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Interview: Dave Walton, JVC

Shawn Lam and Dave Walton discuss the JVC GY-HM650 2.0, JVC's newly updated dual-card/dual-codec ProHD camcorder with built-in FTP and live-output capability and a 23:1 Fujinon lens.

Dual Codecs and Live Output

Shawn: But this one has that extra feature.

Dave: The big difference is that this camera has dual codecs. That means that it can record in one format on one card and in another on the other card. You can record in HD on one card and in SD on another card, or in a web-friendly format on the second card. So if you are out, say, shooting a press conference, you could finish the press conference, have the complete press conference in a smaller web-friendly file to FTP back to the TV station, put on the website, and have your full HD also on the card, but while it's FTP’ing back from the camera, you can still continue to work and shoot. You don't interrupt your workflow.

The camera has built-in FTP capability. And what we find is that it's great as long as you can keep your workflow. And we added that in version 2.0, the ability to do background FTPs. So that is a very popular and powerful feature, but it goes one step further.

People want to be able to output live, also. When breaking news happens, sometimes you just can't wait to finish recording. You want to be able to go live. When you're plugged in with a hotspot such as this Verizon 4G LTE hotspot, the camera will automatically see it, lock up to it-- In fact, it says "LTE" right in the viewfinder. Give you an indication that you've got a connection. You've already programmed your decoder at the station with a fixed IP address. All you have to do to begin streaming is to press the "Go Live" button on the camera.

Meanwhile, you can continue to work. You can continue to keep recording in the HD format of choice. The streaming keeps going while you're doing it. So you don't interrupt your workflow. You keep your workflow, and you add that capability of live streaming.

Back at the station, they're looking at a monitor, suddenly it lights up with a live signal, you get audio, it's an HD-SDI signal coming out of your decoder. You just go to the air live with it if you want. So this is a very powerful feature, and to be able to do it in the background while you shoot and record is very important.


Shawn: Can you do webcasting on this to popular service like Ustream or Livestream?

Dave: It's possible. We have not developed the firmware in the camera to actually log into those services. Some of the consumer products have. Certainly our consumer division has a number of products that do that already. But for the broadcast market, which is where we're focusing this, we see a dedicated decoder at the other end, and it's a 1 to 1 stream. You can then take that stream and then rebroadcast that. So if that's desired, I'm sure that will be able to be done. But for the most part it's going to be go live-to-air with this camera.

Shawn: Thank you very much, Dave. This has been a look at the 650. It's a very exciting camera.


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JVC's GY-HM650 is a new three-chip CMOS camcorder with computer-like functionality that enables Internet connectivity and a second encoder that enables shooting and storing two different formats to SD card, or storing one format and transmitting live streaming video. Part 1 of this 2-part review details the mechanics of the online and dual-codec capabilities. In the second, we'll look at the GY-HM650 as a traditional camera and test quality and usability.
The Patriot League, a Division 1 conference with sponsored championship competition in 24 sports, has purchased 30 JVC GY-HM600 ProHD cameras as part of 10 portable video production systems to stream live coverage of sporting events from its member schools to its digital network, in partnership with Campus Insiders
In performance testing, the JVC GY-HM650 produced exceptionally sharp quality. It offers very good manual controls and outstanding auto-mode performance, and shoots very well-balanced pictures in a range of lighting conditions.