Cybercar Gets Out the Youth Vote

With help from Panasonic, a vehicle dubbed the "22nd century mobile studio" made a pre-election splash with a 23-city tour around New York State to encourage youth vote, interview candidates and produce original broadcast-ready programming.

Downtown Community Television (DCTV) powered its "Speak Up New York!" project with the "Cybercar,"a 40-foot truck with a giant video screen wall mounted on the side of the vehicle for public viewing. The truck can upload information to Websites and broadcast live from any location. It can feed and receive live and edited television signals from anywhere in the country.

Equipment on the Cybercar includes:
* The video screen on the vehicle's side, a 4-by-6-foot LED display manufactured by SACCO.
* Panasonic 42- and 50-inch plasma screens.
* An automated Ku-Band Satellite from British Telcom.
* Three Panasonic AW-E600 pan/tilt 3-CCD cameras with an AW-RP605 controller and SDI boards; four AG-DVX100 mini-DV camcorders and an AJ-D455 DVCPRO studio editing VTR.
* A Globecaster Studio, combining all the power of a traditional studio environment inside one space-saving production unit.
* Six nonlinear Avid Express DV systems on laptops routed through a Unity Network Attached Storage system for housing and serving all digital media to the workstations.
* A Miranda Technologies Kaleidescope K2 multi-image display processor that incorporates all conceivable monitor wall features in a single display.

The Cybercar is a not-for-profit endeavor organized by DCTV and Free Speech Television (a Dish Network public interest programmer). It's supported by a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge Grant.