WAYNE, NJ (April 11, 2011) – JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., today announced that Allbritton Communications Company, based in Arlington, Va., is standardizing on JVC ProHD cameras for studio and ENG work at six of its ABC affiliate stations. The new cameras are part of an overall transition to local HD news production for all stations in the group.
Jim Church, director of technology, said Allbritton began planning to upgrade its facilities to HD two years ago, and spent almost five months researching and testing cameras. “It became evident that we needed to find a new technology partner,” Church explained. “We had specific things that we needed from our cameras, we had specific workflows in mind. The image quality was critical. At the end of it all, we only found one vendor. It was JVC.”
The station group has purchased 25 studio cameras and 107 ENG cameras, including GY-HM790U and GY-HM750U shoulder-mount models, as well as about 10 compact handheld GY-HM100Us. The cameras are being distributed to WHTM-TV serving Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Penn. (DMA #39); WCFT/WJSU/WBMA in Birmingham-Anniston-Tuscaloosa, Ala. (DMA #40); KATV in Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark. (DMA #56); KTUL in Tulsa, Okla. (DMA #61); WSET-TV in Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va. (DMA #66); and WCIV in Charleston, S.C. (DMA #98). In its studios, Allbritton will connect its GY-HM790U cameras via fiber, avoiding the need for triax and additional bundled cables.
Church wanted to maintain an MPEG-2 file format, and the Allbritton stations were already built around a 35 Mbps workflow. He said JVC’s ProHD format provided 19 Mbps and 35 Mbps workflow options that worked with the existing IT infrastructures.
JVC’s use of non-proprietary SDHC cards was a key advantage of the ProHD cameras, because the cards offer almost universal access. The new cameras also offered native file recording for Adobe Premiere Pro, which was already in use throughout the station group. With no wasted time ingesting or transcoding footage, the new cameras provide a much more efficient workflow than the tape-based camcorders they replaced.
Church said the new JVC camcorders are ideal for the changing news environment at Allbritton and other station groups. “Most of our stations already had one-man crews with multimedia journalists. JVC’s workflow embraced it,” he explained. “They gave us the ability to have a lightweight camera that anyone can handle – and SD cards that we could use in any laptop, which allowed the multimedia journalists to edit in the field on a laptop and feed the material back via FTP.”
Although the transition to HD is not complete, some Allbritton stations have been using their GY-HM790U cameras in the field for weeks. “Our experience with the JVC cameras has been excellent,” Church added. “The cameras set up quickly. We use scene files on the SD cards, so all of our settings are consistent across all of our cameras. From day one when we started planning to the day that we rolled them out in the field, we’ve had excellent support.”
According to Church, the adoption of the new ProHD cameras will generate significant cost savings. Not only do the new cameras have fewer moving parts than the tape-based camcorders they are replacing, which he said will translate to fewer repairs, but the use of reusable SDHC cards instead of tape stock will save thousands of dollars annually at each station.
JVC is demonstrating its full line of ProHD camcorders, including the GY-HM790U and the new GY-HM750U, at the 2011 NAB Show (Booth C4314), which runs through April 14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.