Because the demand for live events keeps rising with highly challenging logistics, JVC introduced the JVC 500-Series 4K cameras that are designed from the ground up to improve live broadcast production efficiency.
Streaming live shows with broadcast-quality is extremely challenging because the legacy production flow and hardware were not designed for today’s streaming and often requires many steps in which data is converted, encoded and streamed.
Doing so could require multiple systems for transcoding and communications that made things extremely bulky (truck-size) and difficult to set up, which is exactly the opposite of the ideal situation. Consumer-level devices can perform some of these things easily, but broadcasters have image-quality requirements (including long-zoom capabilities) that cannot be met with consumer devices.
JVC’s new cameras capture 4K/60FPS 10-bit video in streaming-friendly formats (H.264 and MPEG-2). Some models come with GPS and a dual-antenna WiFi networking capability that provides a 2-way communications capability to not only stream but also receive data which is useful when conducting interviews for example.
They are also capable of basic titling (full-screen and lower-third), which opens the possibility of producing live events with overlays very easily, including updating overlay data via a mobile device connected to the camera.
For even more freedom, it’s possible to add an optional LTE module, which aggregates the bandwidth of four LTE connections (with as many SIM cards) to be completely free from the local internet infrastructure, and avoid the expensive rental of a satellite communications van.
The JVC 500-Series cameras have a 1-inch 4K CMOS sensor with a 20X optical zoom lens. If you take 1080p sensor-cropping into consideration, the effective zoom is 40X.
Perhaps the most important element is the price: starting at $3900 (model GY-HC500) and going as high as $5500, these JVC cameras seem to bring a very high value to anyone who is using an old live streaming workflow. Even the storage options have been optimized for cost-efficiency, with m.2 SSD being available to avoid buying more expensive broadcast-specific modules.
Competitors from other brands have higher prices and sometimes less powerful LTE data aggregation options. (JVC Professional is part of JVCKenwood)