Indiana’s WFIE Leverages JVC’s ProHD Studio 4000S for Breaking News, Local Sports Coverage
WFIE, the NBC affiliate in Evansville, IN, is using JVC Professional Video’s ProHD Studio 4000S live sports production and streaming studio to produce breaking news and local sports coverage for the web. Owned by Gray Television, the station originally purchased the system last summer in time for high school football season.
“We had been considering the idea of streaming live high school sports on our website, and JVC’s studio-in-a-box solution seemed like an affordable way to consolidate the equipment needed for multi-camera productions,” explained Jason Gravens, news operation manager, WFIE. ”The 4000S gives you the basics of everything you need to make a ballgame happen.”
Rack mounted into one of the station’s live trucks, the system anchored three-camera productions for five high school football games and two-camera productions for three high school basketball games. “If you’re a sports fan, you want to see replays – without it, the production is missing a key element,” Gravens added. “The built-in replay feature in the 4000S is fantastic. Just having it included in the unit itself is great.”
Although only available to streaming audiences, at times WFIE had about 1,000 people watching the games. Following its successful sports coverage, the station decided to use the 4000S to produce breaking news updates for the WFIE website and other social media platforms.
An old conference room at the station was converted into a small studio, with the 4000S and an audio mixer positioned on a small table. Beth Sweeney, WFIE evening anchor, has been trained to be a one-man band for the productions, operating the 4000S and audio mixer while reporting live news updates for the WFIE website and other social media platforms.
One of the station’s older ENG cameras is mounted on a tripod, and a mic is positioned above Sweeney on a C-stand. The small studio also includes a basic three-point lighting system, plus an extra piece of WFIE’s current news set mounted to the wall as a backdrop.
When the station wants to stream an update, the equipment is turned on and still images or graphics are loaded into the 4000S using a flash drive. The 4000S has a built-in CG, but WFIE imports its own station graphics. Sweeney makes sure the mic is off and puts a slate on the screen. When she is ready, Sweeney opens the mic, switches to the camera, and begins the webcast. Once the update is complete, she returns to the slate, kills the mic, and ends the stream.
While the sports directors tend to use the touchscreen for switching, Sweeney prefers the keyboard and mouse. Gravens said the control flexibility is a big positive, because the 4000S operator can use whatever interface works for them. He also said the built-in multi-view was helpful in training Sweeney how to use the system. “In fact, the whole system is very user friendly for someone who’s not necessarily a trained TD,” he added.
Earlier this year, JVC introduced the CONNECTED CAM Studio 6000S, a six-input model that supports NDI and SRT streaming protocols. Both the 4000S and 6000S offer automated multi-channel instant replay and slo-mo, as well as an integrated sports CG for scores and timers. Other features include an integrated audio mixer, four layers of DSK, production switcher with automated switching mode and choice of transitions, and full PTZ control for the JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ production camera.