Posted by Sam Churchill on

From Online Journalism Review:

By night, Raven — the name everyone uses for 47-year-old Harold Kionka — works as a janitor, mopping the floors and cleaning the grease traps in TGIFriday’s in Daytona Beach, Fla.

By day, he operates almost single-handedly a 24-hour Internet TV station, serving as owner, station manager, producer and on-air personality. Daytonabeach-live brings live coverage of events in the Florida resort town to as many as 17,000 viewers a day.

Raven and a handful of others are at the vanguard of a new breed of journalism: personal broadcasting. Using equipment that is now relatively inexpensive and simple to use, these video pioneers are claiming a stake in territory that was once the exclusive province of big media.

In March, Raven covered the Birthplace of Speed, a three-day antique auto festival. During spring break he waded through a quarter-million people thronged along the city’s main street and interviewed college students from around the nation. “I call it the sidewalk commando cam,” he says.

He does the same during Bike Week — Daytona Beach claims to be home to the largest motorcycle gathering in the world — and Black College Reunion week each spring. In June, he covered the Great Race, an annual race of classic cars that began in Michigan and wound more than 4,000 miles through 15 states, ending in Daytona Beach. Raven was at the finish line, interviewed the winners, and broadcast it on the Web. In mid-July, he gave viewers a tour of the city’s Florida International Festival. In October he’ll be covering Biketoberfest.

He also covers space shuttle launches, power boat races, fishing and beach activities, performances of live rock bands and more.

Daytonabeach-live is Webcast seven days a week, 24 hours a day, barring a technological hiccup. Raven estimates that 40 percent of the programming airs live; the remainder is rebroadcast from earlier tapings. When Raven heads off for his night job, he plops an old-fashioned videotape into the VCR and streams it onto the Web.

Raven sends his signal to an Internet service provider in Utah. The ISP hosts his Webcast on their servers and splitting his feed into 1,500 simultaneous streams. The cost? A grand total of $17 a month.

This sort of thing may become increasingly common as “the cloud” become pervasive. Datona Beach has one of the best.

BellSouth in Daytona, is testing Navini Networks “4G” cloud which can mobilize streaming webcams, delivering 1Mbps, 3-5 miles. The trial includes multiple base stations and covers approximately 150 square miles.

Navini’s PCMCIA card is being built by Sanmina-SCI Corp. BTW, Pronto has a deal with Navini for “wireless DSL”. Pronto provides a one-piece 802.11b Hot Spot box, Navini provides the wireless backbone.

The shape of things to come.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, August 8th, 2003 at 11:41 am .

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