Introducing the Tray Cam…

November 9, 2005

Charlotte, NC – WCNC-TV and Belo Corporation would like to inform the public of their newest piece of technology, “Tray Cam”. “Tray Cam” was used for the first time in front of a live audience in Rock Hill, SC at the site of Ebenezer Grill.

It was used as a part of five camera, live television show entitled Road Show Extra. A wireless, lipstick size camera was attached to a serving tray (that was holding tasty fries and a chili dog), and was seen live when one of the hosts of the show delivered a plate of food to the other hosts. The most notable use of “Tray Cam” came when Mike Redding held “Tray Cam” in such a way that we could see Chris Justice remove fries from the red tray right into his mouth. This made for a picturesque view that brought the audience one step closer into the dimension of live television, almost to the point of scratch-and-sniff television.

“Tray Cam” was designed and developed by WCNC-TV’s Emmy Award winning Engineering Department. “When we were doing the sight survey at Ebenezer’s Grill, I was walking through the restaurant wondering how we could bring the audience closer to the action. Then I saw a lady delivering some fries and hot dog to a customer, and it cam to mind, let’s put a camera on a tray…’Tray Cam’”, stated Rick Grinstead – WCNC-TV Engineer. It is a tiny lipstick size camera attached to a wireless transmitter. This allows “Tray Cam” to wander anywhere – within a fifty foot range – and deliver hot tasty fries with a chili dog to a hungry customer and catch it live on television.

“Rick has been working for me for over ten years and I knew that his training and apprenticeship would pay off! I am about as proud as a boss and mentor could ever possibly imagine”, stated Steve Kiser – WCNC-TV Engineering Supervisor. Allison Andrews – Special Projects Manager – was excited with the new invention and knew it would play a tremendous role in the live production of Road Trip Extra, “When Rick came to me and said that he came up with ‘Tray Cam’, I was so excited…I couldn’t wait to add it to the show! It just made sense!”

WCNC-TV and its Emmy Award winning Engineering staff have been the authors of implementing new technology. This past May during the month long Road Trip Show, a new wireless transmitter was unveiled, COFDM. This piece of technology allowed for moving, – broadcast quality – live pictures and sound to be transmitted from distance of up to a couple of miles. It was first unveiled during a stop at Tweetsie Railroad. Chris Justice opened the show live while riding on the engine of the train as it was moving around the mountain. “WCNC-TV prides itself with coming up with new ways for our audiences to watch the news”, stated Jim Alvarez – WCNC-TV Operations Manager.

”Tray Cam” and all the many technological breakthroughs can be seen daily during the month of November on WCNC-TV’s Road Show Extra starting at 4:30pm.
See the amazing “Tray Cam” in action.

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/11/introducing_the.html

Reflections from Baton Rouge

Hello All from Baton Rouge,

So my time here in Louisiana is coming to a close. There is a possibility that I will be back in a week, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to take part in the effort here with Belo Corp and WWL. I am not sure if most of you know what is actually taking place here in Baton Rouge, so hopefully I can shed a little bit of light.

WCNC is here in Baton Rouge to take part in a relief effort for our sister station WWL-TV. I am sure if you are looking at our web site, you have been watching WWL-TV’s twenty-four hour newscast as it is streamed. Belo Corporation owns thirteen television stations across the country, all of which have unloaded their workforce to help maintain the staffing for WWL-TV. The staff of WWL-TV were also victims of this terrible disaster, most – is not all – are working while trying to figure out what their next step is personally. Most of have lost homes, friends but Belo Corporation has made sure that they will not loose their jobs! We have had reports that the Fox Station here in New Orleans told its employees right before Katrina hit New Orleans that they will probably not have a job and Fox will probably not continue broadcasting. They lost homes, friends, and their jobs in one swift moment, and the storm had not even hit.

It is amazing the commitment that Belo has provided for the WWL-TV staff and all the members of all the stations from all over the country that are here to help make sure WWL stays on the air. We were told that WWL-TV is being watched on all the PBS stations across Louisiana and most of Texas. WWL-TV is also being carried by CBS Network. Since WWL-TV’s newscast is streamed on the web, all Belo’s websites are providing that stream and close to 15 million people a day are accessing this information. We as Belo employees and WWL-TV employees and we fell the same since of commitment that Belo carries to make sure that the people of Louisiana have a place to access information through this horrific tragedy.

We are broadcasting out of PBL in Baton Rouge (the PBS Station for Louisiana) so we essentially have three newsrooms in one (WWL-TV staff, other Belo Stations Staff, and PBL Staff), working around the clock to keep the operation running. Belo just yesterday shipped in more food, office supplies, computers, video tape, and most importantly a portable gas station. We have also been provided apartments for our staff to have a place to lay their heads down for a short period of time before working another shift. I feel like I have a since of commonality with these people, and will miss their conversation. Everyday I meet a new person, see a new place, and hear not only the horrifying stories of this tragedy but the warm stories of triumph that emerge when seems grim.

Good Bless this place, these people, and the commitment to the audience that depends on the broadcast of WWL.

Bobby Rettew

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/09/reflections_fro.html