Nexstar Broadcasting commits to JVC ProHD camcorders

Nexstar Broadcasting Group will deploy JVC GY-HM790, GY-HM700 and GY-HM100 ProHD camcorders in at least eight stations in 2010 as part of its planned strategy to convert its local news operations to digital.

Headquartered in Irving, TX, Nexstar owns or manages 62 TV stations with a variety of network affiliations in 34 markets across 14 states. According to Blake Russell, Nexstar senior VP of station operations, the plan is to transition all of its local newsrooms eventually from tape-based to file-based operations, using solid-state media for ENG work.

Among the Nexstar markets to convert to the camcorders by year’s end are Hagerstown, MD; Altoona, PA; Rockford, IL; Monroe-El Dorado, LA; Beaumont, TX; and Abilene-Sweetwater, TX. Nexstar has chosen the new GY-HM790 for studio camera configurations moving forward. KARK-TV, serving Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AK, will be one of the first stations in the country to have the new GY-HM790.

Other Nexstar stations not scheduled to complete conversion in 2010 may also receive new JVC ProHD camcorders. As older cameras start to fail, Russell expects to replace them with JVC cameras, including the GY-HM790, GY-HM700 and GY-HM100.

JVC’s use of inexpensive, non-proprietary SDHC media cards in its tapeless ProHD camcorders was a major factor in Nexstar’s decision. “Price is a primary consideration,” Russell said. He described the approach JVC has taken with the camcorders as “more dynamic,” particularly in terms of a firmware addition for low-lux operation.

Nexstar is already using JVC ProHD cameras at two of its local news operations. KUTV, a CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City, owned by Four Points Media Group and managed by Nexstar, began shooting HD ENG footage with GY-HM700 camcorders in January. In February, KSNF (NBC) and KODE (ABC), a duopoly serving the Joplin, MO-Pittsburg, KS, market, began using JVC’s new GY-HM700 and GY-HM100 camcorders in the field. Russell said the duopoly is archiving the footage it acquires in 16:9, but is still broadcasting local news in SD.

KUTV is taking advantage of the ability to record MOV files for its Final Cut Pro edit suites, but most Nexstar stations use Avid nonlinear editing (NLE) systems. For those stations, the GY-HM100, GY-HM700 and GY-HM790 camcorders record native MP4 files, which can be imported directly into Avid and other NLE systems without transcoding.