Videophone technology developed by Motion Media and used by BBC, CNN as well as other world media organizations, have played an integral role in changing how the world views fast-breaking, global news events.
Wilmington, North Carolina (April 17, 2003) ¨C Satellite videophones, developed in the United Kingdom, are bringing a new dimension to reporting on the battlefield in Iraq.
The live and dramatic action on the frontline, which is being beamed into living rooms around the world, is being made possible by products like the Talking Head VideoReporter, which has been developed by communications specialists, 7E Communications, using state of the art video compression technology supplied by Motion Media, located in Bristol, UK.
The technology is being used by a host of broadcast organizations to capture the unfolding events including BBC, CNN, Fox News, ITN, NBC, and Sky TV.
Housed in a waterproof box, and smaller than a briefcase, these products are capable of sending live and uncut reports from correspondents via ISDN and satellite technology. Images from a video camera are fed via the Talking Head VideoReporter, digitally compressed, and sent to a small satellite terminal that beams the data via satellite or ISDN to the studio. The data is transmitted at 64 or 128 kbps ¨C up to four times as fast as a standard telephone modem.
These satellite videophones offer an alternative, ultra lightweight means of communication to journalists to supplement the traditional fixed satellite facility or the heavier (2,205 lbs) transportable system for 'live' reports. All that is required is two shoulder bags weighing approximately 10 lbs each.
Reporters using products like the Talking Head VideoReporter are replacing the still photograph and audio telephone report, known as the 'beeper', previously used by broadcasters, with live and high impact video reports.
Initially the technology was developed to provide a live picture of a correspondent reporting on location, shown together with either full broadcast footage or agency footage shot possibly hours earlier. However, the immediacy has proved irresistible to many of the world's news organizations and its use has been extended to transmit those vital first pictures of breaking news.
Says Mark Tyrrell, Manager Resources and Development for Newsgathering at the BBC: "Correspondents covering the conflict in Iraq have been equipped with the satellite videophones to enable them to move quickly with military units and to continue broadcasting in the harshest of conditions."
"Although the videophone technology does not provide the quality of images that you can expect from full broadcast satellite dishes, by enabling a 'dial up' facility it allows the two man teams to react quickly to a rapidly changing situation, which gives our audience broader and more balanced coverage."
Says Andy Maun, CNN News Production Engineering Manager: "CNN has several news teams in Iraq, who are equipped with satellite videophones to help bring the realities of war to viewers throughout the world. Our correspondents can make live reports from a scene very quickly, when using this equipment. They can also operate more discretely and in greater safety when they don't have to deploy a large satellite dish."
"Videophone technology does not provide the high quality images and sound we would normally expect from broadcast satellite systems, but its other advantages give us an edge on certain news assignments. Because of its portability, deployment speed and ease of use, it means that news reports can be made rapidly and effectively from locations where conventional technology couldn't be employed. It allows us to present more news events as they happen, and gives these stories greater impact."
About Motion Media:
Motion Media PLC (London Stock Exchange - MMD), is a world leader in the design and development of visual communications technology and products, providing innovative and practical solutions for business, healthcare, security and the home. The company provides a full range of affordable, easy-to-use products with outstanding video and audio quality, including desktop videophones, remote surveillance systems, telecare solutions and videocommunications technology for OEMs. Motion Media's products are used in more than 40 different countries by businesses, government agencies, healthcare providers, the Deaf community, educational establishments and security and surveillance organizations.
Motion Media, headquartered at Aust near Bristol, UK, was founded in 1993. The Company opened offices in Wilmington, North Carolina in early 2001 to serve the Americas markets. Major customers and development partners include BT, Orange, Vodafone, Ericsson, Cadbury Schweppes, Sprint, Fox News Network, ALLTEL, ADI and the U.S. Veterans Administration, as well as other major organizations around the world.