How did Sky News broadcast live from Tripoli ?

So the question has been asked – How did Sky News manage to broadcast live from the back of a truck while driving to Tripoli in Libya?

Well if you were lucky enough to watch Sky News last night (August 21st 2011) you will know the report we are all talking about, the one that started of with a live broadcast when driving into Tripoli from the back of a truck, I have heard many people say “Easy, they just used a video call on a mobile phone you could tell by the quality” well I have news for you this is not true.

It’s not true for a few reasons the first been that the government in Tripoli shut most of the mobile phone networks down at the first chance they had and they don’t have as good quality 3G over there as we have, plus the quality was a little better than 3G even if you did see it on your 50 inch TV as a 3G type video call.

The broadcast was done with an Apple Mac Pro laptop computer connected to a BGAN mini-satellite dish on a flat bed truck that was all been charged and powered by a car cigarette lighter socket (probably a multi way like this) in the truck they were all in, amazing if you think we are in 2011, but even more so in Libya as it’s not the kind of place you can just book a satellite truck for a uplink feed.

In the back of the truck, was Andy Marsh, the producer, sat holding the satellite dish and a compass, constantly readjusting the dish to track the satellite above. The arrangement proved so stable that at one stage Alex Crawford was able to broadcast live and uninterrupted for 40 minutes.

At the time this amazing event in history was happening in Tripoli, the people were out in the square and on the streets, what was the BBC doing ? well the BBC only aired file footage that it has been said was taken earlier that day, they did eventually get a live feed from there reporter in the hotel and not on the streets.

Also when the official Libyan spokesman Moussa Ibrahim was speaking to reporters in Tripoli, Sky News was ahead of the BBC by broadcasting the press conference live, where was the BBC ? well all the other reporters were contained within the city’s Rixos Hotel by armed guards loyal to Gadaffi, while Sky News was the only ones out on the streets.

It’s been said on Twitter and other web sites that last nights reporting by Alex and her team has already won her awards, if you watched it live you would agree.

The Sky News team that night were Alex Crawford, the cameramen accompanying her were Garwen Mclukie and Jim Foster and the producer was Andy Marsh.

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Live output from Sky News


2 thoughts on “How did Sky News broadcast live from Tripoli ?

  1. Hello Duncan, It is very interesting to read how the media report on issues such as war, it must be difficult for them, i found this page by mistake when looking for other information on Libya, but i sat and i read it all there is a lot good stuff you have obviously took time to write and get the facts. I had a look around the blog its very good range of topics. All the best. Alan

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