WMBS radio station in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, has been keeping its local community informed of news, weather and local sports since 1937.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, WMBS entered the world of video broadcasting in order to live stream local high school and college sports games to the community and beyond. In order to accomplish this, the station purchased a GY-HC500SPC CONNECTED CAM Camcorder from JVC Professional Video.
With unique sports broadcasting features like Score Overlay and ScoreHub, the 4K UHD handheld camera enables the station to capture and broadcast games via the station’s website and Facebook Live as precisely and accurately as possible. For fans of the local Fayette County high schools, which include Uniontown, Laurel Highlands, Albert Gallatin, Frazier, Brownsville and Geibel, WMBS broadcasts have proven to be an important necessity for keeping up with the local teams. As a radio station, WMBS also has the unique opportunity to simulcast the audio of its sports productions to both the radio airwaves as well as the web broadcasts.
“Some people watch on the web or Facebook, while others are listening on the radio, so the announcers have to be as descriptive as possible,” explains Brian Mroziak, general manager of WMBS Fayette Broadcasting Corporation. “However, since there’s now a visual side to the broadcast, we want to appeal to the people who are watching the picture itself. A big part of that is being able to display the game score, like one might find in a professional sports broadcast. The fact that JVC has a partnership with ScoreHub makes it possible for us to connect directly to the live scoreboard and instantly showcase the information in our broadcast; and that’s one of the things that makes the JVC GY-HC500SPC cameras so great.”
Many local establishments will cast the games to their televisions, and fans say it’s so convenient that they can look right up at the screen and see the score. Additionally, those watching at home can tune in from their computer. Additionally, the direct-to-Facebook capability is one of the most attractive features that Mroziak and his team have utilized. “The JVC camera is so much easier than any other type of camera because the team can use the camera itself to go direct to Facebook; you don’t have to worry about bringing laptops or any graphics software,” he explains. “You can get the camera set up in a few minutes and be ready to go. For a lot of us who really didn’t have much prior experience working with these cameras or streaming, it was really easy to learn and works seamlessly.”
The WMBS team has recorded a lot of the broadcasts, which they later post to YouTube for continued spectator enjoyment. “We’ve been able to retain our own local broadcast and post them online,” continues Mroziak. “The video quality is fantastic and we are very happy with the results. As the country wraps up the current school year, we are also in talks with the local Penn State Fayette Campus to broadcast its sporting events next season; we are excited to have the capabilities to potentially expand what we are doing.”