KGTV embraces P2 workflow
San Diego’s source for the latest breaking news, ABC affiliate KGTV 10 News, found the perfect match for its new one-person digital correspondent format – Panasonic’s AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 camcorders. As part of an equipment upgrade and shift to one-person news crews, KGTV purchased 16 Panasonic AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 camcorders and five AJ-PCD20 5-slot P2 drives.
For over 50 years, KGTV has been San Diego’s news leader, covering major breaking news, weather and local events. The station says its move to one-person video reporting will increase its capability to offer more news coverage.
“Our main objective is to get more coverage in the field,” said Michael Walborn, KGTV’s Assistant Chief Engineer. “Moving to a video journalist style of reporting enables our teams to cover more ground. A two-person crew can only be at one place at a time. Instead of having two people on a given scene, you can split up the crew and capture more stories or get different angles of the same story, such as different interviews or B-roll shots.”
“The HVX200 camcorder was very suitable for our operation because of its small compact size and easy operation,” said Walborn. “The camera’s low profile makes it easy to transport and capture events discreetly.”
According to Walborn, P2 has helped make workflow in the field faster and more efficient. “Once you decide to go tapeless, you have to establish the workflow that works best for you; and once you do, the benefits are endless,” said Walborn. “Reporters can quickly record and review content, so they have the flexibility to make choices and be more creative. Instead of dealing with the lengthy tape viewing and editing process, reporters can spend more time in the field getting the right shot.”
Each video journalist is equipped with an HVX200, three 8GB P2 cards and an Apple MacBook Pro laptop. Captured DVCPRO footage is transferred into Final Cut Pro for editing, converted into a QuickTime movie file and then sent to the station’s Grass Valley News edit system.
“The reporter writes the script, picks sound bites, and does all the editing in Final Cut Pro on his or her laptop in the field,” said Walborn. “The script is then sent to the newsroom computer system, Avid iNEWS. Only the completed news story is sent to the Newsedit system to keep the disk storage system from clogging up with raw footage.”
“With the HVX200s, we don’t experience dropouts or other tape problems as we did with our analog camcorders,” said Walborn. “The video quality has improved due to the all digital file-based process. And as we now use far fewer tape-based machines, our maintenance costs have decreased dramatically. Overall, these P2 cameras have proven to be a very reliable solution for our new ENG format.”
The ultra-versatile HVX200 records in 1080i and 720p in production-proven 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD quality, with the ability to capture images in 21 record modes. The DVCPRO HD format offers users cost-effective, intra-frame compression, where each frame stands on its own for editing, and its full 4:2:2 color sampling allows the image to hold up under color correction. The camera records video on a P2 card as IT-friendly MXF files in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; in 50Mbps DVCPRO50 and in 25Mbps DVCPRO or DV. The HVX200 can capture fast or slow action in 720p at various frame rates–the first time this function is available in a hand-held camera. The shooting frame rate in 720p native mode can be set for any of 11 steps between 12fps and 60fps including 24fps and 30fps. For more information on the AG-HVX200, visit www.panasonic.com/HVX200.