Texas TV Station Goes HD with JVC ProHD Cameras

KBMT, the ABC affiliate in Beaumont, Texas will employ JVC Professional Products’ GY-HD250 and GY-HM700 ProHD cameras when it launches its local HD newscasts today. The London Broadcasting station, which serves the Beaumont-Port Arthur market (DMA #141), has purchased three GY-HD250 cameras that are already in use in SD mode in the studio, as well as seven GY-HM700 cameras for ENG use.

“When they were introduced last year at NAB, that was it. That was my camera,” chief engineer Mark Cormier said of the GY-HM700. “We love the camera. It balances out and gives our photographers the feel that they’re used to.”

The new JVC ProHD cameras will also be used for newscasts on KJAC, the station’s NBC multicast channel, which shares news personnel and resources. Both channels simulcast a 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. newscast, with each channel broadcasting separate newscasts during the afternoon and early evening.

Cormier is a big supporter of the GY-HM700’s use of inexpensive, non-proprietary SDHC media cards. The station will also take advantage of the camcorder’s ability to record in the QuickTime (.MOV) file format, revamping three of its edit bays with Apple Final Cut Pro and thereby eliminating the need to ingest or encode footage from the field.

The new JVC cameras are part of an extensive investment in HD for the station, which includes an updated studio set and a new HD master control. Cormier says KBMT will be the first station in the market with local HD news.

“It’s a huge change,” he adds. “We will actually have viewers tune in to sample us for the technology, which is kind of exciting.”

KBMT is the second station London Broadcasting has equipped with JVC ProHD camcorders. Last year, KYTX, the CBS affiliate serving the Tyler-Longview, Texas market (DMA #109), launched its local news in HD using JVC GY-HD250 cameras for studio and ENG work. According to Moe Strout, director of engineering, London Broadcasting, KYTX uses Adobe Premiere to edit its news packages and JVC DR-HD100 hard disk recorders for tapeless acquisition in the field.