Syracuse, Salt Lake Affiliates Launch Local HD News With JVC PROHD

WSYR-TV NewsChannel 9, the ABC affiliate for Syracuse, N.Y, has launched its local news broadcasts in HD using JVC ProHD cameras in its studio and for ENG work. The new JVC cameras were part of a major overhaul for the Newport Television station that included the construction of a new control room, as well as new sets and a revamped studio lighting system in its studio.

NewsChannel 9 maintains a full schedule of live news and local programming, including six hours on weekdays and two hours of news on Saturday and Sunday. According to chief engineer, Craig Riker, the station replaced its ageing Philips BTS studio cameras with four JVC GY-HD250Us, three on pedestals and one on a mini-jib. The studio cameras are paired with JVC RM-LP25U ProHD local remote units, which are positioned near the technical director in the control room for easy access during a newscast.

Last June, the station replaced its tape-based Panasonic DVCPRO camcorders with JVC GY-HM700s in the field. Riker said the shoulder-mount form factor and interchangeable lenses were important features for the station’s shooters. “The guys are coming back with better looking video than we’ve ever had,” he added. “We’ve got the best looking field video on air in the market.”

Before the station’s move to HD, ENG footage would be shot in 720p, edited in HD on a Grass Valley EDIUS NLE, and downconverted for air through its Bitcentral Precis news production system. Now, the station maintains a 720p workflow from acquisition through playout.

While the NewsChannel 9 team was used to tape, Riker said there are no complaints about the station’s new file-based workflow. “JVC’s native file recording has made post production so much more efficient,” he said. The station has even found a use for its old DVCPRO tape cases – station personnel use them to store and manage their SDHC media cards because they are easier to label.

WSYR-TV is the second Newport station in upstate New York to broadcast local news in HD. WHAM-TV, the ABC affiliate in Rochester (DMA #81), made the transition last September, and is also using JVC GY-HM700Us for ENG and GY-HD250Us in the studio.

KSL-TV Moves Toward HD ENG with JVC ProHD, ASI Modules
KSL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, UT (DMA #32), has purchased 19 GY-HM750L17L ProHD camcorders, as well as 19 KA-AS790G ASI modules, for ENG use. KSL-TV already produces its local news studio segments in HD; the new JVC equipment is part of an effort to phase in full HD production by August.

According to Brent Robinson, KSL-TV chief engineer, the new JVC cameras, which are replacing 12-year-old tape-based Betacam SX cameras, are expected to be deployed later this month. The station has also purchased 13 GY-HM100U compact handheld camcorders, which will be used for one-man-band operations within the converged newsroom of the television station, KSL NewsRadio, and the Deseret News newspaper, all of which are owned by Deseret Media Companies in Salt Lake City.

For now, ENG footage from the ProHD camcorders will be edited using the station’s current Avid NLE workflow and broadcast in SD. This summer, KSL-TV will move to a Bitcentral Precis news production system with Grass Valley Edius NLE software and transition to full HD production.

Once KSL-TV has upgraded its backhaul path back to the station, the KA-AS790G ASI modules will be used in place of external encoders and other microwave equipment to deliver live video from the field. Robinson said the investment in the modules is far less expensive than upgrading 16 sets of portable ENG equipment and five mobile ENG trucks. The KA-AS790G attaches directly to the back of the camera without external wires or adapters. Using the camera’s built-in encoder, the MPEG-2 signal is transcoded to DVB-ASI and outputs the live signal via a standard BNC connector.

The GY-HM750L17L is a LoLux version of the new GY-HM750U camera specially designed for ENG use. When external lighting cannot be used, JVC’s exclusive LoLux feature goes beyond the normal gain boost to produce broadcast acceptable imagery in extremely low-light environments. The compact, shoulder-mount camcorder can record HD footage in 720p, 1080p, and 1080i, as well as SD footage (480i), in ready-to-edit file formats on low-cost SDHC memory cards.

KSL-TV is the third station in the Salt Lake City market to adopt JVC ProHD camcorders for ENG use. CBS affiliate KUTV began using GY-HM700U camcorders in January, while ABC affiliate KTVX has had GY-HM700Us in the field as well as GY-HD250Us in its news studio since 2010.

JVC will showcase the KA-AS790G ASI module and its full line of ProHD camcorders, including the new GY-HM750U, next week at NAB (Booth C4314).