Radio, TV making friends

As radio dives into a somewhat grey area (that includes pictures), one has to question whether the formula will be accepted.
Read time 2min 50sec

A few years ago, a German technology allowed TV images to be recorded and streamed from malls around the country into MNet`s studios in Randburg.

The pay channel created a TV show from these images, which allowed members of the public to step into the limelight in their local mall, where a camera, mounted in a booth, recorded their antics for TV. Viewers could cast their votes via the show`s Web site to pick the best performances.

The concept was novel in SA, a country where only 50% of the population even has access to a computer, never mind the Internet. A little ahead of it`s time, the show lasted only two seasons before the equipment was shipped back.

Visual radio

In a new twist in the TV tale, Mark Gillman and crew, previously of 5FM`s morning show, are now simul-casting live over radio and digital satellite TV.

It isn`t radio as we know it; it`s more like radio with pictures. Talk about blurring the line to create grey areas. Radio is effective as a medium because it is easily accessible and requires a certain amount of imagination to grasp the tales on the airwaves.

It isn`t radio as we know it; it`s more like radio with pictures. Talk about blurring the line to create grey areas.

Bhavna Singh

Enter TV. Now the imagination can rest and all sounds and antics will have to be vouched for. No more crumpling up pieces of paper to mimic the opening of presents, no more slapping on tables to fake a slamming door. Gosh, no drumbeats or victory songs.

GilliTV (DStv channel 84) will have to be twice as boisterous to pique the imagination of radio listeners while luring the couch potato.

As novel as the idea is, will it fly in SA?

No delays

Consider this: digital TV now allows for simultaneous broadcast with no delay, so the team will not look like the dubbed movies of old, `a la SAfm.

It will not be commentary, unlike the simultaneous broadcast of cricket and indeed World Cup Soccer matches, again, thanks to SAfm.

GilliTV has bait. Gillman himself is established in the industry as the one who will mouth off even if he isn`t pushed. Plus there`s Danger Boy (DB), who puts himself in ridiculous situations with dangerous animals for the heck of it.

Obviously, the podcasts of DB`s Jackass-style performances, available on the 5FM Web site have proved so popular that audiences wanted more, for less than the price of a download.

The collaboration between 5FM (a SABC entity), pay channel MNet and its parent company (DStv) seems to be entrenching itself.

DJ`s trend

Gillman has forged ties with the digital broadcaster. Subsequent to his move from the 5FM line-up, the face of The MNet Show, Elana Africa, has taken up a prime mid-morning slot. The same slot vacated by Zuraida Jardine, also a Vicious Delicious (DStv) presenter.

Come to think of it, even Sasha Martinengo presents a DStv show on his favourite subject, F1.

Ahead of the major technological developments on the cards for 2010, it`s nice to know that everyone in the industry is getting connected.

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