JVC NAB09 Booth Debrief

GY-HM700 with Arri rod system, HZ-CA13U & AJA Ki Pro

GY-HM700 with Arri rod system, HZ-CA13U & AJA Ki Pro

This year I observed most of the NAB show from a fixed position at the JVC booth. I had been asked by JVC to answer questions and demonstrate the new GY-HM700 cameras in 24P cinema configurations.  A Final Cut Pro system was also close-by so I was able to demonstrate the speedy workflow from recording to SDHC in .MOV through to editing directly from the SDHC media.  My HZ-CA13U demo loop was also playing on a 24″ monitor in the 24P display.

Considering overall NAB attendance was down roughly 20-25%, I would still say it was the busiest I’ve seen the JVC booth since the HD200 & HD250 were first introduced.  From my perspective it seemed the new JVC cameras were the biggest attendee curiosity. Many told me they decided to come to NAB just to try out the HM700 or HM100 (which hits the streets this week.)
It was interesting how many had heard little bits and pieces about the new cameras, but either didn’t realize that they worked on NLEs other than FCP or weren’t aware they used XDCAM EX as the recording codec. In fact an Avid system was also setup beside the FCP system to demonstrate instant editing using the MP4 wrapper and Avid’s new AMA architecture.
The economics of SDHC media as a low-investment & archivable medium seemed to be the biggest selling point. Two separate producers told me that they had invested over $10,000 in 32GB P2 cards only six months ago and are now kicking themselves for not waiting a little longer.

The #1 question I was asked was “is it a CMOS chip?”  The answer “no… they’re CCD” always garnered a sigh of relief and was usually followed by a CMOS “jello vision” horror story.
The #2 question I was asked was about chroma-subsampling.  XDCAM EX is restricted to 4:2:0 chroma-subsampling where XDCAM HD422 and Panasonic’s various formats use 4:2:2.  4:2:0 was a concern for many who were required to do green-screen work.

AJA Ki Pro

AJA Ki Pro

Interestingly AJA had dropped off one of the new Ki-Pro ProRes422 recording units and set it up on the HM700 with Arri’s new ENG to Arri Dovetail system. We were looping the HD-SDI output through it and recording in 4:2:2 to the hard drive. It’s very cool, and a lossless solution for those looking for 4:2:2 recording to an all I-frame codec.


GD-463D10 3D LCD Monitor

Looking around the booth the 3D displays always seemed to have crowds gathering. The new JVC GD-463D10 46″ 3D LCDmonitor was front-and-centre. It uses circular polarization on a line-by-line basis to show flicker-free and ghost-free stereoscopic 3D at the highest resolution I’ve ever seen in a 3D display.
The GD-463D10 will ship with two pairs of circularly polarized plastic glasses but it fully compatible with the same RealD glasses you can bring home from the theatre (I know because I brought my own along with me to test.) The benefit of circular polarization (vs linear polarization) is that you can tilt your head slightly without any ill effects. The monitor boasts a 178° viewing angle (top,bottom,left,right), 10,000:1 Dynamic contrast ratio, 1920×1080 resolution, and only 1½” thick.
The monitor can currently accept interlaced or side-by-side signals via HDMI, but not two discrete left/right inputs. There was also a smaller 3D monitor and a 56″ 4K 3D monitor on display to either side of the GD-463D10.
My own 3D footage (HD100 originated) was shown from Blu-Ray a few times during the show. Unfortunately I burned a DVD-R with 19Mbps m2t as a Blu-Ray so the bit-rate couldn’t always keep up. I guess it’s time for me to invest in a Blu-Ray burner.

Speaking of Blu-Ray burners… JVC was exhibiting a new Blu-Ray burner solution for archiving SDHC media created with the HM series cameras. It’s called the SR-HD1500US but won’t be available until October. There were no press releases but from what I gathered it will come in 250GB and 500GB HDD configurations (presumably to use as a DVR or to archive/collect clips from SDHC on the hard drive before burning.) I’m not sure if the unit will be capable of single layer (25GB) or dual layer(50GB) Blu-Ray burning.
Since Blu-Ray can decode either H264 (mpeg-4) or Mpeg-2 I can only assume that the SR-HD1500US will simply “unwrap” the mpeg-2 media from either the MP4 or MOV wrapper and demux it for simple Blu-Ray authoring. Then again, maybe it truly just archives the source files?   There wasn’t a lot of information available.
I also couldn’t confirm with anyone from JVC if this new product would have HD-SDI, BNC connectors or be capable of TC burn-in.

Also of note were the super-slim LCD displaysL3 “Verité” series of VT monitors, the KM-H2500 & KM-H3000 switchers (with 4 frame-syncronizers,) the HD250 camera in studio configuration, and the 4K camera and 4K display.

JVC 4K Camera and 4K Monitor

JVC KY-F4000 4K Camera

The 4K KY-F4000 camera drew some crowds since it was live streaming 4K at 60P to the 4K display placed a few feet away. This camera uses a 1.25″ CMOS sensor and for demonstration purposes had a Nikon lens mounted. The KY-F4000 currently looks a bit like a toaster with a lens slapped on the front, but it was being promoted for applications such as “Teleconference, CAD/Design & Distance Learning.” It will be available in April 2010 for “under $200,000.”

One last note… you may have noticed a mock-up of “The Complete Guide to ProHD Volume 2” in the accessories display case. Volume 2 is in production now, but not officially announced.

If you weren’t able to make it to NAB this year then I recommend viewing the webcast from the JVC booth.
JVC Pro Live Webcast from the Floor of NAB 2009

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About The Author

Tim Dashwood is the founder of Dashwood Cinema Solutions, a stereoscopic research, development and consultancy division of his Toronto-based production company Stereo3D Unlimited. Dashwood is an accomplished director, cinematographer and stereographer and a member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers. His diverse range of credits include music videos, commercials, feature films and 3D productions for Fashion Week, CMT, Discovery Channel and the National Film Board of Canada. He also consults on and previsualizes fight/stunt action scenes for productions such as Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Pacific Rim. Dashwood is the creator of the award winning Stereo3D Toolbox plugin suite and Stereo3D CAT calibration and analysis system.

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