New technology and the pressing need to cut costs have led some local TV stations to try new options for going live. We recently wrote about KIFI-TV’s use of WiMAX technology. The latest buzz is about TV live shots via Skype, the free software that makes it possible for anyone with a camera, cellphone and and AirCard-equipped laptop to go live from almost anywhere.
Poynter’s Al Tompkins highlighted a Tampa reporter who went live from Ft. Lauderdale last week over a Skype connection. Reporter Jessica Arp of WISC-TV in Madison, Wisc., later told a Poynter chat that she used Skype to cover the 2008 election. “A photographer and I went around the state covering election-related stories, and FTP’d the packages back to the station– I did Skype live shots then to toss to the packages.”
KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, also uses Skype to go live. Assignments manager Shane Allen says, “We use Skype in lieu of long cable runs into buildings and for breaking news where getting a truck there and tuned in will take too long for on air live coverage.”
Check out this video of how KXAN used Skype for the first time last summer: