Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Got a call about one o’clock Friday afternoon to ask if I could get myself to Perth to film an interview with Chuka Umunna MP for Channel 4 news.


First problem we encountered after arriving at Perth at 2.50pm was that we needed accreditation to enter the conference hall so we dashed over to a hotel about a quarter of a mile away through Perth town centre. Two lovely ladies dealt with our request very efficiently.


The yellow badge round my neck was our media pass to the conference but as luck would have it I decided to interview the MP outside the satellite truck. This was to avoid complications of doing any further cabling as after a certain time you were not allowed to run cable into the building, fortunately it wasn’t raining.


This is one of Scottish Televisions SAT trucks sending a constant feed back to STV in Glasgow, our pictures were routed to London.


Using the JVC GY-HM650 I set the AV out via the HDSDI socket to 576i (SD) as STV can’t send HD via a SAT feed. As belt and braces I also fed two SDHC cards with two separate feeds…HD and SD just in case the feed via the BNC cable was faulty. This is one of the great features of the JVC 650 allowing you to feed HD or SD via the SDI socket. I wasn’t taking any chances so the Miller tripod came on this job, you can’t get any better plus the extra weight helped the camera from being buffeted by the wind.


This was for an insert at 7pm about how the Metropolitan police has for the first time publicly apologised for the shooting of Cherry Groce, which sparked the 1985 Brixton riots. Chuka was a true professional and so Scott my son could get these photographs I got Mr Umunna to hold the Sennheiser gun mic. The Rycote softy was a real bonus today as it was very windy.


As a comparison I took a still from my 720p SDHC card (Right) and a screen grab from Channels 4s output on SD (left), as you would expect the 720p footage is a lot more detailed.


I bumped into my old pal Bernard Ponsonby a Scottish broadcast journalist working on regional news and current affairs programming for STV. Bernard and I had some good laughs many moons ago when I was a freelancer for STV news.


Once again further proof that the JVC GY-HM650 is a great camcorder for ENG work but very versatile allowing various outputs and separate formats HD+SD, HD+WEB to be recorded at the same time.

Further info on todays Channel 4 new item can be seen here…



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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