As I stood outside WFTS-TV the other night waiting to do a live report back to the station I was struck by how far we have come in getting our product (video reports) from faraway places to the station.
When I worked in Green Bay in the 1970’s, we would have to drive our undeveloped film to the nearest major airport and ship it back via air freight. Once it arrived at it’s desination (which was usually the next day) the film had to be developed and a report put together.
By the early 80’s we were using video tape cameras and going to nearby ABC affiliates to edit the video on machines we weren’t used to and then trying to uplink it via satellite transmission. That was always a touch and go proposition in the early days. Prior to the 1982 Iowa Peach Bowl I did the first live satellite feed to KCRG-TV. The shot originated from the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta.
The advent of satellite trucks gave us more mobility so we could feed from stadiums, etc. We actually took the TV9 satellite truck to the 2003 Orange Bowl in Miami and it was great working out of our own equipment for the first time ever and not having to rely on a local ABC station.
Now another step forward in technology. We (Matt Nelson) is doing all of our editing on a laptop computer and feeding the video back to KCRG via the internet. It is not as instantaneous as a satellite feed. A minute, twenty second report might take 15 minues to reach the station. In a business where deadlines are always looming, that can be critical.
I know it will be critical after the Outback Bowl. Matt and I will have about two hours to put together and send two game reports back to the station and rush to the airport to make a 6:15 flight. At least we are the ones getting on the plane, not a sack of film like the “good old days.”