WTM 2012: German engineering set to put the world on live high def TV

by Lee Hayhurst
by Lee Hayhurst
November 9, 2012 12:27 PM GMT

New cheaper high definition camera technology developed in Germany by earthTV is poised to significantly increase the number of destinations covered by the firm.

EarthTV currently has 70 cameras placed in prime locations around world, like major cities including London and New York, providing 360 degree 24-hour coverage of the scene.

This footage is then edited and broadcast through major free to air television broadcasters including the likes of MBC, N24, TVBand Al Jazeera as, for instance, a time-lapse backdrop scene for weather updates.

The video stream is also syndicated out to travel websites like lastminute.com and Opodo where the footage is placed on destination landing pages for that particular city.

Dubrovnik

EarthTV managing director Nikolaus Lohmann claimed the system generates €100 million worth of media exposure per camera per year.

He also said use of the footage has been shown to generate 30,000 Facebook likes for an investment of just $100 and travel sites using the footage benefit from much enhanced SEO.

Older cameras were available to destinations for €150,000 a year, but new smaller ones start at €30,000 per year.

EarthTV is hoping to attract attention from more potential clients and aims to have 150 of the smaller cameras in place by the end of 2013.

Lohmann said he was looking to attract attention from hotels or maybe airlines interested in promoting a particular destination.

A revenue share deal can be agreed for partners that agree to install a camera on advertising that is placed at the bottom of the footage.

He believes the cameras could also be used for short periods during one-off events, such as major outdoor sporting events held in cities.

Lohmann said: “We do not just want any location, we want the best locations. Big hotel chains all have great images of their properties but they may want to relate to an amazing location. This is what we can now do with the smaller system.

“EarthTV is basically like opening a window on the everyday world. It’s the next step after Google Streetview or Youtube. Live is the next big thing.”

The patented cameras require no maintenance for five years and may only need attention if there are problems with the electricity or internet connections.

As well as land-based locations, earthTV is also working with cruise ship operators to place cameras on vessels.

Editorial control of the footage ensures that it is non-political, non-religious and does not invade people’s privacy, said Lohmann.

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