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AP SNAPfeed technology gets U.S. patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent (no. 7,533,398) to The Associated Press for a method of “automatic selection of encoding parameters for transmission of media objects.” This forms the basis for the AP’s SNAPfeed application for field reporting.

SNAPfeed is currently used by more than 300 field crews and 70 news organizations, including the AP, which use it to send video to home base from a standard laptop. The use of SNAPfeed creates more news coverage flexibility at considerable savings over traditional satellite transmissions, as well as dynamic integration with ENPS and optional automatic transfer to production and on-air media servers.

Initially developed at the beginning of the second Gulf War, SNAPfeed translates a field reporter’s answers to a few simple questions into a series of complex actions, which automatically compress and reliably get video back to a newsroom to meet or beat a deadline. A combination of editorial information, variable bandwidth and computer performance determines how best to proceed using highly optimized transmission protocols.

SNAPfeed is an add-on to AP’s ENPS system, a newsroom computer system used by more than 52,000 reporters, writers, editors and producers in almost 700 television, radio and network newsrooms in 58 countries. ENPS integrates with products from more than 50 companies.