Digital P Media Hooks JVC ProHD Cameras for FLW Bass Fishing Productions
JVC cameras stream footage live using a 4G LTE, allowing for live FLW coverage to include action from the actual competitions.
Digital P Media, a video production company based in Cary, N.C., is using five JVC ProHD shoulder camcorders to stream live coverage of Fishing League Worldwide’s eight-tournament bass fishing schedule in 2017. The company has already covered three FLW Tour events this year, and will continue its live streaming during the April 6 event at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky.
A tournament fishing organization based in Benton, Ky., FLW has been live streaming its tournament weigh-ins since 2007. Digital P Media, which has worked with FLW since 2010, wanted to expand the live coverage to include action from the actual competitions. After almost 18 months of testing various workflows (coordinated with FLW’s IT department), Digital P Media chose JVC ProHD camcorders.
Peyote Perryman, president of Digital P Media, was pleased the JVC cameras could stream footage live using a 4G LTE modem (connected via USB) while simultaneously recording footage to SDHC/SXHC cards. Most importantly, the ProHD cameras performed better than other solutions that required an external encoder. “The JVC looked better every time – with lower bit rates,” he said.
After purchasing its first ProHD camera, the GY-HM850, in April, Digital P Media purchased four GY-HM890 cameras in October. Beyond live coverage for online audiences, the JVC footage is used to produce a one-hour program for NBC Sports Network after each tournament.
No matter where the tour travels, the production is based in the FLW studio in Benton. All JVC camera footage is streamed to a Zixi server, where each feed is ISO recorded. vMix software is used to convert the RTMP signals to NDI, which are then fed to a NewTek Tricaster for switching.
Typically, the camera operators are on site by 6 a.m. to mic the fisherman, test cellular signal strength at the takeoff location (the production team selects either Verizon or AT&T, depending on coverage), and start streaming. The four-hour live productions start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the JVC cameras assigned to the top five ranked boats during the tournament. Boats are generally isolated on the water, far away from the competition, and the camera operator works a nine-hour day as a one-man band, relying on a mobile phone conference call in place of an intercom system.
“You have to be extra self-sufficient to be a bass fishing cameraman,” said Perryman. “You’re limited to what you can carry on your body and in a waterproof backpack. They don’t stop fishing when it rains.”
Each tournament is edited down to a tight, one-hour program for NBC Sports Network. With the live streaming, however, Perryman said fans get “locked in” watching extended coverage of a bass fisherman solving problems and successfully catching a fish. “You can only tell that story in real time,” he noted.
With three events complete, Perryman has been very satisfied with the results from his five JVC streaming camcorders. “The JVCs are exactly what I thought they would be,” he said. “They are extremely reliable, put out a great picture, and the response from FLW fans has been extremely positive.”