TVU technology is taking broadcast journalists to places they’ve never been before.
Instead of restricting live shots to places where only broadcast trucks can travel, the TVU allows journalists to report live at locations that were previously unaccessible. As long as the area has sufficient cell-phone service or Wi-Fi capability, the TVU will broadcast the signal from the scene and back to the station.
Unfortunately, the TVU is still in the beginning stages of its development. There are still a few kinks to be worked out. For instance, there is a 4-5 second delay when using the TVU, which results in the producer having to cue the reporter early. It can sometimes result in awkward on-air pauses that is embarrassing for both the news station and journalist.
Also, the TVU doesn’t doesn’t work very well in remote rural areas without cell-phone service. It remains to be seen how they will address this issue. Perhaps they could use wireless hotspot technology to broadcast the stand-up back to the station.
The TVU is currently used as a tool in urban areas to get closer to the scene, so to speak. For instance, ABC Action News reporter Jacqueline Ingles uses the TVU to report amidst the scene of a crash and inside an airport, places that would would have been previously unaccessible with only a live truck. Typically, the reporter would be forced to do their stand-up far away from the crash scene or outside the airport.
The limited mobility of the live truck has always hampered journalists trying to get as close to the action as possible. As TVU popularity and technology continues to expand, newscasts will become far more interesting and engaging to watch.