At the iconic BT tower last night, as London’s skyline exploded in scores of fireworks displays, the company announced a new multi-year contract with ITN, to provide its location news teams with wireless transmission technology across the capital.
Almost 100 guests had been invited by BT to hear the news, and take in the views, from the 37-storey building, once the tallest in London. Previously known as the Post Office Tower, the building is one of the ten most-filmed London locations from which ITN camera crews will be able to broadcast or transfer footage. The new camera-mounted system, called BT Media Live, will allow crews to broadcast live or transfer footage wirelessly to its studios from such locations quickly and easily. Speaking at the event last night, Mark Wilson- Dunn, CEO of BT Media and Broadcast, commented on the “green angle” of this new technology, enabling major news to be covered throughout London, without the need to deploy traditional satellite trucks, creating “something pretty special.”
Delivered by BT’s Media and Broadcast arm, the service is designed to give the broadcaster a faster coverage footprint for its mobile camera transmissions. BT Media Live is a radio frequency based video transmission solution. Footage can be transmitted instantly to a number of receive sites across London, where it can then be distributed to a broadcaster’s location. It can also be distributed from the BT Tower to multiple UK and international news agencies and broadcasters via BT’s Global Media Network.
Speaking to guests at the BT Tower Malcolm Smith, deputy head of newsgathering operations, said he believed the new system “will be massive for us”, is “100 per cent reliable” and has “potential beyond the ten [tested] locations.”
“BT’s Media Live service is a significant development for our newsgathering at ITN, adding a fast and flexible option for live reporting which is not undermined by contended transmission networks or challenging logistics,” commented Bevan Gibson, CTO, ITN. ITN’s news team produces content for programmes including ITV News, Channel 4 News and 5 News. “The efficiencies that BT Media Live provides mean we can cover more ground and more breaking news, all the while being more efficient in the way we work,” added Gibson.