With all of the interest in technology for file-based workflows inside newsrooms, the time seems ripe for IT to reach into the field and allow reporters and producers to send and receive files as if they were working back at the station.
The IP transfer of video files from the field got a big boost at NAB2005 from Microwave Radio Communications and Nucomm. Separately, the companies demonstrated how point-to-point ENG microwave transmission could be used to transmit files between the field and newsroom.
The use of store and forward technology continues to grow in popularity to file stories internationally and is likely to proliferate with the availability of small broadband global area network (BGAN) satellite modems and service.
To date, Inmarsat’s BGAN service has been available outside the United States, but later this year the company plans a satellite launch that will bring BGAN coverage to most of the Americas.
Using a laptop-computer-sized satellite terminal, BGAN will provide IP and circuit-switched connectivity to newsrooms from most areas of the world. Voice, data, Internet connectivity, videoconferencing are some of the uses. For reporters and producers in the field, BGAN’s current 144Kb/s and anticipated 500Kb/s data rate will provide a transmission technology that easily couples with file-based editing and the concept of store and forward. For local news directors and network news management, the technology will offer a way to leverage its existing journalistic muscle in the field and rethink how and when to deploy existing SNG and ENG trucks as well as flyaways.