|Chirs Giard operates one of the new Cox Communications public access channel Hitachi studio cameras.
MANCHESTER, CONN.—Public access
television is a high priority at Cox Communications.
In Connecticut, we allow
residents in our three franchise areas—
Manchester, Cheshire, and Enfield—to use
our television facilities free-of-charge. After
taking our television production-training
course, they can realize their creative
dreams and produce a show or series on
our public access channel, PATV-15.
A HIGH-DEFINITION FIRST STEP
All three of our studios have been
equipped with Hitachi Z-3000 SD cameras
for some time, and we recently upgraded
the Manchester facility with three Hitachi
Z-HD5000 HDTV cameras. In keeping with
our mission to provide our local communities
with the finest broadcast equipment and
production experience, we
felt that we needed to transition
to high definition.
Purchasing three broadcast-
quality HD cameras at
one time was a major expenditure
for us—one that
consumed much of our annual
equipment budget. We
always consider such large
purchases carefully, as we
hope to keep the equipment
in service for at least
10 years or more. We chose
Hitachi for several reasons,
including the outstanding
service we’ve received throughout the years
from other Hitachi equipment and also the
company’s representatives, Sean Moran and
Budget constraints forced us to tackle the
HD studio upgrade in three phases, with the
first being procurement of the new cameras.
The next objective will be to identify
and purchase a high-definition production
switcher, and other production gear. The
third part will be full HD distribution of our
As Hitachi Z-HD5000s are multistandard
cameras with integrated format conversion,
we can shoot in HD today and output downconverted
SD video until we have a full HD
workflow. We’re also planning to purchase
Hitachi Z-HD5000’s to convert our Cheshire
and Enfield studios to HD.
Our new Hitachi Z-HD5000s are outfitted
with optical fiber camera adapters, seveninch
HDTV LCD color viewfinders, Hitachi
CU-HD500 camera control units, and Hitachi’s
RU-1000-VR remote control panels—
essential elements for remote camera set-up
User-friendliness was also a key concern
of ours, as our public access shows rely on
volunteer camera operators who are usually
video novices. After they receive basic video
training from our production technicians
they’re able to truck these new pedestalbased
HD cameras around the studio and
pan, tilt, and zoom just like the pros.
While new high-definition lenses are still
on our wish list, we found that the Hitachi
Z-HD5000 cameras still produce superior
image quality and meet our technical specs
even with SD lenses. This excellent picture
quality motivates and inspires people to use
our facilities, and also raises the bar on the
credibility, impact, and value of the shows
that we produce and air.
Chris Giard is responsible for technical
oversight and maintenance of the Manchester,
Cheshire, and Enfield, Conn. public
access studios of Cox channel PATV-15. He
may be contacted at email@example.com.
For additional information, contact
Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd.
at 516-921-7200 or visit www.hitachikokusai.us.