KIFI News Group goes live with WiNG technology

By Don Day 

KIFI, Local News 8 in Idaho Falls, ID has found a way to break the traditional bonds of an ENG truck with a technology it calls WiNG – or Wireless Internet News Gathering. While doing a live shot via the Internet isn’t technically a new thing – KIFI is doing it on a shoestring in a very small market.

KIFI‘s WiNG project uses WiMax from Digital Bridge Communications – with upload speeds of 2 MBps – paired with an encoder/decoder system from Streambox. Field crews plug their cameras into a laptop and the video is sent back to the station via WiMax where it is decoded and put on the air. KIFI General Manager Mark Danielson (disclosure: my old boss) has been working on the WiNG dream since he was news director at KTVB – but the upload speed just wasn’t there. Now in Eastern Idaho, Digital Bridge is testing the waters with WiMax, making transmitting video either LIVE or on tape a possibility.

“The technology from both partners worked well and effortlessly,” Danielson told Lost Remote. “It is critical that WiNG is simple and dependable for our staff to use.”

The video image is near broadcast quality, and while there’s currently a delay – it’s something that should improve as technology gets better. In a market that can’t justify the cost of an SNG truck, and where terrain and other limitations make ENG coverage spotty, the WiNG solution gives the station more options for news coverage.

You can see it in action here (click the video link in the story)