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JVC ProHD firmware upgrade adds adaptive bitrate and RTMP streaming protocol

JVCKENWOOD has announced free firmware upgrades for its live streaming ProHD cameras - the handheld GY-HM650, the shoulder mount GY-HM850 and the shoulder/studio GY-HM890. The new software includes adaptive bit rate technology for more reliable streaming, support for Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to allow a direct connection to a number of content distribution networks (CDNs) for live streaming, and a high quality 12 Mbps mode. The new features are included in Version 4.0 for the GY-HM650 and Version 2.0 for GY-HM850 and GY-HM890 ProHD streaming camcorders.

As proven by many companies already, JVC cameras are a very reliable way to produce live HD reports on location when paired with a 3G/4G modem. However, the internet is often accessed through shared networks, which can be unpredictable. Adaptive bit rate streaming technology dynamically adjusts the quality of a video stream based on available bandwidth. The new feature is designed to maintain a live video feed from the field at reduced data rate and optimise quality based on available bandwidth.

“For many of our news customers who rely on ProHD cameras to deliver news reports from the field, live signals are essential for broadcast,” explained John Kelly, General Manager, JVC professional products. “When there are changes in bandwidth due to increased web activity or fluctuating signal strength, adaptive bit rate technology can automatically adjust the quality of the video to maximise the available bandwidth. Meanwhile, our cameras can continue to record footage to SDHC or SXHC cards in full resolution for archive.”

The GY-HM650, GY-HM850 and GY-HM890 already feature JVC’s Advanced Streaming Technology (AST) with support for secure FTP and a number of other protocols. RTMP support allows easy CDN connectivity. JVC recently announced a partnership with Ustream, the world’s live video platform leader, which allows easy input and storage of up to four Ustream credentials in JVC cameras. As a result, a live webcast can be initiated with by pressing a single button on the camera. The support of RTMP protocol is a significant upgrade for JVC’s ProHD cameras, because it allows customers to connect directly to Ustream, YouTube and other content distribution networks without a computer or video infrastructure.

For streaming within closed networks, a 12 Mbps mode provides near-contribution quality images. The mode is ideal when multiple cameras are streamed to a switcher in a live broadcast environment, such as a sporting event, resulting in a highly reliable broadcast quality wireless production system.

Support for RTMP protocol and adaptive bit rate technology is included in the new GY-LS300 and GY-HM200 4KCAM camcorders, showcased at the recent NAB show. Version 4.0 and Version 2.0 upgrades will be free to all current GY-HM650 and GY-HM850/890 owners respectively, and are available in June via a firmware update available through the JVC support web site.