I recently published a detailed article comparing the JVC GY-HM200 with the Sony PXW-X70. Since then, I updated that article to include a wonderful third-party dual-band 802.11ac WiFi module with both 2.4 and 5 GHz which JVC has now certified. JVC has also clarified very important details about the worldcam capabilities of the nearly identical GY-HM170, which now includes the previously optional balanced audio XLR handle and currently costs US$700 less. Ahead we will explain the GY-HM170’s true worldcam capabilities, and the very few remaining differences between it and the GY-HM200 to help understand when it is worth paying the US$700 difference.
In this article
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Worldcam capabilities of the GY-HM170 and GY-HM200
- The now included balanced XLR audio handle in the GY-HM170
- Remaining differences between the GY-HM170 and the GY-HM200
- When you might use the SDI output (only offered with the GY-HM200)
- JVC’s streaming encoder versus an external one (i.e. Teradek)
- How to choose
Worldcam capabilities of the GY-HM170 and GY-HM200
Despite omissions and errors in at least one dealer’s website that unfortunately underestimated the GY-HM170’s worldcam capabilities, JVC has now confirmed to me that the GY-HM170U sold in the United States is indeed worldcam in 4K, 720p and 1080p, just like the GY-HM200U sold in the United States. These cameras offer all worldwide framerates in those modes, and are only segregated in SD (standard definition) modes.
The now included balanced XLR audio handle in the GY-HM170
Remaining differences between the GY-HM170 and the GY-HM200
The remaining differences between the GY-HM170 and the GY-HM200 are the inboard streaming encoder capabilities of the GY-HM200 (covered in more detail in JVC GY-HM200 versus Sony PXW-X70: Let’s compare them carefully) and the SDI output.
I must clarify that these two features could be added externally to a GY-HM170 later. There are third-party converters on the market that go from HDMI to SDI, and there are third-party external streaming encoders (more details ahead in this article).
When you might use the SDI output (only offered with the GY-HM200)
I will first clarify that the SDI outputs from the cameras covered in this article do not support 4K. To output 4K UHD, the only option with these cameras is HDMI anyway, which is present with both models.
Here are some reasons you might use the SDI output (not available with the GY-HM170):
- Some HD monitors accept SDI but not HDMI. If you already own one of those monitors, you could use an external converter, although it would be much simpler just to use a monitor with HDMI, especially if it will be fairly close.
- Some video mixers (including most NewTek TriCaster models) have SDI inputs. However the first TriCaster Mini models do offer HDMI camera inputs. You could also use a third-party converter from HDMI to SDI.
- Some external recorders —like the ones from AJA, Átomos, Blackmagic and Video Devices— have HDMI inputs; others have SDI inputs; and some offer both. The only way to record 4K externally would be HDMI.
The first TriCaster Mini models have HDMI camera inputs
The newer TriCaster Mini SDI (and all higher end-models) have SDI inputs
JVC’s streaming encoder versus an external one (i.e. Teradek)
As covered in more detail in JVC GY-HM200 versus Sony PXW-X70: Let’s compare them carefully, JVC’s streaming offering in the GY-HM200 is much better and more complete than the one currently offered by the Sony PXW-X70. JVC’s GY-HM200’s beats the Sony PXW-X70 in variety of encoding bitrates, capability to connect to WiFi with the superior 802.11ac at 5 GHz or directly to LTE with a single plugin module into the GY-HM200.
Even though JVC’s streaming offering in the GY-HM200 is much better that what Sony currently offers with the PXW-X70, it is not as complete as what could be done with an external streaming encoder from a company like Teradek (which I plan to review soon). This is for two reasons:
- As of the current firmware in the GY-HM200, it is not possible to stream (at any resolution) while simultaneously recording 4K UHD inside of the camcorder. In addition, with the current firmware in the GY-HM200, it is not possible to stream (at any resolution) while simultaneously recording 1080p at 23.976. Currently, streaming is possible if recording internally at any other available framerate. If on the other hand, you were to use an external streaming encoder connected either to the GY-HM200 or to the GY-HM170, you would be exempt from those two limitations.
- Using an external encoder like the ones manufactured by Teradek, it is possible to stream initially to a local iPad which can superimpose graphics, switch among local cameras, and even play back prerecorded video clips using a free or under US$100 application while streaming the result. Some of these external third-party encoders connect via HDMI, so they would be compatible with any of the aforementioned cameras.
The US$599 Teradek Clip encoder can mount onto a camera’s shoe mount, connect via HDMI, and transmit via superior 5 GHz WiFi at framerates including 23.976p, 25p and 29.97p. Using Teradek apps in an iPad or iPhone, it can have graphics superimposed, switch between cameras, and playback prerecorded videos.
So when would I recommend JVC’s inboard streaming capabilities of the GY-HM200 (together with a low cost certified third-party module)? I would recommend it when you are streaming to a TV station at any framerate other than 23.976p, when simultaneous internal 4K recording is not required, and when graphics, camera switching, and playback of other videos are either not desired or done at a higher level (i.e. at the TV station).
To that, I will only add that if the only one of those extra features that enticed you was the graphics, JVC recently announced the GY-HM200SP sports production camera, which does include the capability of superimposing a graphic or logo in the camera (as well as live scores). This new version of the GY-HM200SP is scheduled for January 2016.
How to choose
If you are torn between purchasing a GY-HM170 or GY-HM200, first ask yourself whether your really need the SDI output. Then (if you don’t need SDI), ask yourself if you need streaming now or later, and if so, whether the extreme flexibility of the external streaming encoder is more important than the compactness of having it all handled by the GY-HM200 or the sports version, GY-HM200SP. If you choose the GY-HM200 or GY-HM200SP’s own streaming encoder, you will need a tiny inexpensive transmitter module, but it will be powered by the camera and be managed by the camera. The external streaming encoder will require its own power, be a little larger, but will offer more flexibility and could be paid for by the US$700 savings on the camera if you choose the GY-HM700.
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My latest book (paperback + ebook)
My most recent book is available in two languages, and in paperback as well as an ebook. The ebook format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, Android tablets, Mac computers, and Windows computers. Although generally speaking, Kindle books are readable on smartphones like Androids and iPhones, I don’t recommend it for this particular book since it contains both color photos and color comparison charts. The ebook is also DRM-free.
In English, it’s The Castilian Conspiracy. Click here and you will be automatically sent to the closest Amazon book page to you based upon your IP address. Or request ISBN–10: 1456310232 or ISBN–13: 978–1456310233 in your favorite local bookstore.
En castellano, se llama La conspiración del castellano. Haz clic aquí para llegar al instante a la página del libro correspondiente a tu zona y moneda en Amazon, según tu dirección IP. De lo contrario, solicítalo en tu librería preferida con los ISBN–10: 1492783390 ó el ISBN–13: 978–1492783398.
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