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Drewry Communications Group standardizes on JVC ProHD cameras for ENG

Broadcast station group Drewry Communications Group, in Lawton, OK, has standardized on JVC ProHD cameras for ENG for all five of its TV stations.

KFDA-TV, the Drewry-owned CBS affiliate serving Amarillo, TX, was the first station in the group to launch its local newscast in HD when it went live with HD local news Feb. 23. Brent McClure, KFDA general manager, said the station is using seven GY-HM790U cameras in the field for local news and sports coverage.

KFDA’s new JVC camcorders were first used to cover range fires that blanketed some of the new ENG cameras in dirt and soot. McClure said he was satisfied with how the cameras performed in the adverse conditions.

“The picture to the marketplace is great,” McClure said.

Mike Lee, vice president and general manager of KXXV, the Drewry-owned ABC affiliate serving Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX, said the group’s choice of JVC ProHD camcorders, particularly the GY-HM790U, was a result of several factors. Not only does Lee like the picture quality the camera produces, but he also appreciates the look and feel of the camera, which is similar to the conventional ENG cameras the station has used for years, he said.

Lee did not want to commit to an expensive, proprietary recording media when the stations transitioned to HD production. JVC's ProHD cameras use inexpensive SDHC media cards, which fit the bill perfectly. The JVC cameras also were a cost-effective solution that helped the station group maximize its budget, Lee said.

KFDA maintained a structured migration to HD. In December 2010, all new elements of the station’s HD workflow, from master control to graphics, were individually introduced. Even field production was converted one camcorder and one edit bay at a time. By the time the station launched its HD newscast, all of its new equipment and workflow was established.

The current workflow at KXXV involves ingesting tape-based footage to the station’s Adobe Premiere CS5 NLE systems for post, and then dubbing completed packages to tape for playback. With the move to a file-based system, which parallels the station’s HD upgrade, KXXV will save on maintenance costs for its aging VTRs and camcorders. Additionally, with JVC’s native file recording, there is no need for ingesting or transcoding footage, which will save editing time.

KXXV is expected to make its own transition to local HD news April 25. It has purchased 10 GY-HM790Us and three GY-HM700Us with Canon lenses for its main facility in Waco and at KRHD, its digital low-power satellite station in Bryan/College Station, TX.