Technology in Time of War.

Technology in Time of War.

As I watch some of the video coming from Gulf War, I can’t help but wonder what a minimal system looks like for broadcasting real time sattelite video information.

These thoughts come to mind intertwined with how scary war is–but I try to set aside the issues of whether we should be at war or not while thinking about what a minimal sattelite set up would look like. (No easy task but I can try.)

I ran into a New York Times story that details a remote broadcast system and compares to what a similar package looked like recently and also 12 years ago. Here is what a package looks like:

For the typical TV war correspondent, the essential carry-along gear weighs about 86 pounds:
Digital video camera — 5 lbs.
Microphones, cables and batteries — 10 lbs.
Camera tripod — 10 lbs.
Video encoder — 10 lbs.
2 satellite phones — 20 lbs. each
Laptop computer — 6 lbs.
Night scope lens — 5 lbs.

In comparison, Gulf War I sattelite phones weighed 70lbs a piece.

In 1989, a setup weighed 800 lbs and took five hours to deploy.

The new setup weighs 85 lbs and can be operational in 20 minutes. Kind of mind boggling.

I predict it won’t be long until a minimal system will be a laptop and a camera that combined weigh under 10 lbs.

Access to real information as fast as possible is the great equalizer. It’s tough to put a spin on what a journalist can in effect “blog the planet” in real time. I would like an RSS feed for one of these setups so I can see what is happening without any editorial. Maybe soon eh?

[Craig Burton: logs, links, life, and lexicon]

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