile Palm Treo 700 souped up with streaming video.
Scott Wilder, the cameraman who streamed live from the accident, had been about
20 blocks away on another assignment when the crash occurred. Wilder ran uptown
and reported live from the scene using his Palm Treo smartphone that uses the
existing mobile network (EVDO) to transmit video to the Fox News control room.
From there, Fox News sent it out live on TV to supplement other video being shot
by local traffic helicopters.
Wilder's work represents one of the first instances of a network using video
captured via mobile phone camera live on the air. Fox News has experimented with
the practice several times in recent weeks with CometVision, software designed
by Ohio-based Comet Video Technologies.
TV journalism already has deployed a digital-video camera attached to a
mobile phone to transmit a live picture (as used in the Iraq war) and in
addition, most if not all of the networks have used mobile phone video, but not
live but as footage only.
The live picture quality from the crash site wasn't spectacular, with
scattered shots of the scene and little movement. Wilder talked to "Studio B"
anchor Shepard Smith as he held the camera; the control room fed live pictures
over the network to accompany Wilder's commentary.
CometVision runs on a Palm Treo 700-series PDA via the Windows Mobile
operating system. The technology is able to transmit video over non-3G networks,
using much less bandwidth than would normally be needed, Comet CEO Howard Becker
Now every Fox News bureau has at least one or two of the Treos for
photographers and other staff members to bring with them in breaking news or
where it isn't possible to bring a full-fledged camera for live coverage.
Well, this is an interesting development and cooperates with ComVu's (another
company which is working on similar products like CometVision) latest product,
the ComVu Mobile Video Studio
I've mentioned here earlier.
Cheers ~ Arne