JVC Finds Success on its Own Terms
April 1, 2011
WAYNE, N.J.—Those who have followed JVC's Professional Products Company and its offerings to the broadcast industry through the years have observed that while other camera vendors may be marching in a general direction, JVC will sometimes head off 45 degrees or so, on its own path. And often as not, a year or so down the road, the pack of industry vendors has to make a quick 90-degree turn and rush to catch up with JVC.
"We don't have the constraints that some of the other companies have had in the traditional broadcast market, so we've been able to take a fresh look at things," said Dave Walton, JVC assistant vice president of marketing and communications. "There are just no predisposed ideas when it comes to developing product; we're very eager to listen to customers. We try to anticipate what future technology will bring and the direction of the industry." As to how this maverick strategy has worked for JVC, he pointed out: "Recently we've been right on the money."
JVC GY-HM750U ProHD camcorder
An example: JVC's departure from the norm in the company's third generation ProHD camcorders' ability to use inexpensive SDHC flash media cards instead of proprietary solid-state media for recording. Walton explained that broadcasters began asking themselves: "If I can record HD on a $400 memory card or on a $40 memory card and get the same performance, why am I spending $400?" As a result, one other manufacturer is now offering adapters so their camcorders can utilize the SDHC cards as well.
NEW AT NAB
At NAB, JVC will introduce its latest third generation ProHD camcorder, the GY-HM750U. The new three 1/3-inch CCD, interchangeable-lens camcorder provides the same performance as its older sibling GY-HM790U, introduced at NAB a year ago. However, it is stripped of multi-camera, production-specific capabilities. "We left off the ability to genlock the camera and input external timecode," said Walton. "These are features that are on the 790 that are not on the 750, allowing customers to pay a lower price for a camera designed specifically for single camera work."
Another example of JVC marching off in its own direction is providing an MPEG-2 output on its ProHD camcorders. This HD video, compressed to 19.7 Mbps, can be transcoded into DVB-ASI, which can be transmitted with standard definition-capable ENG microwave gear. Other manufacturers require an external encoder. At NAB, JVC will debut an ASI module, the KA-AS790G, which attaches to the back of the GY-HM790U or new GY-HM750U cameras without external wiring or adapters. "It eliminates the need for an external encoder on location, which simplifies the transmission process and helps reduce cost and clutter," said Craig Yanagi, national marketing and brand manager, JVC Professional Products Company.
With the monumental increase in the amount of 3D sports and motion picture production over the past year, JVC's IF-2D3D1 3D Image Processor has found a waiting market for its ability to convert live or recorded 2-D video into stereoscopic video in real time. This capability can save significant time and production costs, and it has been used on 3D sports productions to integrate replays from 2D cameras into the 3D telecast, and as a tool for post production, including a Sky 3D broadcast of the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at the Royal Albert Hall late last year.
Walton is careful not to oversell the 3D image processor. "It's not a turnkey solution to 3D. You shouldn't expect to just plug in a 3D program and magically come out with a 3D product," he said. "It's a tool for producers and post producers to create simulated 3D in some environments." That said, the device has been mentioned again and again in discussions of how various recent 3D productions were accomplished.
Sharp-eyed visitors to JVC's consumer division web site may have discovered a recently introduced dual-lens 3D camcorder. Walton said there is no similar announcement from the professional division at this time.
An addition to JVC's professional video monitor lineup is the DT-3D24G1U, a 24-inch 3D production monitor that provides unique Left-eye, Right-eye alignment tools for live shoots. JVC will also highlight its G-Series Vérité professional monitors featuring dual-link 3G inputs and digital closed captioning. Walton also noted that JVC's new R-Series studio monitors provide the same performance as the G-series but is stripped of features such as dual-link 3GHz inputs, waveforms and vectorscopes.
What's in JVC's crystal ball? Walton said broadcasters are talking to him about producing content for three screens: traditional home television, the PC, and mobile/wireless television. They're interested in using digital 3G and 4G networks for backhaul. And, they want to do more with equipment that costs less.
"I'm repeatedly asked this question," noted Walton. "'Do you think this reliance on lower cost camcorders is just a result of this down economy, and when things get back to where they were, do you think we'll go back to the way it was?' And my answer to that is, 'absolutely not. These changes are very permanent.'"
JVC will be in Booth #C4314.