SeeMoreHD has developed a system that allows us to operate robotic
cameras, record HD video, edit, and publish HD video to the web within
hours. The system includes three-chip HD cameras, solar power and
methanol fuel cells, and digital radio links. The McNeil River system
employs five radio "hops" that cover over 100 miles. We
have repeaters on a cliff above the McNeil River falls, on Mt. Augustine
volcano, and above the town of Homer. The entire camera system is
digital, and the link provides both a standard definition video feed
(for the National Geographic's live WildCam Grizzlies project) and
an HD feed.
Each morning, our camera crew arrives in the studio
before sunrise to begin work. We remotely turn
on the repeaters, check voltage and adjust power
levels for the transmitters, clean the lenses (using
remotely controlled windshield wipers and squirters),
and we begin observing the bears. We look for anything
unusual-- like a bear fishing in a new place in
the river or an interesting skyline-- and we begin
recording the day's show. Usually we shoot for
two to three hours, and then our editors take over.
Most days we publish to the web within eight hours
The camera system includes three-chip HD cameras
that output HDSDI, compression technology includes
gear from XVD, and editing equipment from Apple.
We edit and compress using Final Cut Pro, and
we even have a miniMac in the field to help control
remote operations. The folks at Apple also provide
web hosing for the HD video. Thank you Dennis Backus,
Neil Appel, and Glenn Bulycz! Also thank you to
Bob Spidell at XVD!
Our camera and editing crew includes Raúl Leckie,
Scott Dickerson, and Daniel Zatz. Sheldon Pollichuk
engineers the system and makes sure the system
operates perfectly throughout the morning.
SeeMoreHD is working to refine our prototype HD
system to create a very portable, remotely-controlled
camera system for capturing the world's natural
wonders in HD. We welcome your ideas-- if you have
ideas for using our technology or ideas for great
viewing locations, please let us know. In the meantime,
enjoy the bears!
|How does it all fit? In 1999 SeeMore installed a bear-proof box at the McNeil River falls. The original system was analog and standard definition. Getting the new HD system to fit in the box required hours of trials. Konrad Schaad and Sheldon Pollichuk are seen here listening to another improbable idea from Daniel Zatz.
||The 2007 digital link work crew arrives at the McNeil River falls, happy and content. From left to right: Konrad Schaad, Matt West, and Sheldon Pollichuk. A few hours later, a storm whipped through the area, and for the next six weeks, our crews scramble to get the new HD system online. Photo by Daniel Zatz.
|Sheldon Pollichuk talks with crews at McNeil River via Iridium satellite phone from the Mt. Augustine repeater.
||Tough day at the office: Mt. Augustine volcano burns a larger hole in the company's financial pocket. Another helicopter trip to the volcano, and still no success for Daniel Zatz. After five trips to the volcano, Zatz and crew made the 40 and 60 mile radio links work.
|Sheldon Pollichuk cross another river. Sheldon hiked over 30 miles and lost more the 20lb! during June as he worked to transport and install cameras and repeaters.
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