Monthly Archives: October 2013

PESA Xstream Delivers Multi-Path IP Streaming at CCW

Huntsville, Alabama – PESA, a leading U.S.-based custom design and manufacturing company for professional audio and video signal distribution, will demonstrate its new PESA Xstream multi-path IP streaming appliance at Content & Communications World (Booth 718) on Nov. 13-14, 2013, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The company will also showcase its new 4K routing switcher and advanced PERC3000 server-based system controller.

Housed in a compact, 1 RU form factor, PESA Xstream provides a cost effective,XSTREAM 10 30 13 JPEG comprehensive package for digital media capture, processing, distribution, and storage. It simultaneously encodes up to five independent video sources and eight audio sources concurrently from live or recorded video for multi-path H.264 IP distribution over six independent video streams – with no sync or latency issues. Upgrades for Q1 2014 include on-board storage as well as a USB 2.0 communications interface.

PESA Xstream captures H.264 IP camera streams, NTSC/PAL or SDI video up to 1080p resolution, stored video content, and even computer-based content such as PowerPoint slides or medical patient vital signs, then prepares high-bandwidth MPEG-4/H.264 broadcast streams for enterprise distribution and archive. When multiple sources are captured simultaneously, the streams remain associated and synchronized during the event.

“Because it delivers high-quality video and audio with synchronization at a low cost per stream, PESA Xstream has caught the attention of customers and integrators from a number of vertical markets,” said John Wright, PESA senior vice president, sales and business development. “We are working with developers who are tailoring the user experience for specific applications in medicine, sports, government, education, and more.”

PESA Xstream has already been incorporated into VIQ Infinit, a digital media capture and management platform developed by VIQ Solutions that provides a large-scale digital media capture and management platform for international, federal, or state courts. It is also being used to record multi-camera coverage for various medical applications, and new solutions are being developed for collegiate athletics, live entertainment, and educational systems.

With five individually addressable video outputs as well as an integrated quad-view output, PESA Xstream allows operators to stream live content over IP while simultaneously transmitting live digital content to a quad-view display and/or full screen display. PESA Xstream can also synchronize discrete audio inputs to discrete video inputs, and offers adjustable audio delay. An intuitive Web browser management and control interface provides complete remote capabilities, which can eliminate the need for on-site personnel to stream content to a production facility.

PESA will also show its server-based PERC3000 system controller, which supports up to 17 levels of control, 64 components, 256 tie-line interconnects, 256 salvos, and 8,192 sources and destination names. With its icon-based status interface, it is easy to check matrix status, tie-lines, presets, salvo, communications, and more. It also offers full diagnostic capabilities to verify operation of the matrix control to the physical cross-point. The PERC3000 supports network, Web-based browsers, and popular mobile applications. It provides a standard platform that can be easily scaled in the future as system performance demands and complexities increase. The system controller works in conjunction with PESA’s TOUCH 72 remote control panel, which features 72 LCD pushbuttons and a 320×240 touch-screen display.

Designed to support 4K/UHDTV workflows, the new Cheetah 4K 16×16 routing switcher provides all the necessary control elements in its 4 RU frame. With hot swappable matrix and I/O cards, as well as internal power and control, the need for additional power and external cabling is virtually eliminated. Plus, redundant power and control modules can be added without using additional rack space.

Based on real-time multi-link SDI transmission methods, each Cheetah I/O card includes four SC-style fiber CWDM connections carrying up to 12 Gbps (4xSDI) for each input or output port. To complete the end-to-end 4K system, an outboard easyPORT module converts the signals from each CWDM port on the router back to conventional HD/3G-SDI video lines. With the built-in crosspoint switch circuit on each easyPORT module, users can also send four independent SD/HD/3G-SDI signals over a single wire interface, which saves valuable cabling space, and can extend coax I/O more than 260 feet using the built-in equalizing and reclocking circuits in each easyPORT module.

The Cheetah 4K 16×16 is controlled through traditional RS-232/422 or Ethernet connections, and its built-in SNMP MIB simplifies integration to third-party network system management software. The router can be configured and controlled via PESA’s intuitive Cattrax network GUI or optional Cattrax Web network server software using PESA’s powerful PERC2000 or PERC3000 system controller hardware.

About PESA

As a leading provider of audio/video connectivity, PESA offers a wide selection of routing switchers, matrix switchers, extenders, converters, media extenders, and signal processing gear to support government, military, industrial, commercial, broadcast and mobile truck applications. PESA offers one of the widest ranges of AV products – from large scale fiber optic routing to single-point CAT-5 DVI extenders – each with the integrity and innovative high performance technology expected from PESA. Our products are available around the world from a leading team of channel partners offering local support and installation; and all of our products are supported by 24/7 technical support. To learn more about our technologies and services visit www.pesa.com. PESA is located in Huntsville, Alabama with regional offices throughout the United States.

All products mentioned herein are trademarked property of their respective owners. Learn more at www.pesa.com and www.pesaxstream.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PESA_ONLINE.

 

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FOR-A to Participate at Upcoming New England Broadcast and Cable Expo

Cypress, CA, October 30, 2013 – FOR-A Corporation of America will be on hand at the 5th annual New England Broadcast and Cable Expo, being held November 7th at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. Exhibiting in booth #307, FOR-A will display some of its newest and most popular solutions, including theHVS-390HS_Image02 HVS-XT110 and HVS-390HS video switchers and MV-1620HS HD/SD/Analog mixed high resolution multi-viewer.

“New England is a very important region to FOR-A, and this expo is the premiere event in the area to see production equipment from a variety of suppliers,” said Jay Shinn, Northeast Sales Manager at FOR-A. “New England has a large PEG (Public, Educational, and Government Access Television) station market, and they’re in need of small, efficient production gear. FOR-A offers a number of solutions ideal to fulfill this demand. We’re looking forward to connecting with expo attendees and showing off our gear.”

Introduced earlier this year, the HVS-XT110 portable video switcher features a compact, integrated design. The switcher offers mixed HD/SD input, frame HVS-XT110 Panel JPEGsynchronization, multi-viewer capability, re-sizing engine, 2.5D wipe effects, DVE and keyer with chroma key. Two freely assignable Keyers and DSKs channels also come standard, and the switcher has a built-in Web server that allows users to adjust settings from a PC or a tablet terminal. The unit comes standard with 12 HD/SD-SDI inputs and eight outputs, and enables nine outputs, including one HDMI output, to be freely assigned.

Also in the booth will be the compact MV-1620HS multi-viewer. The MV-1620HS is cost-efficient and feature rich. It accepts up to 16 channels of mixed HD/SD-MV-1620HSSDI or analog composite signals for monitoring on up to two screens and includes a customizable window layout.

FOR-A will also show the HVS-390HS video switcher. Earlier this year, FOR-A introduced new features never before seen in this class of production switcher. The new functionality is an extension of the aux bus system that allows operators to deploy any aux bus transition with cuts, mixes, or wipes, and display a keyer complete with DVE functions. The features comes standard with the HVS-390HS and are ideal for any environment with multi-language or multi-screen requirements.

The New England Broadcast and Cable Expo is held in conjunction with the 16th annual Media Educators of America fall conference. The expo serves as a premiere event in the area to learn, network and see firsthand emerging trends and technology. More information can be found on their website.

About FOR-A

FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 714-894-3311 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.

 

CCW 2013: Digital Nirvana to Show Live Stream and Broadcast Monitoring Software, Plus Content Repurposing Solution

logoNewark, CA – Digital Nirvana’s live stream media monitoring solution, broadcast monitoring software, and content repurposing system for multi-platform distribution will be front and center at the upcoming Content & Communications World Expo (CCW). Being held from November 13-14th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, CCW is an annual convention focused on media and entertainment technology that includes HDWorld, SATCON and the Production + Post conferences.

Digital Nirvana will exhibit in Booth #1257 at the show.

“We’re very excited about CCW 2013,” said Hiren Hindocha, president and CEO of Digital Nirvana. “It’s a dynamic show that grows in popularity each year. It’s the perfect venue to present innovative technology. We’ve got a unique set of products that offer the capabilities and cost savings customers need now. We anticipate a very positive reception at this show next month.”

AnyStream IQTM, the industry’s first live stream media monitoring solution, will be showcased within Digital Nirvana’s CCW booth. This cloud-based software-as-a-service helps broadcasters record, log and monitor live streamed media, AnyStream Live Stream Workflow Diagram 9 13 13validate ad runs, prove web captioning compliance, and cut clips for easy sharing. AnyStream IQ is designed specifically for the new streamed media monitoring requirements of broadcasters, content creators, aggregators and distributors.

Because it’s a cloud-based subscription service, there is no hardware or software to install. Users just specify the URL of the stream, and AnyStream IQ records the streams, extracts the closed captions (if any), and provides a browser-based interface to search the recorded streams. With its Cut/Clip feature, users can easily mark in and out points on the video and share the clip for either compliance or proof of airing purposes. AnyStream IQ complements a station’s current, in-house broadcast compliance logging system.

In addition to AnyStream IQ, Digital Nirvana offers an innovative solution for traditional broadcast monitoring. Monitor IQ is the only broadcast monitoring system that provides automatic ad detection, a director’s audio track, as well as an advanced metadata harvester™capability.  Monitor IQ combines the functionality of content recording (HD and SD in full resolution), content searching, retrieval and repurposing, Web publishing, signal monitoring, air-check logging, archiving, ad verification and tracking, and competitive analysis while offering the scalability that broadcasters need.

The latest software includes several features that are a direct result of customer feedback. Among the new, customer-suggested features are: flexible content archiving, real-time newscast exporting, and automatic extraction of Program Guide data from the broadcast stream.

Because the platform is based on open web services (REST) API’s, Digital Nirvana’s software can be easily integrated with third party products and can scale from one to multiple servers and from one to hundreds of channels.All Digital Nirvana solutions are web enabled, so users can access the software through any standard web browser without ActiveX component.

The company will also feature its MediaProTM content repurposing system for multi-platform distribution, which offers a low-cost way to repurpose HD clips from cable and broadcast. This new solution records encrypted cable feeds in full HD and is ideal for news and sports directors who frequently repurpose content from cable channels. For the broadcast engineer, it eliminates the need to maintain multiple set top boxes, frees up valuable rack space, and removes the cost of multiple DVRs.

MediaPro IQ allows users to easily edit, clip and publish live or recorded content in real-time.  Search is based on keywords, program titles, descriptions, textual metadata, closed-caption, as-run logs, traffic logs, alarm and discrepancy logs and time/date or channel filters.

About Content & Communications World (CCW)

CCW (Content & Communications World) brings together more than 6,000 attendees and 300 exhibiting companies in media, entertainment and communications technology. Participants have an unmatched opportunity to interact with the latest products, explore technological innovations firsthand, and hear from experts who shape the industry at every stage of content creation, management and delivery. CCW features HD World, SATCON and the Production + Post Conference. For more information, visit www.ccwexpo.com.

About Digital Nirvana

Since 1996, Digital Nirvana has been empowering customers with innovative knowledge management technologies. By combining media and digital technology expertise, Digital Nirvana makes it possible for organizations to streamline operations and gain competitive advantage with advanced product and service offerings. The company’s portfolio includes the industry-leading Monitor IQ broadcast monitoring system, AnyStream IQ live stream monitoring solution, MediaPro content repurposing system, and repeat audio detection systems (RADS) for song tracking and ad tracking. A comprehensive service portfolio includes media monitoring and analysis, market intelligence and analytics, and learning management services. Digital Nirvana is headquartered in Newark, California with offices in Hyderabad and Coimbatore, India. For more information visit www.digital-nirvana.com.

FOR-A Introduces 4K Extraction System, Wins ‘Best of IBC’ Award

Cypress, CA – At IBC 2013, FOR-A debuted ZE-ONE, its new 4K extraction system for use with the FT-ONE 4K super slow motion camera. The solution allows FT-ONE users to frame and extract desired 4K image areas to capture the action for HD replays. ZE-ONE received a “Best of IBC” award from TVBEurope magazine in the acquisition and workflow category.

“After introducing the FT-ONE last year, we decided to develop our own 4K ZE-ONEextraction system that allows users to isolate and enlarge certain areas within frames,” said Hiro Tanoue, FOR-A Corporation of America’s President. “Operators can focus in on any part of any scene, ensuring not a moment is missed when shooting with the FT-ONE. We’re proud that ZE-ONE has been recognized by TVBEurope as a stand-out, new technology.”

Ideal for live sports production, the 4K extraction system provides operators with an intuitive touch-screen interface to frame and extract specified HD scenes at any size from 4K sources. ZE-ONE allows users to smoothly zoom in or out, and includes an embedded audio delay processor.

The title “Best of IBC” was awarded to new products across seven categories and chosen from more than 1,400 exhibitors at the IBC Show, held last month in Amsterdam, by the editorial teams of TVBEurope and the IBC Daily. The FT-ONE also received a “Best of IBC” award at last year’s show.

About FOR-A

FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 714-894-3311 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.

Riding the Rails in Japan with JVC’s GY-HM600

The following article was published on Studio Daily:

Japan is a country of incredible contrasts. About 80% of the land is devoid of settlements due to topography. So the farmlands and urban areas cluster and compete to house and feed the nation’s 128 million people. Tokyo, the nation’s capital, is also the planet’s largest urban area, with more than 36 million people living and working on the coastal plain. The country is smaller than the state of California, yet it has the second largest economy and is among the top three exporting nations on the planet for manufactured goods.

All of those goods and people need to move around, right? Japan answered the problem of transportation by building the most comprehensive and efficient rail network in the world. There is almost no inhabited area on the island that cannot be reached by train. And that led to the subject for this article.

I set out to document the ease of travel in and around Tokyo and to some of the region’s cultural sites on its varied trains, from suburban local trains to the world famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which inaugurated regular running at 320 kph on several lines in March of 2013. They are now the fastest scheduled passenger trains on the planet!

How does a one-man crew haul tripods, cameras and microphones and all of his other junk on such a trip, through the busiest and most crowded train stations anywhere? With planning and help from a few manufacturers. JVC, Miller Camera Support Equipment, and Pelican Products stepped up to make this documentary shoot easier.

JVC had a new compact HD camcorder wowing crowds at NAB in the spring. They sent me the GY-HM600 to field-test before the show and its compact size, light weight of only 5.3 lbs, extended recording time from low power consumption and large capacity SDHC cards, and full complement of broadcast grade features allowed me to pack light and get heavy results. (More on that camera later.)

Pelican cases and a Miller tripod were key to making work in Japan’s crowded railway stations possible. Pelican cases are known worldwide as a standard for safely transporting gear, such as high-end electronics, cameras, laptops or firearms, scuba gear, or any equipment that must stay clean and dry. I own at least a half dozen Pelican cases, but I needed something special. I wanted a single box that would have durable wheels to roll out all of the gear for this trip — camera, batteries, tripod, DSLR and lenses, gaffer’s tape and tools, rain gear, microphones etc. Pelican hooked me up.

Will Holloway

How to Carry the Gear
Their solution was the Storm Case im3220 — a deep, long rifle case with solid plates of foam inside that could be cut to fit. It has inline skate wheels recessed on one end and very rugged pull and lift handles. The whole unit will stack, lay flat, sit on its edge or stand on one end and is very stable in any of those positions, so it was easy to handle when carrying it in and out of airports and onto trains.

I wanted to be able to move over land as well, so I modified the case to attach it to an exposed-frame, freighter-style backpack I bought at Cabela’s. I drilled three pieces of flat aluminum bar stock to match the holes on three stainless steel gate pulls purchased at a hardware store, then drilled and bolted them to the lid of the Storm Case. I used the aluminum plate to back the nuts inside the lid and spread out the load on the case. This worked very well. I could easily attach the backpack frame to the gate handles using heavy wraps of gaffers tape. This was quick and very secure and could be cut free in a minute with a pocketknife.

Once mounted, I was able to move freely with the fully loaded case around Tokyo and to various countryside temples and cultural locations I visited. On several occasions, the only way I could have gotten some of my planned shots required running over land. Hauling the gear in my modified case allowed me to jog or run.

It should be noted however, that to be polite in Japan, it is very important to not wear a backpack onto a train or while waiting in a station. (I was glad that I knew this before arriving.) The case could stand on end, creating a very small footprint. That was a big part of my plan, as trains get more crowded than westerners who have never been to Japan can fathom. The concept of personal space goes away quickly at rush hour in Shinjuku Station!

The case held up beautifully through rain and rolling over miles of pavement, dirt roads and even a couple of cobblestone alleys. I set it on its side once and used it as a platform on which I stood so that I could shoot across the crowds of pedestrians at Shibuya, the world’s busiest intersection. It even beat the “throwers” at the airports! It cushioned all of the gear and kept it clean, which was something, considering the dust storms blowing across the Sea of Japan from China while I was there. That cold, block-out-the-sun dirt got into everything … except my Pelican Case!

What to Put the Camera On
I asked Miller Camera Support  to help me get the camera stable. I have used Miller tripods, among others, for the last 22 years and have been very happy, but mine is old, beat-up, and bulky. Moreover, it was too heavy for this trip.

Miller sent me a telescoping, two-stage, carbon-fiber tripod with a 75mm bowl called the Solo. It was very sturdy and light (5.5lbs). They sent it with one of the new Compass fluid heads. There are several available models in the Compass line. I found the Compass 12 head to be one of the smoothest pan-and-tilt heads I have ever used, which is saying a lot considering I have used far more expensive, heavy-duty heads in my studio career. That smooth movement can be found in a number of drag presets and counterbalanced tilt settings that can support up to 22 lbs. I found that I was trying out camera moves that I would never attempt with other tripods on the off chance that I might screw up the move and miss a one-take shot.

Pan-and-tilt combinations, even while zoomed-in on a subject, were silky smooth. With a lit bubble level, it was easy to get the head leveled even on the dark Shinkansen platforms at Nasu-Shiobara one night. For attaching the camera, I would have liked a drop-in styled camera plate as opposed to a slide-in style, mostly because I am used to it. Once I got used to the Compass 12’s plate, I got pretty fast at attaching the camera to the head.

The Solo tripod sets up on just about any terrain or surface. It has stepped positions for each leg to provide varied angles and good friction to hold the legs in place in between the preset angles. It has permanently attached spike feet, which can be concealed under screw-down rubberized feet.

This design is very solid. However, if I were designing it, I would make one modification: I would design the spike tips so that they are pointed down toward a center point as opposed to in-line with the legs, as this latter arrangement becomes less effective to ‘dig in’ as the legs spread further apart. A tip offset to one edge of the threaded post and angled towards the center would maintain a digging point for far greater angles and still not interfere with the threading for the rubber foot. Or the whole foot and spike casting could be set at a centered angle from the bottom of each leg, instead of in-line.

The tripod legs lock securely with a twist of a barrel-shaped, rubberized lock on each stage. Because each one has to be done one at a time it is not as fast as some of the stylized lever systems out there, but it is very secure and hard to accidentally loosen. The tripod can be set very low to the ground or as tall as most operators might ever need. This worked well when I wanted to shoot over crowds of passengers on the station platforms. The tripod and head get the camera lens above six feet easily or below two feet if necessary. The total weight of this set up was less than 15 pounds, and with the very comfortable sling attached, I found it easy to tote around like a bandolier.

The Main Course
Okay, now for the meat of this meal: the JVC GY-HM600, my image capturing magic machine. Unfortunately, my trip started out with no camera! A shipping department somewhere missed the fax, and in I flew to Japan in panic mode. The camera had to be couriered to my hotel in Narita City. JVC was great about getting things right to my location only a few days after I had intended to start the shoot. I immediately went out on some test recording, something I always try to do with a new camera before I leave for the actual job. Then, as my luck would have it, there was a rare defect between two elements in the lens that created a permanent gray spot on every shot, so I had to get a replacement camera. JVC got right on it and the next day I had a new camera arrive from Yokohama. The new one had a broken lens cover from some handling by the courier, so I swapped the good one off of the first camera before I sent it back, and I was off and running.

The other hitch was due to format choices and editing hardware. A buddy in the business recommended I shoot everything in AVCHD format, for its nice balance of compression quality versus data rate. Since shooting in a tapeless workflow is still new to me after decades of shooting to tape, I followed his advice. I wish I hadn’t. The camera can record in a number of formats, including XDCAM EX, which my edit system chews through quite well. My workstation, however, bogged down on the AVCHD clips. They look fantastic, but often times have playback issues when editing. Once output for delivery, they look great. But I had to update my software to improve performance with the AVCHD clips. But the images are spectacular. Thanks, Adobe and JVC!

Camera Nuts and Bolts
The GY-HM600 is a one-piece camcorder with dual slots for SDXC/SDHC memory cards, allowing for continuous recording or dual recording, creating cloned files.

One of the real benefits in electronics nowadays is that firmware can be updated on existing units as upgrades and fixes get figured out. Since I had the camera out for my shoot, there have been a number of firmware updates improving performance on what I believe was an already solidly performing machine. Some of the recent updates have included more improvements to autofocus, focus-ring sensitivity on the wide end, and a one-push iris function, as well as improved recharging and new, lower bitrates for AVCHD formats. Details for other updates can be found through JVC’s website.

The GY-HM600U and GY-HM650U are both high-definition video cameras providing recording in multiple resolutions and formats. 1920×1080, 1440×1080 and 1280×720 frame sizes are available to record to MPEG-2 as MP4 or MOV files, and AVCHD, all in combinations of common progressive and interlaced frame rates (at this time, full 1920×1080 HD resolution is not supported in 60p.) Standard-definition frame sizes are also supported in H.264, and PAL frame rates are supported throughout. Three 2.2 megapixel 1/3-inch CMOS chips provide the horsepower, and it is impressive what such small imagers can produce today. The era of needing 2/3rd inch chips has been put on life support! With a low signal to noise ratio and a sensitivity of F11, this camera can be a workhorse for studio or field television work, as well as digital cinema acquisition. I found very little noise, even when using mild gain in low-light situations.

It has a built-in stereo mic that produces surprisingly good sound indoors, but I mounted a Rode Video mic on the hot shoe. This was an adequate setup, but took getting used to, as I had to remember to turn the dang mic on each time I turned on the camera, which is not part of my usual order of operations. (I now have to dub a bunch of clips with natural sound that I failed to record thanks to forgetfulness!) I would have preferred an XLR-type stereo shotgun mic on phantom power, but at the time of my departure mine was in need of repair.

The 23x Fujinon lens is the best zoom lens I have used on a modestly priced camcorder. It has the closest zoom performance to a high-end servo zoom lens I have touched. I could start push-in or pull-out shots nearly without a visible change in framing. It is decently wide, as well, with a 35mm zoom equivalent of 29mm to 667mm. I would like to go as wide as 24mm, but this was good with little distortion, and nothing that would bother anyone viewing the footage I shot. As expected, there are several standard neutral density filters to aid in proper exposure while shooting in bright conditions.

The lens provides very nice low-light performance throughout the zoom range, dipping only a couple of f-stops into the telephoto range in real-world shooting conditions. The lens has reasonably fast auto-focus plus separate manual focus, zoom and iris rings. The steps of exposure from the iris ring are slightly visible when changed manually during recording, a problem I feel should be solved by now, as it has been on high-end lenses, but it is far and away better than what I have seen on Canon or Sony cameras in the price range. The camera has an optical image stabilizer, which was great for shooting tele-shots while on moving trains, and I used it with success on handheld footage while visiting several temples. The lens hood has a built-in leaf-shutter type lens cover, meaning there is no cap to lose or drop. This was great. It is a bit delicate, as the actuating lever works from only the left side, putting a bit more pressure on the edge of the leaves than seems ideal, but with care it should last for years. On subsequent designs, I hope JVC beefs it up a bit, but the feature has been way overdue for professional cameras.

One of my big performance tests for a new camera and its chipset is bright lights in dark scenes, like headlights at dusk or a sunset. Most cameras in this class cannot handle these scenes without distortions like vertical smear or spots ghosting around the light source in checkerboard patterns. For the last six years, I have had to work very hard to get a good sunrise with my own cameras. The HM600 handled sunrises, sunsets, locomotive headlights aimed right at the lens, streetlights and the neon of Tokyo’s Ginza district like it was made for just those shots. A lot of shooters do not like the starburst lighting effect created by some CCDs or CMOS imagers in video. I happen to think they look good for most scenes. This camera does produce them, but there is no smear and no trails or ghosted spots. That alone would sell me on buying this camera.

The GY-HM600 and 650 produce superb images from their trio of next-generation 12-bit CMOS sensors. Images recorded were sharper and more colorful than I have gotten on my cameras or even some that I have tested from JVC and other manufacturers. Many custom settings can be chosen from the extensive menu system to tweak the camera performance or achieve a certain look. I did not get into much of this, as I was not shooting talent or in any studio situation. The camera processes image data through JVC’s new proprietary Large Scale Integration (LSI) chip, the Falconbrid. (Not “-bird”, although a lot of people seem to read it that way.) Very fast data processes allow multiple codecs to be recorded from a single camera, with the potential for far more data to be recorded to common, non-proprietary media. I, for one, would have liked 1920×1080 resolutions at 60 frames progressive. The camera only produced 60p in 720 line resolutions at this time.

The 650 model has all of the same specs and features as the 600, but it adds the ability to upload footage while still recording via FTP and Wi-Fi built into the unit, which would be a paradigm shift for ENG work and up-to-the-minute shooting for broadcast or web content. I opted to take the 600 for the test drive. It was a good experience.

Recording was done to eight SanDisk Extreme, 32 GB, 45 MB/s SDHC cards I bought at a Costco. Doing a bit budget before the shoot helped me estimate my storage requirements. I used seven and a half cards during the two weeks of shooting. Had it been on tapes, I would have used about 20 cassettes for the same footage that could literally fit into my wallet. And speaking of wallet, what would be the savings over tapes? Eight reusable cards versus years of cassettes or disks ads up to hundreds of dollars saved. Over a long enough timeline, it would pay for the camera, I suppose. My edit locker from the past 10 years is several hundreds of tapes deep.

The controls and switch layout returns to the organization one might find on a larger, and frankly, older style of camcorder. Good! Menu-driven controls should not be on an ENG-type rig. There are programmable fast-access buttons, as well as dedicated switches for commonly used features like zebra stripes, shutter speed, white balance and gain.

On the down side, the LCD screen, audio and menu functions are all built into the brain module on the front of the (very comfortable) handle, and the viewfinder is attached at the back. If these were part of the main camera body, the layout there would be far more crowded, or would lose some of the useful switches. However, it would allow the operator to give the camera a smaller profile if just a handle, microphone mount and hot shoe could be removed. That’s just an idea I had while I was trying to pack and transport the gear. Audio connections include dual XLR plugs with phantom power as well as a compact stereo jack. These are also part of the handle rig, not the camera body.

The video and audio outputs include HD/SD SDI and HDMI jacks as well as 3.5mm standard video and audio outputs. USB connections for moving files to a computer are also standard. The menu system can be accessed with a user-friendly joystick on the LCD screen or a rocker pad system on the camera body. The menus were easy to navigate and thoughtfully laid out.

The 920k LCD screen is clear and bright, but because it was often hard to see in direct sunlight, I would use the viewfinder to focus. (An aftermarket hood would help with this.) The rear-mounted viewfinder is a new 1.22 megapixel Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) unit. It was sharp and clear and, considering its smaller-than-half-inch screen, very impressive. I found myself using it as much as the LCD screen.

The camera features JVC’s Focus Assist function, which highlights contrasting edges in the image to make finding focus easier. Auto-focus works great in general and then you can switch it off when you need to shoot manually. I did a few rack-focus shots on the spring cherry blossoms that Japan is so famous for, and barrel focusing was a breeze.

For the price, I found this camera to be the best I have test-driven in the past decade. It is lightweight, supports multiple recording formats and data rates, has a fantastic lens, sips electricity from digital IDX batteries. It can overcrank and undercrank for slow-motion and other creative work. It has a pre-record function to cache memory so that shots are never missed, along with a plethora of other industry-standard and JVC-innovated features. It is light, compact, and rugged.

Oh yeah — as I wrote earlier, the images I shot were stunning, too. There isn’t much else for me to say but, “Go buy one.”

Will Holloway owns Iron Horse America – Video / Media. He is based out of the Seattle area and has been specializing in transportation industry and sports documentary work for 22 years.
JVC GY-HM600: pro.jvc.com/prof/Pelican iM3220: www.pelican.comMiller Camera Support: www.millertripods.com

Visit the original article here: http://www.studiodaily.com/2013/10/riding-the-rails-in-japan-with-jvcs-gy-hm600/

Brazilian Video Services Provider Casablanca Online Continues to Rely on FOR-A Technology

Cypress, CA – FOR-A Corporation of America announces that Casablanca Online, a leading provider of satellite communications services in Sao Paulo, Brazil, recently purchased a number of its professional video solutions. A long FA-1010time user of FOR-A technology, the order adds to Casablanca’s arsenal of FOR-A products and includes one HVS-390HS video switcher, three UFM-30FRC frame rate converters, and two MV-1620HS multi viewers, as well as one FA-1010 and five FA-9520 multi purpose signal processors.

“One of the key factors that led us to acquire new FOR-A equipment was our high level of satisfaction with our existing FOR-A units,” said Alexandre Minghini, Marketing Manager of Casablanca. “We’ve been happy with the quality, functionality, and support that we’ve gotten from FOR-A and its technology.”

Casablanca chose the MV-1620HS multi viewer for use in each of its two new HD MV-1620HSOB trucks, which were created to meet market demand for major productions of large sporting events. The MV-1620HS is a cost-effective multi viewer that supports mixed signals from HD-SDI, SD-SDI, or analog composite sources for up to 16 channels.

FOR-A’s signal processors were purchased by Casablanca to provide signal transmission, conversion and back-haul of live broadcasts. The video services FA-9520_Front 2 9 20 13provider is taking advantage of the FA-9520’s additional functionality as a color corrector, video optimizer, and up/down/cross/aspect converter to meet the demands of its customers, including Fox Sports Latin America. Casablanca specializes in covering live sports events both nationally and internationally.

“FOR-A provides market-leading solutions that are ideal for use in sports production,” said Minghini. “We’re happy to continue our partnership with them, and Casablanca is also looking forward to testing out new FOR-A equipment in the near future, including the FT-ONE 4K super slow motion camera.”

About FOR-A

FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 714-894-3311 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.

About Casablanca Online

Casablanca Online is one of the most complete providers of satellite live transmission services in Brazil. It has been in the market for over 15 years and has been involved with thousands of national and international events. It is a pioneering company in the implementation and integration of the HD and 3D technologies, and has its own industrial division, IBRASAT – a high-technology products research and development center – that enhances and differentiates its operations. It has the largest fleet of DSNG mobile units, reaching many different points within the Brazilian and the South American territory.

 

Experience Church.tv Improves Multi-Camera Production with JVC GY-HM600 ProHD Camera

WAYNE, NJ – JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., today announced Experience Church.tv, based in Puyallup, Wash., is using a GY-HM600 ProHD handheld camcorder as part of a multi-image005camera HD production that provides image magnification (I-MAG) for its live congregation during services and streaming video for online viewers.

Known for its high-energy live services, Experience Church.tv embraces AV technology as a tool to help share its message with its local congregation and its ministry around the world. The church purchased the GY-HM600 in May and has mounted the lightweight camera on a jib for dynamic moving images. The camera’s built-in BNC connector for SDI output provides a reliable connection for jib use.

“For us, it was about the lens quality and the size of the camera to use on our jib,” explained Dennis Cummins, pastor. “It’s a huge lens in a compact frame. That keeps the weight down for use on the jib.”

The church’s multi-camera setup also includes two Grass Valley LDK 4000s on image007sticks, one handheld JVC GY-HD250, and two GoPro cameras, which are positioned on stage to highlight musicians in cutaway shots. “I was amazed how good the JVC looks in comparison to the LDK4000s,” Cummins noted. “The colors are rich and vibrant, and it reacts well to our lit stage. We purchased one, but will be adding to it soon. With the quality of the lens, we are looking to use it in more places.”

ABOUT JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY

Headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, with West Coast operations in Long Beach, California, JVC Professional Products Company is a division of JVC Americas Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVC Kenwood Corporation. JVC is a leading manufacturer and distributor of broadcast and professional video and audio equipment, D-ILA front projection systems, and Super LoLux HD video security products. For further product information, visit JVC’s Web site at http://pro.jvc.com or call (800) 582-5825.