Connecticut Stations To Stream Live From Field With JVC

WAYNE, N.J.—JVC Professional Video announced Branford Community Television and North Haven Community Television, two public access channels in Connecticut, will produce local election coverage with live reports from the field for the first time this November using JVC GY-HM200 4KCAM cameras and BR-DE800 ProHD decoders.

The two private, nonprofit public, education, government channels are located about 15 miles apart, and are available for local Comcast cable and Frontier Vantage TV subscribers. Both channels also offer on-demand programming on the web. While the two entities are separate, the equipment at both stations is similar and some personnel resources are shared.

Walter Mann, station manager for BCTV and executive director of NHTV, said the two stations serve as a “hyper-local information service” for their respective communities. “We do more than just fulfill our PEG responsibilities,” he said. “If we don’t go beyond the basics, we’re not increasing our value and importance.”

Beyond coverage of various government meetings, BCTV produces coverage of local events and high school sports, as well as a number of in-studio productions. BCTV has three JVC GY-HM790 cameras in the studio, while NHTV uses JVC GY-HD250s.

One specific area of interest is local election coverage. With limited capital budgets, neither station could afford to rent a microwave or satellite truck for live remotes. According to Doug Sisson, operations coordinator for BCTV, during past elections, there was a minimum 45-minute delay to deliver comments from local election headquarters, because the footage would have to be physically transported back to the station and transcoded for use on the air.

With the JVC GY-HM200 cameras and BR-DE800 decoders, combined with a tailored data plan, the stations will not be limited to delayed coverage. 

With most funding based on grants, the two stations have staggered their equipment purchases. BCTV already has two GY-HM200 cameras, while NHTV has ordered its own camera. Decoders for both stations are already on order as well, and will be in place in the fall.

Sisson was looking for something more advanced than the station’s aging pool cameras when he selected the GY-HM200s last summer. Specifically, he liked the GY-HM200’s focus and iris control rings on the integrated 12x optical zoom lens, built-in ND filters, intuitive controls, and dual media card slots.

One BCTV community producer is using the GY-HM200 to shoot an independent film in 4K. Sisson has shot some 4K as well, but his projects are mastered in HD. He uses the 4K resolution so he can crop the image and create different shots from the same footage.

Sisson has also been impressed with some live YouTube tests. The GY-HM200 features support for Real Time Messaging Protocol, which allows a direct connection to YouTube, Ustream, and other content distribution networks. 

“We are always looking at ways we can do more with the budget we have. The JVC’s streaming abilities were a big selling point,” Mann said.