JVC delivers 40 camcorders for HRT Croatia VJsTo meet the growing demands in quality and topicality of its newscasts, Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (HRT), Croatia‘s public service broadcasting corporation, based in Zagreb, recently made an extensive reorganization of its regional centers. As a part of the restructuring, very sophisticated tasks, which only can be handled with the latest camcorders, are assigned to the video journalists (VJs) responsible for news. Thus, existing equipment was put to test, with the result that about 40 new handheld camcorders were required. Petra Dražić, from department "Integrated Media Operations", was one of the engineers in charge for selecting suitable camcorders. She had to reconcile the requests of VJs and the production team as well as to meet technical and budgetary requirements. In consultation with participants, the JVC GY-HM600 Series of ENG handheld camcorders were their choice.
Customer feedback is important for JVC, as it not only makes improvement and maintenance of current products easier, it also has an influence on development of new products. HRT’s Petra Dražić was kindly available for an interview about their decision-making process.
Functional specifications document, drawn up in the forefront of acquisition, not only includes qualitative, technical and ergonomic requirements on camcorders, but also detailed considerations on workflow, network compatibility and expandability. Naturally, factors like seamless integration in existing configurations, services of the local dealer and - last but not least - acquisition costs and follow-on costs were an issue during decision-making process. Besides the JVC GY-HM6xx series camcorders, competitors’ 1/3" camcorders had been short-listed. Petra Dražić explains, "From the many handheld camcorders we looked at, JVC’s GY-HM600 Series offered the best products; both in terms of features and value for money. They were the best choice for us.”
HRT especially liked the following features on the camcorders:
1. Integrated Wi-Fi and FTP connectivity
Although live streaming via Wi-Fi and FTP file transfer directly from the camcorder is currently not used on a large scale, first tests have been successful. This is especially true for VJs, who are on the road all over the country to create their news pieces, where the benefits of internet connectivity are obvious. “With innovative FTP functions, JVC has met the major challenge, which is news transmission as fast as possible”, Petra Dražić adds. “Wi-Fi connectivity enables footage transfer to our broadcast center in Zagreb from almost everywhere and in the minimum amount of time. It is even possible to feed in live news in running programs.”
2. Dual Codec Technology
Ideally suited to HRT’s current workflow, the camcorders’ dual codecs enable recording HD and SD footage in different formats (including native XDCAM EX (.MP4), Final Cut Pro (.MOV) and AVCHD format) on commercially available SD memory cards. If necessary, recordings with dual codecs can be even created at the same time. Often, the dual codec function is used for simultaneous backups and seamless recording due to its hot swapping capability. “Generally we use QuickTime (H.264; 1920x1080/50i),” Petra Dražić explains. “Currently we are creating tenders for tapeless production systems; JVC’s technology for recording in two different formats (Hi-Res & Proxy) facilitates this production process significantly.”
HRT’s video journalists are comfortable using the Fujinon wide angle 23x zoom lens and like the compact, rugged design of the camcorders. If they need to shoot from the shoulder, a separate shoulder support can be used. “As public service broadcaster, we are obliged to create public tenders and to award the contract to the most cost-effective vendor – on condition that offered appliances comply with HRT’s technical requirements”, Petra Dražić comments. “Besides the camcorders, we have purchased a lot of other equipment in the course of this investment, so it wasn’t just the camcorder’s price that was the deciding for acquisition. In fact, the overall package from our JVC dealer, Kapetanovic Sistemi, offered best price and completely complies with our technical requirements.”
Petra Dražić has only good things to say about Kapetanovic Sistemi (KS), the JVC distributor based in Zagreb: “We have had many good experiences with Kapetanovic Sistemi; we are happy with the quality and reliability of the products. In Croatia, KS is a highly valued company who we have been collaborating with successfully for many years. It was important to us that KS maintains a longtime partnership with JVC, so we can feel confident that KS is able to provide (as required in the tender) after-sales support. KS has also provided us with demo camcorders so we could test the appliances under realistic conditions in the field and we were able to convince ourselves of the camcorder quality before we purchased.”
Petra Dražić summarizes, “We are very comfortable with the quality and performance from our new GY-HM600 Series camcorders.”