New technologies change the face of news trucks

If you watch any old film where a news crew turns up you will probably see them arrive in a giant truck filled with equipment and the technology to broadcast live from the scene. However, this soon may be a thing as the past as new broadcasting technology is now smaller and more intricate which means that news crews are now opting to invest in smaller vans and pick-ups instead of trucks and heavier commercial vehicles.

Discussing the changes, president of Accelerated Media Technologies Thomas P. Jennings said: “Everybody is anticipating the eventual leap to IP signal delivery, whether that’s through maximizing microwave bandwidth or using cellular bonding technologies. We’re putting in a lot of effort to make the trucks cost less for our clients. That means smaller/ less expensive cameras, encoders, transmitters and whatever else a client needs to keep cost down but functionality high. This allows them to put more trucks on the road and expand their news coverage. At the end of the day, that’s what all news stations need to do in order to stay competitive.”

“This technology has allowed news vans to get smaller, and more manoeuvrable, which is what our clients want. We’re now building on short-bodied Chevy and Ford vans, Subaru Foresters and a multitude of small crossover SUV’s with power systems that run directly off the engine [the engine can generate more than enough to power these systems]. They are not the big, power-hungry systems that people are used to using. We’re also using more diesel, CNG and hybrid chassis, because they are more fuel-efficient and they run longer at idle without causing traditional heat problems.”

“As the migration to IP occurs, you can begin to integrate even lower cost IP based equipment to achieve professional results. You can start to interface with a variety of professional and prosumer cameras that you can mount all over the vehicle and control remotely [for example, from a desk back at the station] to expand your coverage. We’re seeing stations mount high end surveillance type cameras on the top of vans so that they can look around as they survey a news event without getting out of the truck.”

This development of broadcasting technologies could ultimately safe news companies thousands of pounds per year by not having to buy heavy commercial vehicles and then protect them and the equipment with expensive van insurance.

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