The two Philippine TV Network mammoths, ABS-CBN and GMA have recently showed their latest facility and technology to be used for their coverage on the Philippine Elections come May 10, 2010.
Large LED and LCD screens, multi live feed and touch screen systems, new OB Vans, satellite transreceivers, video cameras, and even iPads, are among the latest tools that both networks boast.
The Kapamilya Network, during TV Patrol last Friday, showed televiewers a sneak peek to its ‘War Room’ — the command center for their election coverage.
GMA 7, on other hand, showed off their high end coverage set, beefed up by its partnership with PLDT and SMART Telecommunications.
In the midst of this sophisticated setting, both networks, for the first time in Philippine TV, will be using augmented reality technology or AR. AR enhances the real and live video feed with 3D graphics that seem to interact with the real environment. AR makes the 3D graphics to move around as the camera switches angles, making it look like the 3D images are physically present.
AR has been used by major TV networks in the US like CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX. But the use of advanced tools and non-traditional methods in election coverage is said to have been benchmarked by CNN, when it introduced hologram in the 2008 US Elections.
Hologram is a technology that beams images of a remote video feed by using complex light and camera technology. This is however different since the news anchor actually sees the holograph (beamed image) as opposed to AR.
ABS-CBN promises that the use of this new technology will bring new perspective in news delivery.
“The main idea here is to make our viewers look at things at a new light. 75 percent of what they remember is going to be the video that they see. And if it is presented to them in a way that peaks their interest, they’ll remember it”, explains Maria Ressa, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Head.
GMA 7 also stressed that above using top of the line tools, factual, straightforward, and unbiased news delivery is still their top priority.
“Talaga namang pinaghandaan at pinagkagastuhan namin ito. But more than anything else, kagaya nang nakagawian natin sa mga nakalipas na election coverage, ihahatid natin ang pinakapatas at walang kinikilingang pagbabalita”, assures Atty. Felipe Gozon, CEO, GMA Network, Inc.
Radio networks from the two giant broadcast firms have also amped their coverage activities by adopting citizen journalism. While radio continues to use basic technology, radio stations across the country have found cell phones to be the only high tech gadget they can employ.
TV Networks may have invested hugely in state-of-the-art broadcast technology, but in the end it is still the content that matters.