Peter Braat who has been working at WildEarth Djuma since August last year has decided to invest in our company and become a shareholder. He shares our vision of what WE can be and has made a commitment to seeing it happen. WE are very proud to welcome Pete as a director and shareholder, and excited that he will be a part of this journey.
Pete’s investment will allow us to make some changes that WE have been waiting on for some time. WE won’t be able to go all the way to a full High Definition TV channel, but WE will be doing a few key improvements in anticipation of my trips to Mipdoc and MipTV in Cannes, France, at the end of March 2009, as well as WildTalk in Durban in April. At these shows I hope to license our channel to pay TV operators all around the world, just like SomethingTV already has in the UK, as well as license our LIVE safaris to other TV channels globally. Here are some of the changes you can expect over the next few weeks:

  • WE are installing a digital Final Control. This will allow us to produce a much slicker channel, with packaging elements (opening sequences, logos, straps, idents, etc.). It will also make shows like WElearn and a new enhanced WEchat that much more professional and ‘TV’ like. Please understand that WE have no intention of losing that unique quality that has made WE what it is on the Internet. WE will always be personal, intimate and approachable, but WE must grow up a little and stretch. I believe that WE have the opportunity to pioneer in that unexplored space between the Internet and TV … and that is where WE will now venture. Mike Williamson (one of our UK viewers) has been working with Emily and I on producing the new imaging (packaging elements). There will be a Blog shortly inviting the viewers to comment on the new imaging elements as we produce them.
  • WE are moving waterhole camera 2 (and all the IR lights) down to the edge of Gowrie dam to improve our nocturnal view … and our daytime view of the animals at the dam. The dam is now so full that it will certainly have water right through winter and that means that the little pan will not get pumped. It will dry out soon and all the animals will drink from the dam.
  • WE are permanently adding the night drive from 21h00 to 24h00 CAT everyday including Sunday nights (if all goes according to plan this will start on Friday the 13th March). Additionally WE are retiring the existing IR camera and deploying a new Sony night shot camera with a 35x optical zoom, that is significantly easier for the crew to use.
  • In order to deal with the increased show, WE have employed Moses, who will begin work on Thursday this week. He is very excited to be joining WE.
  • WE are installing ‘secret comms’! This will allow the director to ‘whisper’ to the presenter and cameraman (or just the cameraman) without turning down the sound. 
  • WE plan to improve sound on the Jigga, both by improving the number and quality of the mics, but also by reducing the sound from the transmission gear. My dream is one day to hear the insects, not the Jigga!
  • WE are going to bring down a little over 1.5 tons of new batteries, both to keep the Jigga on the road for 3 shows per day, but also to provide 100% backup in the Final Control so that WE never miss a drive because of power again … this is obviously critical if WE are licensing our LIVE safari’s to TV clients.
  • WE are going to implement a system that will allow us to distribute our channel 24/7 everywhere in the world at full standard TV definition. This will not effect our Internet viewers, but will significantly change our TV viewing experience … and therefore our all important ability to license our channel.
WE are all very excited about these upgrades and improvements, which will start happening from this week. All of them will result in a better WE, and most of them will show immediate results. However, there will be teething problems and some of the new systems will take a little while to bed down and show you why they have been introduced. I ask that you are patient with us and remember that our objective is to be the best WE can be. It is often difficult to deal with change, particularly if it doesn’t work straight away, but stick with us because it will soon all make sense and you will appreciate it all I am sure. 
Help us leap to the next level in LIVE wildlife broadcasting … it is in our nature.