The use of drones – usually quadcopter type devices that are highly versatile – is proving increasingly popular in many areas where High Definition (HD) broadcasting of aerial shots is required. Easy to use and highly agile, drones – otherwise known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – offer an opportunity for film and commercial makers to capture shots that would not be available from manned aircraft, and also allow for service industries to use these clever machines for their own special purposes. With safety and affordability high priorities with, say, the search and rescue services, HD drone video may be the perfect answer.
Why use an UAV? For search and rescue purposes – perhaps following an accident, for example, or a major natural disaster – the need to survey the scene for survivors and inherent dangers is always a priority. Buildings may be unstable and unsafe, and where sending people in could endanger their lives, using a drone live HD broadcast gives a fast and accurate picture of the situation, and enables the experts to determine precisely what the situation is. That small drones can enter buildings where manned aircraft cannot is a further bonus to the search and rescue operation.
The use of HD drone video has many other applications; for example, rather than sending men up treacherous pylons to inspect power lines for faults. This allows for better and more efficient use of manpower and also added safety, and with quality broadcasting can easily give an accurate picture of the situation. The same process can be used to examine wind turbines or any other tall structures for damage or faults, without having to utilise excess manpower or endanger the safety of others. Affordable and versatile, this is the way forward for many such applications.
In the commercial filming industry the drone camera has many useful applications; directors are able to take aerial shots that could not be possible otherwise, or that would be too expensive to consider when using traditional methods such as with manned aircraft. The drone also negates the need for complex and expensive cranes that are often used for high-level shots. This cost-effective method of getting spectacular and unique views is one that is becoming increasingly popular in film, television and the advertising world, and allows for greater use of budget and more effective placement of manpower.
Drone broadcast technology has come a long way in the past few years, and the very best and latest systems utilise HD live broadcast solutions that offer a zero-latency result. This mean there is no lag with the delivery as was once the accepted case with distance video transmission – the pictures are real time. This is essential in the case of the search and rescue scenario, where even the slightest time lost can be crucial. Furthermore, many drones can enact entire missions on their own – they can be pre-programmed to take off, search an area, and land – leaving the operator free to monitor the footage more carefully.
The use of drone camera live feed technology will be of future benefit to many – not least law enforcement agencies who are already using such technology in many areas of their business – and as an affordable replacement for other, more expensive methods of aerial broadcasting and filming will undoubtedly become more widespread in a short time.