Seeking an edge over the competition, KVOA-Channel 4 put together a network of remote-controlled HD cameras throughout the city to capture live footage of news as it occurs.
News 4 Tucson Skynet lets the station instantly pull up footage of traffic problems, weather and other news as it breaks.
Jeff Clemons, KVOA's marketing director, said the system, which went online April 25, gives the station access to footage others might need a helicopter to get.
"We're able to scan the streets for pretty much whatever's out there."
Clemons said he's not aware of any negative legal ramifications of having the system in place.
"Anybody can put up a camera. It's what you do with that camera," Clemons said. "We have a strict policy in place for what it's used for. Who uses the camera and the monitoring of it. It's pretty well spelled out to employees."
Clemons said there was fierce debate at KVOA over whether or not to stick with the Skynet name, which happens to match that of the evil artificial intelligence organization that battles humanity in the "Terminator" films.
"The line we kept coming back to was that was a movie; this is not," Clemons said.
The cameras can rotate 360 degrees, tilt up and down and are equipped with windshield wipers. Clemons would not say how many cameras there are or how much money KVOA invested in the project.
Clemons said he's not sure if KVOA is the first to implement such a system, but he said it was the brainchild of KVOA President and General Manager Bill Shaw. The vision was that KVOA could use the system for footage of breaking news quicker than competitors.


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