The TV coverage of the terrorist attack on the US and its aftermath would not have been half as exciting, had it not been for the state-of-the-art technology. Channels such as CNN and BBC, which have been giving live reports from wherever their correspondents could reach, including in Pakistan and Afghanistan, have shown that it’s technology that has made it possible.
CNN, for instance, is using cutting-edge technology such as satellite, satellite flyaway dishes, videophones and phone beepers to transmit news. CNN correspondent Nic Roberston’s reports from Afghanistan were sent around the world using a discreet videophone.
In the case of BBC coverage of the US attack, BBC Technology is playing a crucial role in backing the UK-based broadcaster for all its telecommunication and Internet support services.
While CNN’s investment in technology is considerable, Mr Dover points out that the channel is not just buying new technology but is also developing it.
BBC is drawing on its resources already in place around the world to cover the stories from wherever it’s happening.
According to CNN, by using such equipment, their crews have a lot more flexibility. They can transmit live from just anywhere, for example they were able to get close to the devastation in New York and transmit live using a videophone.
It costs around $8 a minute to transmitting a three-minute news, from northern Afghanistan to the Atlanta or the London centre, respectively by using a satellite phone and as it need two lines to transmit the audio and video signals, it comes to about $16 a minute.