TV5 surprises competition with backpack reporting

NEWCOMER TV5 has raised the bar in live reporting by introducing a camera that can broadcast live from anywhere and at any time using wireless broadband technology.

The station’s News5 Live Pack is a high-definition camera and transmitter setup that transmits from a regular backpack weighing 5 to 7 pounds, and can be carried by a single cameraman. It needs no broadcast van, and a cameraman riding pillion with a motorcyclist can transmit, say, pictures of a Tour of Luzon segment while it is happening.

TV5 surprised the competition when it aired high-quality video as it followed the Aquino convoy from Times Street in Quezon City to the Quirino Grandstand in Manila for President Benigno Aquino III’s inauguration—something that had never been done before on Philippine television.

A separate News5 Live Pack showed then Vice President-elect Binay inside the Manila Hotel preparing for his inauguration. Another News5 Live Pack carried live interviews from the crowd gathered in front of the Quirino Grandstand.

All these were accomplished without the use of old-style microwave vans and satellite trucks, which can cost P100 million for an OB van.

“Our News5 Live Pack puts us at the leading edge of TV news technology,” said Luchi Cruz Valdes, TV5 News and Information head.

“We are taking the reporting of news as it happens, from where it happens, to a new level.”

TV5 News Operations head DJ Sta. Ana added: “The News5 Live Pack gives us the ability to deploy news crews rapidly, and these news crews can remain highly mobile even as they are sending video back to base. These are things no other network can match at this time.”

News5 Live Packs were recently sent to Batac, Ilocos Norte, and Cebu City to cover breaking news. They are also being used daily to provide live updates on the traffic situation around Metro Manila within the TV5 morning show Sapul.

The network says that since it was acquired by the Pangilinan group, it has led the way in the use of new technology, such as touch-screen monitors and virtual graphics.

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