North Dakota’s Forum Communications Uses JVC Connected Cam for COVID-Era Productions of High School Football
For Fargo, North Dakota-based ABC affiliate Forum Communications (WDAY-TV), the pandemic meant finding new ways to significantly streamline operations while maintaining regular sports and events coverage. With social distancing measures in place, the media company had to alter its workflow in order to still broadcast WDAY’s high school game of the week segment without a large crew and multiple cameras. The team found the solution they were looking for with the GY-HC500SPCU Sports Production and Coaching camera, part of the CONNECTED CAM line from JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation.
“We used to pull our production truck out and do a smaller remote for the game of the week, with three cameras,” says David Johnson, Chief Engineer, Forum Communications. “However, with COVID, we needed a one-camera solution that could do it all, including graphics. I asked around and we received the same answer over and over, JVC.”
For the high school football, basketball and hockey broadcasts and live streams throughout the school year, WDAY-TV deployed the GY-HC500SPCU along with a Sportscast ScoreHub for transfering the scoreboard information directly into the camcorder for the graphics overlay. WDAY-TV also utiltiizes JVC ‘s BR-DE900 decoder to decode the camcorders native SRT stream.
“We had one camera on-location and one announcer with a microphone or a headset, and that’s it,” adds Johnson. “The GY-HC500 captures fantastic images, so it looked great. Everyone was very happy with the production value provided by the camera. The single camera operation was born out of necessity, but I think it’s something that we are going to continue.”
The GY-HC500SPCU is JVC’s highest quality and most versatile sports production and coaching camera, capable of producing professional quality coverage of sporting events complete with score overlay and game clock. Scores can be input manually with a tablet, or automatically, straight from the facility’s scoreboard with its seamless integration with ScoreHub. The camera produces high-resolution lower-third graphics with network quality, and overlays them on pristine video that can be recorded and streamed directly from the camera.
“We typically send footage back from the field and then stream it using SRT from the studio, but with the GY-HC500SPCU, we can stream SRT directly from the camera, so that’s really useful,” continues Johnson. “I can see that being especially beneficial when there’s a breaking news story and you want to just stream quickly and immediately.”
In addition to JVC’s GY-HC500SPCU, Forum Communications has been using a variety of other JVC cameras for over a decade.
“In our news studio, we have a lot of GY-HM750 and GY-HM790U cameras, and our production truck also has a bunch of GY-HM750s,” says Johnson. “Not only do all of our JVC cameras capture amazing pictures, but if you upgrade or move up a model, it still operates the same, just with more features. All JVC cameras are easy to use and learn on regardless of what model it is. We are also upgrading our trucks with GY-HC900s in the near future.”
Forum Communications Company is a family-owned, multimedia and technology company headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota. With multiple, community-based online and print news brands throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, Forum Communications offers local news in a variety of digital and broadcast mediums in addition to various niche media brands covering specialty interests. Forum Communications’ flagship television station is Fargo’s WDAY-TV and virtual channel 6, an ABC-affiliated television station.