Raycom Media standardizes on GY-HM650 cameras for newsgathering

Raycom Media has purchased more than 130 JVC GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news cameras, the first in a series of purchases that will standardize all ENG operations on the camera.

“The major differentiator for the GY-HM650 is all of its IP capabilities,” explained Dave Folsom, VP and CTO, Raycom Media. “Between the built-in live streaming and FTP file transfer capabilities, we can’t wait to get these cameras in the field.”

Raycom, which began with 15 stations in 1996, owns or provides services for 52 stations in 36 markets in 18 states, covering more than 12 percent of U.S. TV households. The new cameras began arriving in March and are being distributed among the 31 Raycom stations that produce local news. This large adoption follows an earlier Raycom purchase of JVC cameras for studio use.

“We have a lot of aging cameras at many of our stations,” Folsom said. “We intend to buy many more cameras going forward, because we have to replace as well as greatly expand our fleet over the next few years. The GY-HM650 is being used to enhance that older fleet.”

Many of the older models are larger, heavier shoulder-mount models that use proprietary recording media. According to Folsom, Raycom Media put the cameras in the hands of some the station groups news shooters, who expressed their approval of the image quality produced and camera sensitivity. He added that the use of non-proprietary SD cards as a recording medium is also a plus.

While 100 of the new cameras will be used to replace aging ENG models directly, more than 30 new cameras will be used to increase the number of cameras at select stations. “It’s not just a one-to-one replacement. We’re expanding the number of cameras in use and increasing our commitment to local news coverage,” said Folsom.

Designed for mobile news and reality documentary production, the lightweight GY-HM650 features three, 12-bit CMOS sensors and a built-in Fujinon wide-angle 23X zoom lens with auto-focus, optical image stabilizer and manual controls. When equipped with a Verizon 4G LTE modem connected to the back of the camera via USB, the camera’s dual codec technology allows shooters to stream live HD video transmissions while continuing to record footage.

See JVC at 2013 NAB Show booth C4314.