Image Video Upgrades TV, Mobile Production With Hitachi Cameras
Image Video Teleproductions, a broadcast and production services company based in North Canton, Ohio, has equipped one of its 30-foot mobile production trucks with four Hitachi Z-HD5000 HD camera systems as part of a comprehensive HD upgrade. The same cameras are also regularly reconfigured and used in Image Video’s large studio for a variety of TV programs, including some broadcast locally on WIVM-TV, its owned-and-operated local low power TV station.
In addition to WIVM programming, Image Video creates content for other TV stations in the region; as well as private corporations and various sports broadcast networks. The company has successfully used Z-HD5000 to televise local and national events, such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies (enshrinement festival and a parade) in Canton, Ohio; and the University of Mount Union football games for Fox Sports Ohio and Sports Time Ohio. The Z-HD5000 is also used for some of Image Video’s weekly programming, including a local coach’s talk show for the University of Akron’s football (with coach Terry Bowden) and basketball (with coach Keith Dambrot) programs.
Dean Marini, general manager at Image Video Teleproductions, cites the Z-HD5000 camera’s attractive price point and wealth of features, which includes 14-bit analog-to-digital reproduction for outstanding image reproduction; and independent digital signal processing across the camera head, transmission system and camera control unit (CCU). Importantly, Marini points to user-friendliness as highly significant, noting the Z-HD5000’s ease of use accelerates the learning curve when training new employees.
“The Z-HD5000 offers us incredible value given its affordable cost, and we like the flexibility of architecture,” said Marini. “We previously owned Hitachi SD cameras, and they’ve been the hardest working and most reliable camera we have ever owned – and we’ve owned several other manufacturers’ cameras in the past. Moving to the next-generation Z-HD5000s made the most sense for us. Due to the fact that we’ve had such great success with Hitachi cameras in the past, we feel confident every time we use them, whether that’s in the studio of in the field.”
Image Video opted for Triax connectivity with the Z-HD5000 cameras, given that most of the sports venues they do production work at are wired with Triax. However, Marini notes that while the Triax option is ideal for today, Hitachi’s open architecture enables a simple upgrade to fiber-optic connectivity in the future.
Hitachi cameras were the first on the market to recognize and implement 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion. The Z-HD5000 takes full advantage of the increased dynamic range output of the NEW imagers by using 3 (Red, Green, Blue channel) 14-bit analog-to-digital converters. These high speed ADCs are the bridge between the serial output of the CCDs and the advanced Hitachi processor, assuring that every nuance of the image captured is interpreted in the digital domain, resulting in faithful image reproduction.
Additionally, each of Hitachi’s independent DSP processors are designed for (and can adopt to) progressive readout HDTV sensors. The processing dynamic headroom of the Z-HD5000 allow for signals in excess of 85dB to be faithfully reproduced. Additional digital encoding at the camera head and CCU provides low interference and high signal integrity for both digital and analog outputs. Furthermore, theZ-HD5000’s outstanding overall signal-to-noise ratio specification of 58dB is achieved by use Hitachi’s low-noise circuit technology, ensuring clear images are obtained with little noise even at high gain.