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Tech Talk

WLS Uses JVC Hi-Def Cams for ENG

ABC owned-and-operated WLS Chicago, which launched high-definition newscasts last month, has purchased two JVC HDV-format cameras to support field production.

The two JVC GY-HD250U ProHD cameras are being used in the station's ENG {electronic newsgathering) vans to deliver live high-definition microwave remotes. Because of the bandwidth of the HD signal, live remotes have been a challenge for the 25-plus stations that have launched local news, and thus most still rely on standard-definition pictures from the field.

But according to WLS VP/Director of Engineering Kal Hassan, the JVC camera's native 720-line-progressive scan, 60-frame-per-second (720p/60) acquisition and built-in HD encoder allow the station to cost-effectively transmit live HD feeds via an ASI (Asynchronous Serial Interface) connection.

WLS uses a Miranda ASI Bridge to convert the 720p/60 19.7-megabit-per-second MPEG-2 transport stream from the JVC camera's IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port to ASI in order to feed the digital microwave transmitters in the vans.

After being received at the station, the signal is decoded to HD-SDI (high-definition serial digital interface at 1.5 gigabits per second) for production purposes.

DirecTV Fights Fraud With Neural Technologies

Satellite operator DirecTV has selected risk-management provider Neural Technologies (Nt) to help reduce its exposure to fraud.

Nt's analytical software, such as its Minotaur Suite, allows companies to profile potential and existing customers to assess their potential to create a financial risk, considering such areas as credit risk, fraud, attrition and collections.

According to Nt, DirecTV is the first direct-broadcast–satellite company to implement a fraud solution within North America. It selected the software vendor after a pilot study showed solid preliminary indications of successful fraud detection.

“Since we've thwarted signal thieves with air-tight access cards, we've seen more instances of fraud, and we're taking active steps to address these illegal activities,” says James Whalen, VP, Office of Signal Integrity, DirecTV Inc., in a statement.

“Based on the positive feedback we've received from Nt's clients and its solid performance in the pilot study,” he says, “we believe we have the best solution to dramatically reduce acts of fraud against DirecTV.”