KUSI launches local HD newscasts, adopts tapeless acquisition

KUSI, the McKinnon Broadcasting-owned station serving San Diego, launched its local news in HD April 1 after more than two years of planning with 11 JVC GY-HM700 ProHD camcorders for HD ENG work.

KUSI, an independent station with a local focus, broadcasts six and a half hours of live news on weekdays and weekends as well as live newsbreaks every hour between newscasts. According to Richard Large, KUSI chief engineer, some of the station’s local news competitors have HD studios, but they still shoot SD in the field.

“We wanted a full HD newscast, so we needed to find a cost-effective ENG camera that would deliver excellent images and a file-based workflow,” he said.

Tapeless acquisition was a requirement for KUSI’s transition to HD. The GY-HM700’s use of non-proprietary SDHC cards fit the station’s workflow plans. Additionally, the ProHD camcorders can record native MOV files, so personnel do not have to waste time transcoding footage to edit packages using the station’s Apple Final Cut Pro workstations.

“Our shooters really like the new JVC camcorders,” Large said. “Even though they are considerably lighter than the camcorders they replaced, the shoulder-mount GY-HM700s still look and feel like traditional ENG cameras.”

According to Large, the station shoots 720p in the field, and the image quality from the new camcorders is “very good.” KUSI also is using the JVC ProHD cameras as part of its new studio setup, which relies on five JVC GY-HD250 cameras.