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 â€” 5 lbs.
Microphones, cables and batteries â€” 10 lbs.
Camera tripod â€” 10 lbs.
Video encoder â€” 10 lbs.
2 satellite phones â€” 20 lbs. each
Laptop computer â€” 6 lbs.
Night scope lens â€” 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?