Saturday, March 1, 2008

Technical Question

Today, a guest question from our friend Paul Greeley:

I have a technical question. What are the best options to send video over the internet from one location to another? A guy with a digital video camera and laptop….what programs/software needs to be on the laptop? If the video files are large—say 20 minutes or more, would that footage need to be compressed/squeezed with a program like Sorensen? Are there 3rd party sites where you can upload and another location can download? The video will only be used on a web site, not necessarily for broadcast.
Feel free to respond here or contact me directly.
Paul Greeley
KWTV, Oklahoma City
405-249-2360 cell

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Electronic Billboards

Remember back in the day when there where big giant pieces of wood and a team of men would climb a ladder and paste several printed sheets of paper on them? That's right kids... that's what they used to do in olden days!

But not anymore.

In Orlando, these things are popping up all over the city. Electronic billboards are the future and they have some pretty cool applications for television stations.

The Fox station in our city does daily topical billboards for sweeps. Some have been very compelling - some not so much. I'm not sure how it is helping ratings or if it is at all. I'd be curious to hear other people's experiences with these.

During the Florida primary - my station fed the billboard with live election results.

Another great idea is to do live doppler radar on the board. What a great way to not only serve your community during bad weather but to get your weather brand out there where people can use it right then and there.

I'd love to hear from other TV folk on potential applications for these boards.

Imagine. Billboards - making one heck of a comeback.

Boston Globe article on Promos

This appeared in the Boston Globe.

You can find the article here as well,where you will find links to the promos:

How effective are the promo spots airing on local TV?
February 27, 2008

To sort it out, the Globe asked a select group of folks to evaluate the ads: a marketing expert, a design student, and a guy who knows his way around words. Our panel: Frederic Brunel, a marketing professor and consumer psychologist at Boston University; Emily Drees, a graphic design student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design; and Steve Almond, an Arlington author whose new collection of essays is called ‘‘(Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions.’’ You can watch the spots by clicking on the links in this article. JOHNNY DIAZ

WHDH (Channel 7):‘The News Never Stops’
The professor: "You almost feel you can whistle it. It's borderline melodic. They use the accelerated footage through the tunnel to communicate dynamism and speed. They are there with the beat of the town. It's news, on-the-go, high-energy beat, fast, but yet it's artistic and visually appealing."

The student: "Wow, that was like a movie trailer! That was really coming at you. They are trying to communicate the fast pace of the news world, and they are constantly on the go. We're all over the place covering what's going on."

The author: "Oh my God, it's a hip-hop video! It's newshizzle! It's local TV talent trapped inside a giant rave! I love the total idiotic shamelessness on display here. And I happily admit that I've been chanting 'News Never Stops' at my wife all day. Can I get a copy of the single on iTunes?"

WFXT (Channel 25):‘More Hours of News’
The professor: "It's upbeat. They give you one clear reason to watch them, more news than other stations. The graphic animation is almost reminiscent of a clock turning in a 24-hour cycle. They stick to that unique message throughout: more news for the viewers."

The student: "This one is pretty clear in their message: They offer more opportunities to see the news at any given time of the day. There is an overarching theme of accessibility and availability to watch the news. If something is changed from the morning, you will hear about it at night."

The author: "After watching 'News Never Stops,' I thought for sure Fox would bust out the pole dancers and techno. But it's just these weird little clips of their anchors doing fake boy-do-we-love-each-other stand-ups, falling down the screen in football-shaped pods. And what's the pitch: More Hours of News. Is that a promise or a threat?"

WCVB (Channel 5):‘Local Live Coverage You Can Count On’
The professor: "The first part of the ad is really emphasizing the experience and superior technology of the station. Then it translates this advantage into the actual viewer benefits. The spot closes with an overall promise: You can count on us. However, the technological emphasis and the hard beat with no melody come at the expense of developing a warm or friendly connection."

The student: "Reliability and capability are the two buzz words here. They are trying to emphasize their knowledge base that goes in their weather team and their capabilities in providing you with reliable information."

The author: "It's got all the standards of the genre: pulsing synths and lights, an ominous voice-over, frantic editing. They're obviously emphasizing dependability and experience, but the implicit message is pretty standard. To wit: viewers WILL DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH if they don't watch."

WBZ (Channel 4): ‘As Curious As You Are’
The professor: "At first, I thought I was at a funeral. It seems to build on people's anxieties and fears; for the most part it is not uplifting. There is no face of the station. You see no journalists or news anchors or studio. It lacks a personal connection and doesn't say much about the station's capabilities."

The student: "It was a very humanistic approach, regional-specific approach. They are really trying to tap into the identity of Boston and they are trying to speak to the people of Boston. They are trying to relate their approach on a very intimate level."

The author: "The overall feel of the promo is amazingly nuanced. What a relief to step away from the assaultive lights and grave anchors intoning. It's almost like the spot is too thoughtful for local news. That said, whoever suggested the bagpipes just got fired."

NECN:‘The Power of News’
The professor: "Wow, that's different. It's dreamlike. It's almost an otherworldly approach. The music associated with this reminds me of a new-agey, space-agey music. They are trying to emphasize the softer side of news. They are trying to provide viewers with a completely different way of looking at news."

The student: "They are sort of communicating that the news is a really powerful thing. They are trying to convey a sense that the people who work at the station and report the news are very skilled at harnessing that power and being able to communicate back to the viewer in an effective manner."

The author: "It's hard to highbrow in this genre, but NECN is trying. The synth washes, the little blips of light that look like sunspots, the grave, news anchor declarations. There's a deluded self-importance here that I admire, like these guys are shooting for the Nobel Prize in local news. Good luck with that."