On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 12:35 AM, Steve Timko <steveti...@gmail.com> wrote: > > Part of the problem with going to encrypted frequencies is that other > emergency providers can't monitor the frequency, or can't do it without the > expense and hassle and getting encrypted radios. Firefighters and > ambulances monitor police frequencies, for instance. > Many frequencies are public. You can check it out at > https://www.broadcastify.com and listen in on some frequencies. >
Reading up on this a little more, it sounds like there are a variety of digital systems, and it's basically a question of cost and roll-out. In the UK and many places beyond, most emergency services use TETRA services which I believe are encrypted by default. Other places, including the US are transitioning to something called Project 25 (APCO-25). It seems that Project 25 users can choose whether or not to use encryption. When I was a child I could hear police radio at the upper end of my FM radio dial! (Commercial radio had yet to be licenced those frequencies), and scanners in the UK could hear other broadcasts on UHF frequencies. But TETRA, which is now quite old technology, brought an end to that. Also systems tend to be bought in bulk across all emergency services. I imagine that it's a lot more complicated when you have dozens of individual agencies all choosing their own kit, and then need them to be able to cross-communicate. (For better or worse, UK ambulances are now transitioning to a 4G system, so as with mobile phones, they'll remain completely encrypted). > There are stringers in just about every market, but I'm not sure how many > have full-blown companies. Later on in "Shot in the Dark" they go to the > funeral of a stringer in Santa Barbara, which is a tiny market. Just a > stringer, not a full blown company. > "Stringers" has always been a journalistic term to mean freelancers who might have loose affiliations with news providers. I think the idea that they're just gung-ho video self-ops racing around the streets of cities is only one very small part of the equation. In many parts of the world they're local journalists who might support their incomes by providing copy to international agencies. There tend to be specialist news agencies that deal in certain types of thing too. Paparazzi photographers, for example, tend to work for agencies who specialise in those kinds of photos. They'd be stringers too. I suppose I was surprised that in a news market as big as LA, with seemingly a decent number of local news shows to target, the stations themselves don't have bigger operations and just shoot some of this themselves. Or has it reached the point where they only have a couple of news trucks that mostly cover daylight stuff, and they just find it cheaper to buy in footage from these companies even though it'll be identical to footage their competitors have? That said, it does seem that stations can keep helicopters on standby, suggesting that if a "real" story emerges, they can be there. I live in London, and there are only really two outlets for local TV news - BBC London and ITV London. I'm not aware that either uses much external footage beyond mobile phone footage. But then, you can't sit listening to police scanners all night and then race to the scene. You have to rely on the police or the public telling you! I should say that there are plenty of UK tabloid TV shows that show police chases and follow the services to the scenes of accidents, but they're all in the documentary genre because footage is only released later. Sometimes this is because of UK laws on what you can show (suspects need to be prosecuted before you can see them unblurred), but mainly because of the time delay. Footage from police dashcams and helicopters won't be released by police unless they choose to at their preferred time. The only exceptions might be live situations where they're seeking public help in finding something. > Thank you for agreeing with me about the ending. > Finally - about that ending. I have quite mixed - and conflicting - views. I suppose they were summed up in a later episode when another of guys sits and points his camera at a car broken down in the fast line, and just waits. He doesn't want to see anyone die, but he does want to get some kind of a crash. But a crash might cause someone to die. He says he's not leaving his lights flashing because it might distract drivers from the real issue in the fast lane. I appreciate all of that, and yet it does feel like someone pointing a camera at some ice somewhere and just filming people falling over. Is there really nothing he could do? Maybe carry some kind of flashing warning lights or signs? These guys are often parked up near emergency situations, and I assume they don't want to be rear-ended by other drivers. Yes, the British guy in episode one was heroic, pulling the driver out without too much care for his own safety. I don't have any easy answers, but I found both sequences unsettling for similar reasons. Adam -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "TVorNotTV" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to tvornottv+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.