JVC ProHD Cameras Serve KFDX, KTJL Viewers
NBC affiliate KFDX and FOX affiliate KJTL, a duopoly that serves Wichita Falls, TX, and Lawton, OK recently deployed 10 JVC GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news cameras for ENG operations. The move to JVC cameras was part of an overall digital newsroom conversion for the stations, which are owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group.
One of the top 20 television broadcasting companies in the United States, Nexstar owns, operates, or provides services to more than 70 stations in 41 markets, covering approximately 12 percent of U.S. TV households. According to Blake Russell, Nexstar senior vice president, station operations, additional GY-HM650 and GY-HM600 cameras were distributed to other stations in the group. While KFDX/KJTL was the company’s first deployment of GY-HM650s, Nexstar will be buying more units for additional stations later this year.
In late 2012, the KFDX/KJTL newsroom was gutted and all computers were replaced to prepare for an early Q1 launch of the station’s new Bitcentral newsroom system. Now, a reporter works on Avid iNEWS and edits footage with Adobe Premiere Pro from the same workstation. “We’ve created a true content center on the same computer, as opposed to the traditional standalone edit suite,” Russell explains. “And the native file recording of the new JVC cameras fits right into the workflow.”
The new JVC cameras replaced a fleet of aging Panasonic P2 shoulder-mount cameras. While Russell says JVC’s use of less expensive, non-proprietary SDHC and SDXC media cards was an important selling point, he said the lightweight GY-HM650 also offered photojournalists more flexibility in the field. “The 23x lens is a very, very nice offering,” he added.
Doug Bilyeu, news director, KFDX/KJTL, admitted he was a little nervous moving from traditional, larger ENG cameras, but has been impressed with the GY-HM650s, which were delivered in February. “After having the cameras in the field for several weeks and seeing how our photojournalists and reporters have become more comfortable with the smaller gear, I’m really confident in the choice,” he explains. “The quality of video and versatility of the 650 is great – and really adds to the overall production quality of our newscasts.”
KFDX photojournalist Jake VanDonge praises the new JVC cameras as well. “I enjoy all the record and zoom locations, focal range of the camera, built-in nat mic, as well as the hood open and close function,” he adds. “I love how great my color and clarity turns out. I especially like how you can customize the camera, as many controls are easy to tweak in the menu screen.”
The GY-HM650 is able to transfer recorded clips to a remote server via built-in FTP. With a planned JVC upgrade in May, and when equipped with a Verizon 4G LTE modem connected to the back of the camera, the GY-HM650’s unique dual codec technology will allow shooters to transmit live HD video while continuing to record footage. Nexstar is already planning to use the technology to improve its local news coverage. “The advanced networking features make it extremely valuable to us in a world where you want to get the footage from field to air or Web as fast as possible,” said David Morris, KFDX technology specialist.
The GY-HM650 records HD or SD footage in multiple file formats, including native XDCAM EX (.MP4), Final Cut Pro (.MOV), .MXF, and AVCHD. Designed for mobile news production, the GY-HM650 features three, 12-bit CMOS sensors and a built-in Fujinon wide angle 23x zoom lens with auto-focus, optical image stabilizer, and manual controls.