The next wave at the news services is clearly digital. They're all at least somewhat digital, either in newsgathering, or delivery, or both. A few months ago, ABC introduced NewsOneNET. Video clips are uploaded onto the net, and then downloaded constantly into computers at the affiliate stations. Producers can view the clips on a newsroom PC. The clips are usually available for viewing about half an hour after the feed is over. Not terribly convenient during afternoon crunch time, unless you need something that was fed earlier in the day. But it is a handy tool. Producers can log video and sound, time codes and all, without fighting over the feed tape or jostling for a viewing deck. The scripts are there, too.

"NewsOneNET is a bridge technology. It offers the most important features of non-linear digital browsing without the prohibitively high cost of a full- blown video server . . . and since it's based on Internet protocols it can be upgraded and changed seamlessly. The NewsOneNET is a technology that will last several years [continually growing as fast as technology allows] until digital TV's high costs and problems are alleviated," says Hal Feldman, of NewsOneNET. Now, if only we could get the computer to alert us when we've forgotten to record the feed, or the tape is lost, or the tape is bad. . . .

Alice Johnson Main
Editor of The Producer Newsletter/Page and co-editor of The Producer Book
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