MAJOR GOVERNMENT AGENCY CHOOSES IKEGAMI HDK-77EX PORTABLE HD CAMERAS FOR USE IN BUSY PRODUCTION STUDIO
Cameras Deliver Superior HD Image Quality and Convenient Operation
Provided by Fiber Connectivity and Advanced Network-Control Features
MAYWOOD, NEW JERSEY, September 28, 2010 – Government video needs to look every bit as good as commercial TV, the standard by which most people judge picture quality. Superior HD video origination also ensures that programming compressed for Internet distribution will also look its very best. These are two of the reasons why the Division of Communication Media (DCM, in Gaithersburg MD) chose six Ikegami HDK-77EX full-digital HDTV camera systems for its demanding production schedule. The DCM produces webcasts, satellite broadcasts, and video productions for several federal agencies and also collaborates with clients in the private sector. In addition to a 64 x 64 ft. studio, the DCM has a staff of accomplished producers, writers, directors, and studio personnel.
“Features and picture quality are the main things that really impressed us about Ikegami,” notes Chad Heupel, Director of the DCM (part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration). “The color reproduction that Ikegami provides seems to be much richer than a lot of the other cameras I’ve used in the past. We have to compete with the picture quality of what people see on their TV’s at home. Also, we distribute programming by web and satellite uplink, so we need to start with top-quality images that will still look good after being compressed. The HDK-77EX is a high-quality HD camera at a very good price.”
Four of the DCM’s Ikegami HDK-77EX full-digital HDTV cameras are on studio pedestals with EFP lenses and 20-inch prompters. Another is mounted on a jib arm, and the sixth camera is shoulder-mounted for productions involving audiences and on-camera participants. Designed for HD production applications requiring portability, compact size, and low weight, the HDK-77EX employs three 2/3-inch/2.2-million-pixel IT CCDs, 14-bit A/D converters, and Ikegami’s Chip C4 advanced digital signal processing ASIC to deliver consistently high picture quality and reliable operation.
DCM’s studio-configured HDK-77EX cameras are outfitted with Ikegami 9-inch LCD 16:9 HD viewfinders (the camera can also be equipped with a 2-inch 16:9 CRT viewfinder for portable use or a 5-inch CRT for studio applications). The HDK-77EX also features an integrated SMPTE fiber cable adaptor for studio or field use. SMPTE fiber cable is a hybrid camera cable comprising copper for power and fiber for signal transmission. The adaptor provides perfect uncompressed HD signal transmission to Ikegami’s compact, cost-effective BS-89 base station. (Featuring a modular front and rear plug-in design, the BS-89 can be ordered with whatever complement of signal interfaces a user requires.)
“We chose fiber connections for our HDK-77EX cameras,” Heupel says. “As far as we’re concerned, it looks like triax, it acts like triax, but it’s fiber. It’s extremely convenient, a great studio configuration that handles everything we need it to do, including the power for our 20-inch prompters. The studio crew was very happy to put away the triax and the extension cords and the long runs of the BNC cable that they used to need. Now it’s all on one cable.”
“It’s one of those features that’s great to have when you need it,” Heupel adds. “There’s a lot more information passing over the fiber. For example, we’re using our fiber connection to feed program video back down the other channel so that our jib-arm operator can see what’s on the air and where the other cameras are looking. It’s been very helpful for him to set up his shots.”
Heupel also notes the advantages of Ikegami’s optional network-based control-panel system for DCM’s HDK-77EX cameras, which enables directors to adjust and shade cameras directly from the control room.
“With our previous cameras, just to adjust the iris a little bit, you had to get up and walk down the hallway and through a couple of sets of doors, tweak the iris, and then walk all the way back,” he explains. “So, it either required us to have another person sitting at the camera-shading station, or getting running shoes for our TD. Now we have joy sticks right by the production switcher so the TD can make a quick adjustment rather than having to get up and run clear back to the equipment room.”
Components of Ikegami’s new network-based control panel system include the OCP-200 operation control panel and MCP-200 master control panel (Ikegami developed the network-based MCP-200 as an option for customers that desire a shared panel for centralized set-up or maintenance; it is not otherwise required for the new network-based control panel system due to the full set-up and filing capability of the OCP-200). The OCP-200 is typically used for normal operation of the camera, but also has the capability to access set-up controls and file management. System wiring is simplified with control of up to 96 cameras via a single coax cable between base station locations and video control locations. The OCP-200 and MCP-200 also include touch-screen LCD’s. Users can select how much control they need from either the OCP-200 or the MCP-200, ranging from basic to complete. Conventional one-by-one camera control connection is also available.
“We have the flexibility of different joy-stick control panels and different configurations that enable us to have two different joy sticks controlling a single camera, so we can shade the cameras for smaller productions,” Heupel says. “Another nice feature is Ikegami’s compact BS-89 base stations, which have everything we need and don’t take up that much rack space. We can put six camera base-stations in the space that previously held three. A lot of the features available in Ikegami’s HDK-77EX were things we were really looking for in a camera.”
In addition to DCM’s six Ikegami HDK-77EX full-digital portable HDTV camera systems, the facility also has several Ikegami HLM-series 24-inch and 17-inch flat-panel HD LCD monitors.
“The fidelity and image quality of these monitors is great, and their built-in waveform and vectorscope displays are very handy if something doesn’t look quite right,” Heupel says. “I thought this was a nice feature when we first saw the monitors, but I never dreamed we would use it as much as we do now. It’s very easy to just hit the button, see the displays, and know that your levels are good.”
Ikegami Electronics (U.S.A.), Inc. is a leading supplier of professional broadcasting products in the Western Hemisphere. With U.S. offices in New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Ohio, the Ikegami name is recognized worldwide for its state-of-the-art television cameras and closed-circuit TV equipment. Ikegami’s universal High Definition TV cameras have been widely accepted by the broadcast industry as it continues the transition to the High Definition Television Format.
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