KSL-TV selects JVC ProHD cameras for HD ENG

KSL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, UT, has purchased 19 JVC GY-HM750L17L ProHD camcorders, as well as 19 KA-AS790G ASI modules, for ENG use.

KSL-TV already produces its local news studio segments in HD, and the new equipment is part of an effort to phase in full HD production by August.

According to Brent Robinson, KSL-TV chief engineer, the new JVC cameras, which are replacing 12-year-old tape-based Betacam SX cameras, are expected to be deployed later this month. The station has also purchased 13 GY-HM100U compact handheld camcorders, which will be used for one-man-band operations within the converged newsroom of the television station, KSL NewsRadio and the "Deseret News" newspaper, all of which are owned by Deseret Media Companies in Salt Lake City.

For now, ENG footage from the ProHD camcorders will be edited using the station's current Avid NLE workflow and broadcast in SD. This summer, KSL-TV will move to a Bitcentral Precis news production system with Grass Valley Edius NLE software and transition to full HD production.

Once KSL-TV has upgraded its backhaul path back to the station, the KA-AS790G ASI modules will be used in place of external encoders and other microwave equipment to deliver live video from the field. The investment in the modules is less expensive than upgrading 16 sets of portable ENG equipment and five mobile ENG trucks, Robinson said. The KA-AS790G attaches directly to the back of the camera without external wires or adapters. Using the camera's built-in encoder, the MPEG-2 signal is transcoded to DVB-ASI and outputs the live signal via a standard BNC connector.

The GY-HM750L17L is a LoLux version of the new GY-HM750U camera specially designed for ENG use. When external lighting cannot be used, JVC's LoLux feature goes beyond the normal gain boost to produce broadcast acceptable imagery in extreme low-light environments. The compact, shoulder-mount camcorder can record HD footage in 720p, 1080p and 1080i, as well as SD footage (480i), in ready-to-edit file formats on low-cost SDHC memory cards.

KSL-TV is the third station in the Salt Lake City market to adopt JVC ProHD camcorders for ENG use. CBS affiliate KUTV began using GY-HM700U camcorders in January, and ABC affiliate KTVX has GY-HM700Us in the field as well as GY-HD250Us in its news studio.