Florida’s WWSB saves $10,000 by streaming 'tightrope walk' on JVC news camera

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

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There was definitely some jealousy and a lot of interest. He started taking pictures of our camera and sending them to his news director.

Florida ABC affiliate station WWSB says it saved roughly $10,000 for satellite truck rental and additional uplink fees by using the live streaming capabilities of the JVC GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news camera to provide live coverage of a local event.

Nik Wallenda from Florida was shown live on the Discovery Channel completing a 1,400-foot-long tightrope walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. “We covered a local story 1,500 miles away at a cost of travel for two people,” said Jack Dillon, director of engineering of Calkins Media Broadcast Division which includes WWSB.

WWSB used a Verizon 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, which creative service producer Charlie Yeagley kept in his pocket during live shots. Yeagley estimated that the GY-HM650’s live delay was around two seconds most of the time, which he attributed to a “great 4G network” in the region.

The Wallenda coverage was WWSB’s first use of the camera’s built-in streaming. WWSB had previously covered Wallenda’s tightrope walk across Niagara Falls in June 2012, where the station had coordinated with another ABC affiliate for satellite uplink time.

Yeagley said that to move from one live shot to the next, he grabbed his camera and tripod, walked to the next location, turned on the camera and hotspot and was live. In contrast, he watched a shooter from a local station unravel two spools of cable and struggle to run them underneath a boardwalk to get the same live shot. “There was definitely some jealousy and a lot of interest. He started taking pictures of our camera and sending them to his news director.”

Dillon said the GY-HM650 should be considered an addition to microwave and satellite uplinks, not a replacement.  “This is absolutely an additional tool we can use to get content back to the station,” he said. “Now we can reach out and do more and more live content. This is a better way to serve our audience and give them the live content that they want.”


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