Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Toys

Coming soon, KATU will be the first newsroom in PDX to go tapeless. Their new Panasonic cameras use memory much like our digital home cameras.

The complaint inside is inadequate training (as usual with a new toy) and some missing equipment, so I'm told.

Will it enhance news gathering or give them a competitive edge? No. It never does. The only way it does is missing pictures and uncomfortable waits from the anchor desk - "uhm, folks, we're having technical difficulties."

The only time Portland viewers cared about technology was in the late 90's with the helicopter wars, and the hype that accompanied that. New sets, new lighting, stinger units, etc. don't matter. What matters is if the technology helps you win a story. I look for the first disaster where a local reporter or photographer delivers amazing live pictures from a cell phone, ala the London bombings.

When KOIN went on line with its news server (edited pieces go to a hard drive, not a tape), there were lots of problems, human error and equipment snafus. Lots of dead air and angry looks from Mr. Gianola and later, Ms. Day.

Now if KOIN could just correct that problem.

10 Comments:

Anonymous dotyoureyes said...

Tapeless can, in theory, give them a competitive advantage if it works right.

With tape, you either have "ingest time" to get video into a computer for editing, or have to wait for tape to cue up every time you make an edit if you're cutting tape-to-tape.

Obviously, tape-to-tape cutting is out entirely when you're tapeless, so if your computer editing system is efficient enough (and the photographers/editors using them have been trained sufficiently), you can save time in the field using the memroy cards. (I know, lots of photogs will holler and scream that cutting tape-to-tape is ALWAYS faster than non-linear. I think that's a matter of experience and familiarity with the two platforms.)

The real benefit to shooting tapeless is when you're back in house, if you have a media server that makes all the raw tape available to everyone simultaneously. Then the photog, producers, and editors can all work with the same material simultaneously -- something that wasn't possible beforehand.

The net result of all this is (hopefully) getting edited video on the air faster -- a definite competitive advantage.

I'm curious -- what corners has KATU cut with their move to tapeless?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long before editors are out and producers edit, vo, vo/b, teases, etc. at their desks?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 5:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, topless news makes it to Portland.

Oh, wait, "tapeless".

Never mind.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger PDXNoir said...

I hope this helps KATU get stories on the air faster, they need the help. Currently, they are saying that Bush will announce his Supreme Court nomination at 6pm, while their web site says it is Roberts. Did the other stations "pretend" the nomination was yet to be announced? I've only been watching KATU.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 5:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KGW ran it as a breaking story lead at 5:00

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 7:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helicopter Wars:
My favorite moment during the "helicopter wars" was when KATU’s 2nd copter crashed while transporting Christmas trees (ummm, I mean, I’m glad no one was hurt!). Speaking of slow, it took KATU more than a day after the crash to finally stop running their stupid "2-helicopters with Wagner music" commercials. Meanwhile, Channel 6 and 8 kept running footage of the downed helicopter, with the just legible 2 logo, laying on its side in the middle of the Christmas tree field. Priceless.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 9:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mourn the loss of tapes like I mourned the loss of Selectrics. Sometimes, when I have a quiet moment, I can almost hear the clunk-clunk-clunk of 3/4 inch machines in the edit room.
How did we ever make stories linearly?
No more tapes to label. No more dropping an armfull of them, and hearing that familiar sound.
How long till somebody's server loses EVERY SINGLE STORY and EVERY SINGLE FILE VIDEO they thought was archived? Not long, no doubt.
No matter how easy it is to gather, the shit still has to be logged. You get me a hard drive that transcribes, and THEN I'll be impressed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 9:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...


Helicopter Wars:
My favorite moment during the "helicopter wars" was when KATU’s 2nd copter crashed while transporting Christmas trees (ummm, I mean, I’m glad no one was hurt!). Speaking of slow, it took KATU more than a day after the crash to finally stop running their stupid "2-helicopters with Wagner music" commercials. Meanwhile, Channel 6 and 8 kept running footage of the downed helicopter, with the just legible 2 logo, laying on its side in the middle of the Christmas tree field. Priceless.


-Petty.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 10:08:00 PM  
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