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.

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