Sunday, May 16, 2010

GMA vs ABS-CBN: Virtual Reporters

During the recently concluded national elections, we witnessed bitter rivalry and hostility not only between the politicians but also between the two biggest TV networks in the country - GMA and ABS-CBN.

The two networks tried to outdo each other by using advanced computer technology in delivering the updates for the first fully automated elections in the country.  GMA 7 initially claimed they were using the "hologram technology" last May 10 while ABS-CBN announced that they were using "virtual presence", a feature of "augmented reality" (AR) technology.

On Wednesday night, Ted Failon announced that GMA 7 was not using hologram technology but the "chroma key" technology.  On that same night, GMA 7 came out with a statement that they were indeed using a "hologram effect" using the chroma key technology.

Hay, sobrang hi-tech kasi!  What is really a "hologram effect" compared to "virtual presence"?

The "hologram effect" used by GMA 7 is a visual effects technology created by a digital graphics company Vizrt.  It is a real-time 3-D  graphics effect.  Basically, a subject or object is set up in front of a green cloth,  the image is shot by a camera and is then transmitted to GMA and fed into the Virt software called "Vizartist" to generate the figure that appears on the screen.  So, GMA 7 was able to show different persons in their full body "holograms" being interviewed by the news anchor team at certain stages of the station's election coverage.

Here is a sample clip of the GMA 7 hologram effect:

ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Team proudly announced that they were using the "virtual presence" technology which is based on advanced  patented technology which is called "augmented reality" which involves the integration of computer-generated graphics to the real world.  Augmented Reality technology was created by the Orad Hi-Tech Systems Ltd.  In augmented reality, a person is taken from a totally different location and then brought into the station in position.  This was made possible by bringing a broadcast machine computer with "lots of video capability" and "camera tracking technology" so they would know how to align the virtual with the real world.  With AR technology, the full body image of the ABS-CBN field reporter were shown being interviewed "face to face" directly from the field by the studio anchors.

Here's a sample clip of ABS-CBN's virtual presence:

So, which one do you think is better?  GMA News or ABS-CBN TV Patrol?
For me, the technology is just icing on the cake.  I want the news report to be crisp, accurate, credible and fresh.


sakthi said...

Hi nice post & i also like ur blog so much......

Anonymous said...

I still love ABS's TV patrol. maka ABS kasi mga tao sa bahay eh.hehehe

Davaodelights said...

I still prefer ABS over GMA. Maka ABS kasi mga ta osa bahay and we love TV Patrol:)