Fairfield University taps Hitachi, Fujinon for video needs

Fairfield University , in Fairfield
, CT , has upgraded its Media
Center with the addition of three
Hitachi SK
-3020P HDTV studio/EFP cameras, equipped with Hitachi CU-3100 camera control
units and Fujinon HA18x7.6BRM HD lenses. The Media
Center , which is located on campus in
Xavier Hall, serves the production needs of the university and has a unique
role in supporting the academic requirements of
Fairfield ’s New Media Film, Television and
Radio Program within the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

The Hitachi cameras, which reside in the Media Center’s 30 x
45 foot Studio B, are controlled and switched remotely from the University’s
satellite uplink/television production truck parked outside the building.

Besides enabling Fairfield University to move up to
multi-standard, broadcast-quality, native 16:9 HDTV production capability, the
new Hitachi HDTV studio/field cameras can also be packed onto the production
truck and used to produce video from remote production sites, such as the University’s
stadium, auditoriums, and even off-campus locations.

“The Hitachi SK-3020P’s were
especially attractive to us because they have the flexibility to be used in our
studio as well as taken on the road,” said Brian F. Merry, television producer/director
at the
Fairfield University Media
Center .

The production truck, which is equipped with a Thomson Grass
Valley Kayak HD production switcher and Chyron LEX2 HD graphics engine, also
has a Ku-Band satellite uplink on the roof.

“New Media students at Fairfield have an extraordinary
opportunity to be working ‘hands on’ with broadcast-quality HDTV equipment from
Hitachi ”, said James Mayzik, S.J., director of the Media Center and the New
Media academic program. “Few schools of
’s caliber offer students access to such technology—beginning in freshman

“The facilities are so good in fact that major media outlets
such as CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and CSPAN frequently call on
Fairfield for ‘live shot’ origination ,” said
Mayzik. “As a result, Fairfield students
have the opportunity to participate in national broadcast programs in addition
to providing the
Center with a new revenue

For CNN’s “Larry King Live,”
Fairfield University
’s Hitachi HDTV cameras and satellite production truck were used to produce
live remote video of Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays when he appeared
as a guest on the “Larry King” show. The
Hitachi cameras and satellite production
truck are also being used to produce regional college basketball games for
Cablevision of Connecticut.

The Hitachi HD cameras are used to create “The Voices of
Others,” a talk show series that fosters multiple ways of thinking, seeing and
experiencing the world. The series was produced by
Fairfield University
for national distribution. For another Fairfield
production, “Medium Close-up,” the
Center has produced
programs featuring interviews with notable celebrities that come to town, such
as documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (“The War”). The students also produce
their own original content which is seen on the Ham channel, a student-run
television channel on
University ’s 110-channel
closed circuit television network.

Prior to purchasing the new Hitachi HD cameras over a year
ago, Merry went to NAB to evaluate top HD camera models from Sony, Panasonic,
Thomson, and other manufacturers.
“When we started comparing these HD cameras to
Hitachi ’s, the
difference in picture quality was negligible, but the price differential was
enormous. We couldn’t even approach the Sony, Thomson, or Panasonic cameras for
the amount of money in our budget,” said Merry. “
Hitachi ’s price point put us in the ballpark
and made our HD purchase possible.”

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