KUSI-TV Transitions to HD News With JVC

Reporter Steve Bosh covers the news with one of KUSI-TV's new JVC HD camcorders.
KUSI-TV is an independent station with a truly local focus. We feature six-and-a-half hours of live news on weekdays and weekends, with live newsbreaks every hour between newscasts.

Almost all of the network affiliates serving the San Diego area market with local news have made the transition to high-definition production. After more than two years of planning, we launched our local news in HD on April 1, 2010.


Some of the competition here shoots HD in the studio, but still captures in standard definition in the field. We didn't want to take this approach and sought a cost-effective ENG camera that would deliver excellent images and a file-based workflow. We found what we were looking for at JVC and invested in 11 JVC GY-HM700 ProHD camcorders with very satisfying results.

JVC is also a part of our studio operation, where we're using GY-HD250 high-definition cameras. Since initiating our HD makeover, we've received a lot of nice comments from viewers on how good our newscasts look. And we've actually even received some compliments from other broadcasters in the market.

Today, the television industry is moving toward smaller and lighter weight camcorders—which in my opinion is fine, except that many of these camcorders aren't really optimized for ENG work. In particular, I'm not a big fan of the camcorder models with rear eyepieces, as they're difficult to hold steady. In fact, we see shooters here in this market having to use monopods with these types of cameras to try and stabilize their shots.

Our shooters really like the new JVC camcorders. Even though they're considerably lighter than the older SD camcorders they replaced, the shoulder-mount GY-HM700s still look and feel like traditional ENG cameras and are especially well balanced. We shoot 720p in the field, and the image quality from these JVC camcorders is very good.

Tapeless acquisition was another requirement in transitioning to HD. We spent a lot of time researching file formats and media, and found that SDHC storage cards lent themselves very nicely to our workflow plans. The non-proprietary media is easy to find and relatively inexpensive, so we were able to equip our shooters with plenty of cards from the start.


Prior to purchasing the JVC camcorders, management made the decision to move to Apple Final Cut Pro for editing. Once again, the GY-HM700s fit ideally into our overall HD plans. The cameras can record native .MOV files, so there's no time wasted in transcoding when it's time to begin editing.

Price was also a consideration, as we were looking for the highest quality HD ENG cameras that could be obtained for less than $10,000. JVC was able to provide the HD cameras that we needed and help us to stay on budget. Our new GY-HM700 ENG camcorders deliver an excellent balance of image quality, reliability, workflow, and value.

Richard Large is the chief engineer at KUSI-TV, and has been working in the video industry since 1968. He may be contacted atrlarge@kusi.com.

For additional information, contact JVC at 800-582-5825 or visitwww.pro.jvc.com.