CBS turns to Global Link Productions for Hawaii quake uplink

Global Link’s digital flyaway uplink system was capable of broadcasting two independent AV feeds simultaneously.
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The entire flyaway system Global Link Productions sent to Hawaii for quake coverage fit into nine cases.

Global Link Productions dispatched one of its flyaway systems to Kona, HI, less than four hours after last month’s tremor struck the Big Island to provide live, real-time broadcast video of the earthquake damage.

Telephone calls from the major U.S. TV networks started coming in after the quake struck inquiring about a flyaway transmission system to go to Hawaii. CBS hired the company to provide shots out of Hawaii.

Global Link Productions president Dan Makinster booked a flight leaving San Francisco in three and a half hours, loaded one of the company’s flyaway into a van and drove from San Jose to SFO.

However, upon transferring planes in Los Angeles, problems surfaced. Virtually all flights into Oahu and Kona, HI, from the mainland had been cancelled. Global Link logistics staff found an air carrier that was scheduled to leave early the next morning for Maui and a local airline that that was being allowed to land in Kona using a smaller aircraft.

The Global Link crew arrived around noon, local time, on Oct. 16 and headed to downtown Kona. Quickly determining the best location for the first live shots from the earthquake scene, the crew set up a high-power condensed digital flyaway system and was on the air in less than 90 minutes. The entire system fit into nine cases. Although generators had been secured locally and were on standby, they were not necessary because shore power was available at all uplink locations.

The digital system Global Link supplied was capable of broadcasting two independent AV feeds simultaneously. CBS used live shots from the uplink for its early show as well as for feeds for local stations during the days following the earthquakes.

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