NAB 2011

Allbritton Going With JVC HD Cameras

As it upgrades to HD news, the station group owner is adding 25 studio cameras and 107 ENG cameras. The ProHD units use non-proprietary SDHC cards and feature native file recording for Adobe Premiere Pro, which is already in use throughout the station group.

Allbritton Communications is standardizing on JVC ProHD cameras for studio and ENG work at six of its seven ABC affiliate stations that are being upgraded to HD news, according to the broadcast vendor.

The only station not included in the 142-camera buy is flagship WJLA Washington, which is already airing HD news.

In a JVC-distributed statement, Jim Church, director of technology, said Allbritton began planning to go HD at the six stations two years ago, and spent almost five months researching and testing cameras.

“It became evident that we needed to find a new technology partner,” said Church. “We had specific things that we needed from our cameras, we had specific workflows in mind. The image quality was critical. At the end of it all, we only found one vendor. It was JVC.”

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The deal includes 25 studio cameras and 107 ENG cameras, including GY-HM790U and GY-HM750U shoulder-mount models, as well as about 10 compact handheld GY-HM100Us.

The six stations: WHTM Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa.; WCFT-WJSU-WBMA Birmingham-Anniston-Tuscaloosa, Ala.; KATV Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.; KTUL Tulsa, Okla.; WSET Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va.; and WCIV Charleston, S.C.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

In its studios, Allbritton will connect its GY-HM790U cameras via fiber, avoiding the need for triax and additional bundled cables.

According to JVC, Allbritton wanted to maintain an MPEG-2 file format, and the stations were already built around a 35 Mbps workflow. Church said JVC’s ProHD format provided 19 Mbps and 35 Mbps workflow options that worked with the existing IT infrastructures.

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The Hhhhhcameras use non-proprietary SDHC cards and feature native file recording for Adobe Premiere Pro, which is already in use throughout the station group.

Although the transition to HD is not complete, some Allbritton stations have been using their GY-HM790U cameras in the field for weeks.

“Our experience with the JVC cameras has been excellent,” Church said in his statement. “The cameras set up quickly. We use scene files on the SD cards, so all of our settings are consistent across all of our cameras. From day one when we started planning to the day that we rolled them out in the field, we’ve had excellent support.”

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According to Church, the adoption of the new ProHD cameras will generate significant cost savings. Not only do the new cameras have fewer moving parts than the tape-based camcorders they are replacing, which he said will translate to fewer repairs, but the use of reusable SDHC cards instead of tape stock will save thousands of dollars annually at each station.


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