Alabama-Based ABC Affiliate Invests in JVC Camcorders
JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., announced that ABC affiliate WCFT/WJSU/WBMA in Birmingham-Anniston-Tuscaloosa, AL, has purchased 20 GY-HM790 ProHD camcorders for studio and ENG work as part of an overall transition to local HD news production.Ron Thomas, director of engineering, WCFT/TV Alabama, Inc., said the station began using four of the new cameras in its studio in SD mode last July, then made the switch to HD production on Sept. 12.
“The picture quality has been great, a drastic improvement,” said Thomas, who noted the integration between the new ProHD cameras and the studio’s Vinten robotic camera support system has been “flawless.”
WCFT began using GY-HM790 camcorders in the field on Sept. 12 as well, replacing a fleet of aging Philips LDK 700 DVCPRO camcorders. Not only are the units lighter than the previous cameras, but Thomas said they balance well when paired with the station’s new Anton/Bauer DIONIC batteries. “Our shooters really like the cameras,” he added.
While Thomas admitted station personnel faced a learning curve when they moved from a tape-based workflow, he said they quickly embraced the use of JVC’s native file recording on SDHC solid-state media cards. “It has really made it faster for our news department to turn around news, especially breaking news,” he said.
WCFT is affiliated with Allbritton Communications Company, which is based in Arlington, VA, and recently standardized on JVC ProHD cameras for studio and ENG work at six of its stations. The new cameras are part of an overall transition to local HD news production for all stations in the group.
The GY-HM790 offers an innovative modular design and a redesigned studio adapter sled. Its three, 1/3-inch progressive scan CCDs produce 1280×720 and 1920×1080 images, and its proprietary MPEG-2 encoder supports 1080i, 720p, and even SD (480i) for operations that have not yet made the move to HD. The compact, shoulder-mount camera can also be used for ENG, with a dual card slot design that records to low-cost, non-proprietary SDHC media cards in ready-to-edit file formats for Apple Final Cut Pro (.MOV) and other major NLE systems (.MP4).