Television

CNN using new tech to cover Iraq conflict

MUMBAI: CNN is relying on new technology to put its viewers at the heart of the battlefront. The broadcaster says its footage of the 3-7th Cavalry making inroads into southern Iraq reveals how the network's pioneering new technology is changing the way broadcasters can transmit dramatic footage live from new and challenging environments.

The broadcaster's senior international correspondent Walter Rodgers debuted the new equipment while travelling at speeds of up to 40 mph throughout the advance of the troops across the Kuwait border and deep into Iraq.

Rodgers used a standard videophone system connected to a specially developed tracking satellite phone antenna, mounted on the vehicle roof. This antenna has the ability to lock onto a satellite beacon and remains stationary, even as the vehicle it's mounted on turns, bounces, and speeds along at up to 60 mph.

According to Rodgers, " Photographer Charlie Miller filmed from numerous positions from inside and outside the car, bracing himself as best he could on the car frame. I was able to concentrate on reporting live to CNN’s numerous broadcast services this historic event as Jeff Barwise, our engineer, concentrated on ensuring that our new equipment worked above and beyond our expectations."

According to a release, in addition to broadcasting images, these antennae allow reporters to file video packages, check email, and make phone calls while moving at speed through rough terrain or heavy seas.

CNN will have similar land-based systems deployed elsewhere in the Middle East during this conflict, as well as sea-based versions aboard the USS Lincoln and Constellation.

CNN.com has also launched an online press kit. The broadcaster is looking to make the job of media writers reporting on the conflict easier. The kit details CNN's coverage of the war. Found at www.cnn.com/services/iraq.opk Strike on Iraq provides an overview of how the network is covering the conflict. The kit includes exclusive CNN images, maps, network personnel in the region, press releases, latest programming schedules and links to CNN.com special reports.

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