Happy Anniversary, Live Global TV!
Fifty years ago today, Arthur C. Clarke’s dream became reality when an experimental communications satellite owned by AT&T and launched via their partnership with Bell Telephone Laboratories, NASA, the British General Post Office, and the French National Post Telegraph & Telecom Office transmitted the first global TV signal.
Telstar 1, the world’s first active communications satellite, launched on July 10, 1962 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Two days later it made history by beaming images of President John F. Kennedy, the Statue of Liberty, a Phillies-Cubs baseball game, the Eiffel Tower and French singer Yves Montand from the Andover Earth Station in Maine to the Pleumeur-Bodou Telecom Center in France.
Since then, flawless professional live video transmission has become expected on TV and the web. As a professional video services provider I am reminded of this constantly. I was involved in the first corporate webcast in 1998 (a Bell & Howell shareholder’s meeting) and hundreds (maybe thousands) since then. I’ve managed teams and companies that have produced hundreds of Satellite Media Tours and thousands of b-roll packages and VNRs (remember them?).
Today, my agency, Latergy, regularly books and produces Multimedia Media Tours that use satellite to connect our clients with TV, radio and web audiences. We also use satellite (and fiber +) to produce live video webcasts in conjunction with my friends and partners at Onstream Media. Clients and their target audiences demand high quality on-air, online and on mobile.
Given the various formats, platforms, time zones, languages and regulations a smooth transmission is not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of moving parts. My competitors and I will worry about those to ensure the moving pictures move when and where and how they should. It’s not easy, but in this age of visual communication – it’s expected.
Happy anniversary, Telstar1! We’ve come a long way … but the journey has just begun.
Larry is president of Latergy, a video services boutique that provides multimedia content strategy, production, distribution and measurement services to professional communicators. Prior to Latergy, Thomas pioneered online video marketing and PR as co-founder and president of PR Newswire’s MultiVu and COO of Medialink Worldwide, a NASDAQ company that was sold to a VC-backed competitor. He lives in NJ with his wife, Sherry Lynn, and their plethora of pups. Contact him at lthomas@Latergy.com.