When a single-engine plane crashed into an Upper East Side apartment building on Wednesday, Fox News Channel delivered early live video to its viewers from the crash site using a handheld mobile phone souped up with streaming video.
Scott Wilder, a cameraman for the network, had been about 20 blocks away on another assignment when the crash occurred. Wilder ran uptown and reported live from the scene using a Palm Treo smart phone that uses the existing mobile network to transmit video to the Fox News control room. From there, Fox News sent it out live on TV to supplement other video being shot by local traffic helicopters...CometVision runs on a Palm Treo 700-series PDA via the Windows Mobile operating system. The technology is able to transmit video over non-3G networks, using much less bandwidth than would normally be needed, Comet CEO Howard Becker said.
"We have it set up so you can push one button" and then it starts to work, Becker said. That includes automatically connecting to a computer at the Fox News studio, and sending an e-mail to a producer or anyone else at the network who has a link to the live stream."The telling quote...
"It'll be used more when the picture itself is of higher quality," (Fox News' vice president of newsgathering, John) Stack said. "It's OK now but it could get better. It depends on the nature of the story. If it's an important enough story, we are more forgiving of picture quality and hopefully the audience is more forgiving."