Allbritton Communications standardizes on JVC ProHD for news

Allbritton Communications in Arlington, VA, is standardizing on JVC ProHD cameras for studio and ENG work at six of its ABC affiliate stations. The new cameras are part of an overall transition to local HD news production for all stations in the group.

Jim Church, director of technology, said Allbritton began planning to upgrade its facilities to HD two years ago and spent almost five months researching and testing cameras. “We had specific things that we needed from our cameras; we had specific workflows in mind,” said Church.
The station group has purchased 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 cameras are being distributed to WHTM-TV serving Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA; WCFT/WJSU/WBMA in Birmingham-Anniston-Tuscaloosa, AL; KATV in Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AK; KTUL in Tulsa, OK; WSET-TV in Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA; and WCIV in Charleston, SC. In its studios, Allbritton will connect its GY-HM790U cameras via fiber, avoiding the need for triax and additional bundled cables.

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

JVC’s use of nonproprietary SDHC cards was a key advantage of the ProHD cameras, because the cards offer almost universal access. The new cameras also offered native file recording for Adobe Premiere Pro, which was already in use throughout the station group. With no wasted time ingesting or transcoding footage, the new cameras provide a much more efficient workflow.
The new JVC camcorders are well suited to the changing news environment at Allbritton and other station groups, said Church. “Most of our stations already had one-man crews with multimedia journalists,” he said. “JVC’s workflow embraced it.”

“They gave us the ability to have a lightweight camera that anyone can handle — and SD cards that we could use in any laptop, which allowed the multimedia journalists to edit in the field on a laptop and feed the material back via FTP,” he said.

See JVC at 2011 NAB Show booth C4314.