College Restructures Operations With JVC

As the largest and most diverse private arts and media college in the country, the television department at Columbia College Chicago provides state of the art technical facilities to offer classes that are hands-on and project-based so that students gain the technical skills needed to become a working television professional.

For our Advanced Production and Editing program, we use nine JVC ProHD cameras packaged with DR-HD100 HD hard disk recorders for field production and editing classes. Our students shoot anything from experimental projects to documentaries and narratives.


The JVC DR-HD100 hard drive ready for use Our primary goal in choosing JVC cameras was to go tapeless. We looked at a variety of cameras, but JVC's were the only ones that allowed us to record onto tape in HDV and hard disk recorder simultaneously. JVC's DR-HD100 hard drive recorders enabled us to go tapeless; however, if there are any issues or just for piece of mind we still can record to tape as a backup. That's something none of the other camera manufacturers could offer.

We're really trying to focus on having our students' record straight to hard drive and import files into our Avid Media Composer or Final Cut Pro editing systems for post production. We have nine editing bays for this particular class. The new workflow eliminates tape decks in the edit suites.

This is our first step into a truly tapeless workflow from acquisition to post production. It's very exciting for the students to be able to shoot and record to hard drive and output to a QuickTime movie or eventually to Blu-ray. It's definitely going to enhance things—even the options that are available, such as different frame rates and different resolutions. And that's the great thing about a tapeless workflow—we now have options that tape couldn't give us.


In the future, we're planning to upgrade our output options. But in the interim, we're utilizing JVC's BR-HD50 decks so that students can archive their projects back to tape. We'll use the decks to play out via HDV over the FireWire. The other nice thing about the BR-HD50 decks is that we have tons of legacy standard-definition DV footage that we're going to be using for quite some time. Having a deck that can play back and record in both SD and HD is very handy for us. The decks give us flexibility—we can use it for our intro and intermediate classes that are recording in SD and for the advanced classes that are recording in HD.

The students are given external FireWire hard drives so they can keep all their media secure. Right now we recording HDV format because it's cost-effective for us and we can use a standard DV tape, which still gives us that HD quality that we're looking for.

Dave Dvorak is the operations manager at Columbia College. He has worked for CBS news and also post production companies before joining the staff coming at Columbia. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact JVC at 800-526-5308 or visit