For Immediate Release
2008 Positioning Statement
JVC: Practical HD Is Ready When You
- Las Vegas, NV (April 14, 2008) -- The U.S. consumer appetite for high-definition
television (HDTV) programming is undeniable. The Consumer Electronics
Association says that more than 50 percent of U.S. households now own a
digital television. It is predicted that 25-30 million U.S. households
will purchase an HD-capable television in 2008. Of these TVs, 27
percent will be connected to an HDTV service via cable, 14 percent via
satellite, and eight percent via digital terrestrial television.
stunning HDTV adoption rate has led to the cable and satellite
industries using HD as a key selling point for their services.
Terrestrial stations have begun to do the same, using TV ads to boast
about their newscasts in HDTV. In today’s highly competitive
media environment, it’s all about attracting eyeballs and
keeping them glued to your channel.
- Yet even with these
impressive CEA sales figures, the reality is Local HD programming is still not commonplace. Among the roughly 1,300 full power stations
licensed to operate in the U.S., about 750 produce or present a daily
newscast. Thus far a mere 85 are airing HD newscasts and only a handful
of these 85 are actually capturing local news in the field in HD.
deficiency is due in large part to the unavoidable fact that
broadcasters face a number of challenges when it comes to migrating
their production facilities to HD and the economics, or return on
investment, do not immediately justify it. Advertisers are not willing
to pay more for their commercials in HD and the audience is smaller
than it is for standard-definition digital television. These market
factors will continue for some time after the transition to DTV is
- Add to this the fact that the broadcast industry
continues to see significant consolidation and a reduction in capital
budgets and one can clearly recognize the challenges broadcasters face.
This has led to station groups reducing staff and moving to
increasingly automated systems that require less staff to operate the
station. We’re seeing newscasts run by a single operator,
graphics and weather reports created at a central hub for multiple
stations, and centralized master control facilities where commercials
are inserted at a remote site.
- Then there are the
physical plant costs that are causing many stations to proceed to HD
with caution. The first step in any HD migration is implementing the
backbone or cabling infrastructure required to pass HD files around the
station: from ingest area; to a video server; to an edit suite; to the
journalist/producer’s desk; and back to the edit suite;
before it's sent back to a server for playout. The choices represent a
wide spectrum of options, from enhancing an existing DV/25 plant, to
increasing that to 1.5 Gbps to building out an entire wideband 3 Gbps
architecture. Although the routers and fiber links necessary for 3 Gbps
HD-SDI plant design are now becoming available— allowing a
producer of sports and primetime entertainment events to capture
programming using one of the existing proprietary high bit rate
production formats--the later appears extremely prohibitive for all but
the largest market stations and network production departments.
what’s become clear during the HDTV transition is that even
as many broadcasters recognize the importance of strengthening an
on-air brand in today’s multichannel universe, few have
actually made the transition to HD news.
- The R.O.I. is
hard to find.
- The most practical
solution many stations have found is to leverage their existing
facility infrastructure where possible and make the most of legacy
systems. This is a reflection of station management demanding that new
facility designs and capital expenditures must yield maximum efficiency
and a fast ROI. As traditional studio cameras are replaced, HD studio
cameras are often installed in anticipation of the station's complete
migration to HD. Indeed, when stations do begin broadcasting local news
in HD, it’s the studio that transitions first. Recognizing
this trend, JVC designed its GY-HD250 ProHD camera with a robust studio
configuration, complete with camera control unit, remote operations
panel, studio viewfinders and lenses.
- JVC showed the ProHD
Studio concept for the first time at NAB 2006. Since then, the GY-HD250 Studio system has
become an important part of JVC’s camera business. Now in
daily HD broadcast studio use across the country in major cities as
well as in smaller markets, JVC's GY-HD250 has replaced dedicated
studio cameras delivering both outstanding quality and significant cost
- In a studio configuration, the GY-HD250 offers both
720p and 1080i digital output, allowing it to be used in either
environment. The camera's size and flexible mounting options allow it
to be employed in a multitude of ways: on a pedestal, tripod, jib, or
mounted on a robotic platform to the ceiling. This flexibility also
includes the ability to use the camera outside the studio, for field
ENG work or as part of highly specialized POV systems--such as within
weather-resistant housings from Troll Systems. These systems, with full
remote camera control, are used by stations to provide unique
high-definition POV shots and camera views from locations not able to
be manned. The affordability of the GY-HD250U, combined with the
camera's built-in MPEG2 encoder makes these types of applications
- Further expanding its usefulness, the GY-HD250 will
be shown at this year’s NAB 2008 show configured with a full
range of new studio options, including a fully featured CCU with remote
operations panel (OCP), a new 8.4-inch HD studio viewfinder, as well as
a wide range of studio (box-style) lenses and lens controls.
HD Video Switching
- At NAB JVC will
significantly broaden the scope of its HD studio peripherals with a
preview of two new HD video production switchers, the KM-H3000 and
KM-H2500. The KM-H3000 is a powerful 12-input single Multi-Level Effects (MLE) switcher
ideal for small production studios, OB vans and flight packs. Its fully
digital multi-resolution design makes it perfect for use with JVC
GY-HD250 series ProHD cameras. The KM-H3000 features a compact
single-piece design, allowing it to be installed virtually anywhere.
Yet despite its small size, the KM-H3000U is packed with high-end
features and performance, including frame synchronizers on four of its twelve
input channels. The KM-H2500 is a 6-input version of the KM-H3000.
Both models are expected to be available at the end of 2008.
HD ENG Implementation
- The latest generation
HD electronic newsgathering solutions present real timesaving
advantages for production because they introduce the benefits of a
file-based workflow. However, HD ENG solutions using data rates of 35,
50 or 100 Mbps may actually undermine the productivity gains of
handling video as digital files. Too often they actually drive costs
higher by limiting users to proprietary media, necessary multiple
transcoding as part of the workflow, more expensive editing and storage
systems, and potentially high archive costs. Generally, as data rates
rise, so do workflow and facility infrastructure costs.
- Understanding the way
stations prefer to produce their SD newscasts is important to
developing new HD newsgathering tools. Production systems must be
optimized for efficient workflow while making economic sense. To be
truly useful, new HD News workflows must take into account the entire
content chain, from acquisition through to final transmission delivery.
Ideally, all the capabilities previously available in SD news must be
equally available for HD News. If so, then a file-based workflow will
facilitate increased productivity and a fast ROI will be realized.
there are “holes” in many HD News system
architectures now being proposed, which limits the benefits and can
make the transition to HD news a counter-productive proposition.
News: The Parts of the Story Some Choose Not to Tell.
manufacturers like to distill their HD News quality story to a simple
“numbers” game, promoting the “false
hope” idea that the higher the number (bit rate) during
acquisition, the better the quality. Although there is some merit in
this broad-brush approach, the reality of making it work goes a bit
deeper. Beyond the numbers, one should consider how HD News quality is
captured and preserved. One un-told HD News story is what happens after original field footage is captured. A second
“gotcha” involves the hidden sacrifices linked to
bit rate numbers, both as they relate to acquisition and microwave
- While some are battling over proprietary
compression solutions, they are devoid of real world perspective.
Despite the “beautiful picture” that some
manufacturers are promoting, there are hidden sacrifices linked to
acquiring footage at 50-100 Mbps. Among them is the high (and
expensive) computing horsepower necessary to process and compress files
sizes to an easily manageable house format. Another is the difficulty
or inability to affordably send “live” news and
other field footage back to the station via microwave.
- After acquiring HD
images at a high data rate, the news producer must transcode it--either
to a form usable by the station’s news editing system or to
an uncompressed HD-SDI signal, or both—in order to seamlessly
insert it into that evening’s newscast. The edited story is
then often stored on a server. To conserve storage space, footage
routed in the HD-SDI format might be transcoded again to an
intermediate data format. Accessing the story for final airing may
involve another transcoding step back to HD-SDI, after which the story
is again transcoded to the long GOP MPEG-2 format for final
- Each of these transcoding steps is not only costly,
but can also degrade quality. As any chief engineer will tell you, in
the end, the quality that matters is the quality aired. Avoiding
excessive compression and decompression steps throughout the HD News
workflow by working in a lower bit rate format not only preserves
capital, it preserves quality.
- In addition, when
sending HD footage back to the station, data rates above 21 Mbps are
incompatible with widely available RF microwave systems. They also
don’t travel as far. So, with high data rate materials,
compression is your only practical solution. Yet then there’s
the concern about quality loss.
- A second sacrifice
linked to high data rate production is the cost of required proprietary
media and the speed at which the media is consumed. Although the ideal
of a tapeless workflow sounds promising, news organizations accustomed
to the cost of tape-based media are often shocked by the cost of
proprietary form factors.
- An ideal HD News
workflow, then, would have capabilities and economics virtually
identical to an SD News workflow. It’s an end-to-end system
that stays “native” across the content creation
process and delivers virtually original HD quality to the viewer.
News Workflow: “Affordable HD” Becomes PRACTICAL
- The key to a practical HD News transition is taking full advantage of
available real-world technology. Because facility and operating costs
rise in direct relation to data rates, the greatest benefits and
greatest efficiencies result when data rates are kept low. At 20 Mbps,
long GOP HD material looks great and fits perfectly within the most
common Broadcast News infrastructures. Fortunately, long GOP encoding
has matured over several years, enabling HD to be manipulated and
complete programs created at SD data rates. Today, the MPEG-2 HD
standard has evolved into a powerful, effective balance of quality and
economy. Its use in a file-based news workflow based around a sensible
facility infrastructure enables first-generation HD quality to be
maintained throughout the production process, from ingest to the studio
switcher. It also looks great on an HDTV screen.
- JVC has
supported and championed long-GOP encoding in its ProHD product family,
including the its GY-HD250U camera. JVC recognizes that the most
practical and cost-effective way to make a smooth and quick transition
to HD News hinges on a station’s ability to leverage low data
rates while still maintaining a high-quality signal. Why transcode and
continuously compress and decompress all along the production
chain--which has a negative affect on image quality--when you can
acquire footage in a native long GOP format at a low data rate and keep
that content as a native file (and maintain high quality) during
editing, in storage and even when broadcasting it to viewers?
NAB2008, JVC is demonstrating a news workflow solution based on a 20
Mbps native file structure —one that keeps the signal in its
native encoded format from camera, through editing and storage, onto
the media server—all the way to playout. -
Megabits per second is the ideal bit rate because:
It's compatible with many stations'
- It's easy to microwave
It's economical to store and archive
It can be recorded on non-proprietary media.
And most importantly, the original quality
can be maintained throughout the process
- As JVC will demonstrate at NAB, the best way to
maintain quality and cost benefits is to keep the data in its original
native format. A native or open workflow utilizes the same file format
for acquisition, editing, storage and playout, whereas a
“proprietary” workflow employs different
manufacturer-specific formats for each step—requiring
multiple conversions, re-wrapping and transcoding. In this scenario,
special wrappers are introduced all along the production chain, and
although they help ensure compatibility with existing equipment, they
often drive up costs.
- Among all of the camera manufacturers, only JVC is
promoting the unique and cost-effective concept of a native file based
workflow. Of course, this workflow involves other key component
manufacturers besides JVC, such as those that provide non-linear
editing, storage and media servers.
- The benefits of a native file workflow are huge.
The economics alone are so great that a broadcaster can't ignore them.
That’s why a major U.S. broadcaster is implementing this type
of IT-centric workflow, across multiple stations. It has increased
productivity and enabled them to successfully compete. And the on-air
look of each HD newscast is among the best in their respective markets.
- HD News: More PRACTICAL HD: Local HD
Remotes via Microwave Is now a Reality
- In today's broadcast environment, creating the
image is only part of the story. The fast-paced world of breaking news
and live events requires a reliable and cost-effective means of getting
those signals back to the studio and broadcast center.
- Among those stations broadcasting their news in HD
from the studio, acquiring native HD in the field and getting it back
to the station via digital microwave continues to be the missing link.
Most now upconvert SD images from the field. The difference between
real HD and upconverted SD is often very noticeable to viewers with
large-screen HD sets. Thanks to JVC’s ProHD strategy,
however, true HD transmission back to the station or a production truck
is now possible and completely practical.
- With the GY-HD250U's integrated HD SuperEncoder,
it's possible and cost effective for stations to upgrade from SD remote
transmission to live HD remotes. This unique capability is already
being adopted by several major-market news operations in the U.S. A
ProHD camera-encoded (20 Mbps) signal can be easily connected to a
truck microwave using an inexpensive ASI bridge, allowing full
resolution HD to be sent back to the station.
- JVC is even taking HD remotes to the next level
with its Libre camera-mounted microwave system. For news crews looking
to get a competitive edge, it’s now possible to shoot live HD
in the field without being tethered to a news van.
- With a range of 1,000 feet, ENG crews can send
signals within a 20 Mbps data stream from the news event to a microwave
truck, then on to the station for air, without the need for external
encoders or third-party transmission boxes. It’s also
possible to air images straight out of the camera.
- HD News: Recording Media Suited to The
Mission and The Budget
- In the early days of digital production, the
recording format was a primary contributor to image quality. In
today’s file-base world, image quality is independent of the
storage medium. For the user, it means that they can now choose media
based not on the quality of the image, but on the capacity required,
the convenience factor, the speed at which data is accessed, and on the
cost of media.
- The industry has developed numerous approaches to a
file-based workflow, most of them relying on proprietary media and file
formats. Each approach has it merits. However, with proprietary systems
dominating the industry, costs have remained high and interoperability
is either difficult or nonexistent. Technology has advanced to the
extent that it is now possible to achieve many of the benefits of high
priced dedicated systems in products that utilize mass-market media and
more widely accepted universal file formats. JVC's ProHD approach is
founded on the utilization of non-proprietary media. At NAB, the
company will exhibit current and future products that take this concept
to the next level.
- Storage Flexibility For An Ever Changing
- Hard disk recording (model DR-HD100) has been part
of the JVC strategy for several years, as it offers immediate editing
of raw footage without transfer from tape. With this product, JVC has
helped pioneer a workflow that allows users to remove the hard drive
from the camera and immediately start editing. The native file
recording process has helped thousands of production teams streamline
their operations and turn around projects faster than they ever could
- JVC recently added native 60p QuickTime (.mov) file
format recording to its DRHD100 hard disk system, allowing users with
Apple's popular Final Cut Pro to directly edit footage without
conversion. We’ve seen that more than half of JVC's field
camera users have also purchased the DRHD100 option, either as their
primary recording medium, or for redundant recording that provides an
instant (and secure) backup.
- New! Solid-State Recording
- Solid-state memory speed and capacity continue to
advance at an unprecedented pace, while costs of the media have seen
sharp declines. Based on current trends, it will soon be possible to
consider solid-state media devices as economically
“consumable,” much the same way magnetic tape is
thought of today. By consumable, we mean that the costs of some types
of industry-standard, solid-state memory cards will become similar to
the cost of videotape. . With applications as far-reaching as digital
photography, consumer audio and home video recording driving the price
down, the possibilities of consumable solid state media are really
endless and the potential is huge.
- At NAB, JVC will preview a new camera-mounted,
combination hard disk/solid-state media recorder, the MR-HD200, which
offers long record times at affordable prices while also leveraging
nonproprietary Secure Digital
High Capacity (SDHC)
- Designed to attach permanently to current and
future ProHD cameras, the new recorder features a detachable module
that utilizes widely available SDHC memory cards. A single 16GB SDHC
memory card can store 1.6 hours of HD in the 720p mode, and about 1.2
hours in the 1080i mode. Additionally, the unit has a built-in hard
disk drive for longer recording times—up to 10 hours. Files
are recorded in an editing-friendly native format so that
postproduction can begin without file conversion, transcoding or
- With SDHC, users get significantly more capacity at
a cost per minute; one that’s similar to Betacam SP
videotape. JVC feels the SDHC format will be very popular in the
production community because the solid-state media is widely available
while the quality is not compromised.
- Offering a combination of hard disk and
non-proprietary solid-state recording in the same module offers
advantages not found in any other product. JVC recognizes that the
different formats offer their own set of advantages, so we’re
placing the choice in the hands of the customer, who knows their
workflow best. This modular approach allows JVC to consider other types
of high-performance, removable, solid-state storage going forward, ones
whose form factor won’t become obsolete and that make the
most of the current industry trends to leverage cost efficiency for the
- JVC ProHD: High-Quality Signals Captured
With Full HD CCDs
- At the end of the day it’s all about the
pictures viewers see in their living room, which will keep them tuned
in to your HD channel. JVC ProHD cameras use true native
progressive-scan, full-raster 1280 x 720 CCD imagers that offer
pixel-for-pixel HD compliance. Images captured with progressive CCDS
have better resolution, especially with motion, and are much easier and
efficient to compress than interlaced signals. Pixel-for-pixel
compliance in a native 720p workflow environment means that the image
will never be scaled or converted in the production chain, further
ensuring the highest quality HD signal.
- Therefore, committing to use progressive CCD
technology in all of JVC’s cameras is one of the main reasons
the company is able to offer such a high level of quality. The
advantage of a 720p system is something JVC has recognized for a long
time and will continue to support.
- Interchangeable HD Lenses: Adaptable
- Another HD production area sometimes overlooked is
the lens, which may well be one of the most important pieces of the
production chain. JVC understands that professionals need to have
flexibility in what lenses they use and how they use them.
- That’s why JVC cameras feature a
Bayonet-style mount that accommodates a wide range of interchangeable
lenses. The user should not be limited by a fixed lens selected by a
manufacturer that may or may not be optimal for their type of projects.
All types of lenses, from wide-angle, telephoto, ENG-style to box-style
studio models are being used every day, for a variety of applications,
with JVC cameras.
- High-quality lenses--including those with 2X
extenders--are also part of the JVC production landscape because
that’s what our customers have told us they need.
We’re in a time of technology choice, so that choice should
be afforded to the user in every way possible.
- JVC LCD Monitors: Displaying HD In Its
- At the same time, JVC also continues to market four
unique high-quality flat-panel studio monitors that fit in nicely with
the ProHD product family and accurately display these native HD images
in the best possible color renditions. The technology is now so
advanced that these latest-generation models rival traditional CRT
monitors, including those from JVC, used for live feed evaluation.
- While many manufacturers have chosen to offer matte
finish screens that cut down on reflections and glare, this has been
proven to compromise color rendition quality. JVC provides its monitors
with a clear flat-panel screen
in order to maintain deeper colors, rich tones and color saturation,
and better viewing angles.
- As one of the largest OEM display suppliers,
JVC’s innovative technology and manufacturing quality
empowers many familiar Broadcast display brands. JVC monitors are
widely respected and can be found in studios, postproduction suites and
on production trucks across the country. They are by far the clearest,
sharpest, most color-rich, most cost-effective LCD monitors on the
- Our impressive broadcast flat-panel monitor line
now includes four models, each designed for specific applications.
Along with wide viewing angles, high-speed LCDs, and precise color
reproduction, they also offer area markers, tally, AC/DC power supply,
and rotary images controls.
- There’s the DT-V24L1DU, 24-inch monitor
(1920 x 1080 native HD resolution) and the DT-V20L1DU, 20-inch monitor
(1680 x 945 display), as well as the compact DT-V17L2DU
17-inch unit and the DT-V9L1DU,
9-inch monitor. There are also
built-in HD-SDI and DVI-D digital inputs, for direct connection to
broadcast and studio sources.
- Total Commitment to Broadcast Market
- With the success and acceptance of JVC’s
ProHD product line, JVC has undertaken a direct to market sales
initiative directed at Broadcast Networks and Group station owners in
the United States. Unique demands come with selling to broadcasters and
JVC has decided to expand its initiative to include a group of highly
capable broadcast reps that will operate under a newly established JVC
Broadcast Rep program. JVC Broadcast Reps are highly qualified sales and
service organizations that will represent a limited number of JVC
models available exclusively--and directly--to call-letter
broadcasters. One such model is the Libre microwave ENG camera system.
Another is a specially configured GY-HD250 camera with a special
“LoLux” feature that allows ENG users to shoot more
effectively in extreme low light conditions.
- No One but JVC
- JVC is the only company to offer the ability to
facilitate and manage the entire production chain of an HD program,
from acquisition to contribution. And we do it at a price and operating
efficiency stations can’t afford to ignore.
- At about one-third of the cost of other HD
production equipment, ProHD systems are ideally suited to
today’s tightening economics. This includes cameras,
player/recorders and LCD displays. JVC’s ProHD product family
also offers the most economical media costs: whether it be tape, hard
drive or non-proprietary, solid-state media. Prices will continue to
come down while the quality will only improve with time.
- Now fully embraced within the industry, JVC ProHD
products also perfectly complement other companies’ low-cost
workflow solutions, such as those from Apple, Bit Central, Omneon, and
- For those looking to be the first in their market
with HD, while reaching those millions if HD sets already in
consumers’ homes, there’s no better or more
cost-effective way to get it done than with JVC ProHD. The quality
compares favorably to any competitor, in any market. To the hundreds of
stations not doing HD news, we say, what are you waiting for?
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