Thursday, January 31, 2008

Digital Handel's Messiah, 1994

In 1994 my company won a contract to broadcast the the annual Kennedy Center Handel's Messiah performance live on the web with video. We'd barely just started our company, MediaZones, and the only reason we got the gig was because very few companies were doing live internet video. We'd had some cursory initial success with local Seattle events and that made us the default experts. So, we loaded all our digital gear into travel cases and headed to Washington, DC to try and make it work.

We were hired by a company associated with the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. They'd made all the arrangements to get our crew from Seattle to DC and all we needed to do was make a postage-sized flicker of video appear on their webpage while the live event was going on. We used a now-defunct software-hardware combo called Xing Technologies that required we lug a giant server with us, along with 4 desktops and a laptop. Not to mention our cameras, microphones and cables.

In those days we felt lean and mean when it came to equipment. When we were at events, the TV crews would gawk at us and be amazed that we could broadcast from just seven suitcases. They couldn't take us seriously because we, in their minds, had barely any equipment. We didn't even have a van. How could we be professionals? How indeed.

Back in 1995, I sketched this comic rendering of the whole adventure and I have recently posted it online.

In comming weeks, I'll post some photos of this trip...I just uncovered another box of media from those old early days of the web. Stay tuned!

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Blogger betaburger said...

That’s pretty amazing that even back then the Mountainzone was disseminating video online. If only we’d thought of a video sharing site…hmmm…

Thanks for the link to you're blog, Tood - I look forward to checking it out on a regular basis.

February 6, 2008 10:33 AM  
Blogger G&J said...

You forgot this part of the story: where after 12 hours of setup and finally being ready-to-go, Greg closed the door , only to hear the fiber optic cable crack.

Ever try fusing fibre optic cable together Christmas eve?

February 6, 2008 12:54 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Oh boy do I remember that! Don't miss the comic attached to this goes into detail about that ordeal!

February 6, 2008 1:00 PM  

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