JVC Unveils IP-Enabled “Connected Cam” Camera That Brings Networked IP Workflow Into The Field

JVC Is looking to revolutionize the 2/3-inch ENG camera market the same way it did several years ago with the introduction a 1/3-inch sensor camcorder for live news remotes.

The company has taken a wider view of what ENG in the field can be with its new Connected Cam HD camcorder, which it unveiled at the recent NAB Show. Looking to provide customers with a complete news-over-IP workflow solution in the field, the new 2/3-inch sensor camera (model GY-HC900) features an internal multi-carrier bonded cellular/WiFi modem and two-way wireless transmit and receive capability that enables camera operators to see return video inside the viewfinder (for fast shot composition) during live interviews.

The GY-HC900 is based around a newly developed internal processing engine that JVC said opens the door to networked IP remote access and a full line of Connected Cams that virtually bring the news studio into the field. The new engine enables simultaneous recording, low-latency streaming, and simultaneous decoding for return video and IFB. Latency can be as low as 500 ms for both outgoing and incoming video.

When paired directly with the optional ProHD Dockable Bridge or via Wi-Fi with any ProHD Bridge unit, the new GY-HC900 allows on-air talent to conduct a two-way interview with return video while streaming live to air without any external boxes or backpacks. The shooter can press a Return Video button on the camera and see program video from the broadcast center live in the viewfinder.

“It’s not immediately obvious when we say we can encode and stream, because we’ve been able to do that directly from the camera for years,” said Dave Walton, Assistant Vice President, Marketing Communications, at JVC Professional Video. “But we can now transmit and receive streams, both ways. The operator doing live interviews can have a return video feed and watch the program feed inside the viewfinder. That’s a huge advantage in getting the story right the first time and every time.”

Walton said that unlike other wireless systems that require a separate backpack to carry the encoder and modem cards, the GY-HC900 puts it all inside the camera while making it able to network multiple devices and cameras. After shooting, the camera can be used as a hotspot for a laptop computer for editing (with full access to clips back at the station) and transmitting live video back to the newsroom. Users can also use the camera to stream two camera feeds on the same network. It all depends upon the amount of cellular or WiFi bandwidth available.

JVC’s Command Center software allows producers back at the station to monitor thumbnails of live feeds and data integrity for multiple cameras in the field simultaneously. Click to enlarge.

JVC’s Command Center software allows producers back at the station to monitor thumbnails of live feeds and data integrity for multiple cameras in the field simultaneously. Click to enlarge.

Using JVC’s Command Center software back at the station, producers can monitor camera feeds and data integrity (packet loss) for multiple cameras in the field simultaneously. The camera’s internal CCU and iris settings can also be controlled remotely. The company showed a live demonstration of this at the 2018 NAB Show.

“Using the Command Center in tandem with this new camera brings it all together into one nice workflow,” Walton said. “Now you can have your connected cam available on a computerized map along with other cameras in your fleet. This virtual map in the broadcast center shows a thumbnail of each particular camera in the field as it goes live. This live feed can be used on air, on social media and even shared with other stations.”

The camera’s three 2/3-inch form factor is also a new development for JVC, which has dominated the professional ENG market with 1/3-inch camcorder that were embraced by small market stations. However, the company has come to recognize that most major market (Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles) stations do not like the on-screen look of a 1/3-inch sensor. In addition to its networking capability, the new camera offers better sensitivity and full compatibility with existing inventories of 2/3-inch “B4” mount lenses from Canon and Fujinon.

The GY-HC900’s complete IP workflow includes streaming performance up to 20 Mbps and built-in Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) with dual external antennas. The camera also features Zixi error correction with automatic repeat request (ARQ) and SMPTE 2022 forward error correction for reliable transmission.

Beyond ENG, the GY-HC900 also targets high-end EFP and studio fiber applications. It works with the JVC FS-900 camera module, which attaches directly to the camera via a 68-pin interface, and feeds 3G-SDI signals, control, audio, sync and intercom to a base station via fiber.

“We call this the new Connected Cam because it does just that, connect the operator to the IP world in ways that were never possible before,” Walton said. “Expect to see future products based on this new processor and connected IP concept in the future. This new platform that will allow us to do amazing things for those gathering news in the field.”

Available in June, the Connected Cam will ship with a 20x Canon or Fujinon lens for $18,500 or without a lens for $13,950.

Of Note: At the NAB Show, JVC also showed a new PROHD Decoder that, when paired with IP-enabled cameras like the GY-HC900, provides bandwidth-efficient, error-free streaming over any IP network. When paired with the JVC BR-DE800 ProHD Broadcaster streaming server, the BR-DE900’s H.264 codec—and integrated Zixi or SMPTE 2022 Pro-MPEG stream protection technologies—allow broadcast-quality video to be delivered anywhere over public networks.

The new ProHD Decoder supports H.265 and H.264 compression standards with A/V connectivity for ENG field reports and other video-over-IP applications.<br />

The new ProHD Decoder supports H.265 and H.264 compression standards with A/V connectivity for ENG field reports and other video-over-IP applications.

Designed for field use and fly packs, this new low-latency appliance supports H.265 and H.264 compression standards with A/V connectivity for ENG field reports and other video-over-IP applications. It also enables reliable HEVC decoding or H.264 streams up to 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p/60, with bitrates up to 50 Mbps, and dual 3G-SDI, HDMI 2.0, and composite connectivity.

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