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WFTV's technology advances enable mobile news

Newsroom technology

WFTV’s technology advances enable mobile news

WFTV in central Florida is fueled by its innovative use of technology where news actually happens — in the field. The station has maximized its use of digital newsgathering tools to create a competitive advantage. Its reporters and photographers shoot stories in the field with Panasonic P2 cameras and edit with the Avid NewsCutter XP software on laptops.

Working in a digital world allows the station’s crews to spend more time at the scene gathering the latest information and less time cutting with videotape. Crews shoot and edit on the frontlines without using a live truck or returning to the studio to edit. By using this mobile workflow, the station gains a competitive advantage — getting late-breaking stories to air first.

In the fall of 2005, WFTV’s in-the-field workflow passed a big test on an important story of national interest. The station’s reporter Steve Barrett and photographer Corey Reppenhagen flew aboard an NOAA hurricane hunter plane into the eye of Hurricane Ophelia. Reppenhagen captured compelling images using a Sony HDV camera, while Barrett captured and downconverted awe-inspiring HD footage via firewire into his laptop and used Avid NewsCutter XP software. While still flying in the center of the hurricane, Barrett and Reppenhagen edited the story. As soon as the plane landed, they transmitted the finished story. The HD footage will be used in an upcoming hurricane special in June of 2006.

WFTV’s crews in the field are also supported by newsroom staff using an Avid Unity shared media network with NewsCutter XP, NewsCutter Adrenaline and the latest Avid desktop story composition tool, Avid iNEWS Instinct. Instinct presents a simple interface for writing content, editing video and transmitting it for air from a single program.

The combination of Panasonic’s tape­less P2 cameras and the station’s Avid digital workflow makes it easier for producers to use the latest and best-quality video in their newscasts. Additionally, WFTV uses six Avid AirSpeed systems for direct ingest; 20 Avid NewsCutter XPs and three NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems for news and promotion editing; two Avid AirSPACE video servers for mirroring and playout; and an Avid Unity for News shared media system.

WFTV continues to evolve and improve its digital nonlinear workflow to take advantage of efficiencies brought about by new technology.

Design TeamTechnology at Work John Demshock, chief eng. Avid: Bob Jordan, news dir. iNEWS Instinct Chip Reif, eng. mgr. NewsCutter Adrenaline XP editors Michael Vivona, eng. supervisor Unity for News media network Bryce Layman, op. mgr. Panasonic P2 cameras Dave Sirak, news op. mgr. Sony HDV cameras Bruce Wiley, proj. coord.
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