LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., October 2, 2007 - Capturing widescreen High-Definition video in a tightly confined radio studio was the challenge faced by the YES Network, the most-watched regional sports network in the country, which launched a 24/7 HD channel earlier this year. YES, which televises the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets and also simulcasts WFAN Radio‘s top-rated “Mike and the Mad Dog” show live daily, met the challenge by selecting four of Canon U.S.A. Inc.‘s revolutionary DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lenses, which deliver the performance of traditional “box-style” HD studio lenses in a size scaled for portable HD cameras.
“We need to represent the Yankees, ‘Mike and the Mad Dog,‘ and all of our HD programming in the best possible technical light,” explained John McKenna, Chief Engineer of the YES Network. “We strive for the highest quality in video and audio in our productions. Everything we do here supports that philosophy. When it comes to lenses, we get top performance from Canon.”
In order to present its “Mike and the Mad Dog” simulcasts optimally in HD, YES‘ four DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lenses in the WFAN studios will each be mated to a Sony HDC-X300 HD camera attached to a Telemetrics robotic camera mount for use during the “Mike and the Mad Dog” simulcasts.
“We already had Telemetrics robotic camera mounts in place inside the WFAN studio, so it was important to us to be able to match the camera/lens configuration to the system that was there,” McKenna explained. “The compact size of the Canon DIGISUPER 22xs HD lenses on our Sony HDC-X300 HD cameras gives us extremely high-quality resolution within the weight requirements of the robotic camera mounts. The success of this set-up provides us with an additional six hours of daily programming for our hi-def channel, YES HD. We are able to operate the configuration from 40 miles away in our Stamford, Connecticut broadcast center.”
The Compact Studio HD lens is an entirely new product category created two years ago by Canon. Smaller in size than a traditional studio HD lens, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens is designed for use with portable HD cameras configured for studio use. Officially designated as the model XJ22x7.3B IE-D, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens is an advanced optical system based on Canon's classic studio lens design principles. The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens weighs just 13.4 lbs., which provides an appropriate HD studio lens/camera package that can be supported on a modest-size pedestal or a sturdy tripod system.
The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens provides the unsurpassed HDTV optical quality of a full-size Canon “box-style” HD studio lens, but in a much smaller form factor. Like the full-size Canon HD studio lenses, the DIGISUPER 22xs features Canon‘s X-Element and Power Optical System to achieve the highest possible specifications in an extremely compact and lightweight package that‘s also ideal for robotic-system application.
Top performance is a hallmark of this first-ever Compact Studio HD lens; with a maximum zoom speed of .5 seconds and focus of 1.5 seconds, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens features an f-stop of 1.8 that provides very fast optical performance, excelling in low light. It offers a focal length of 7.3-161mm, and - when used with the 2X extender - can achieve a focal length of 14.6-322mm. A choice of three different zoom and focus-control systems enables users to tailor the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens to their exact requirements. An included supporter system for both camera and lens ensures a rigid support for every configuration. The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens also provides status information on an easy-to-read display for such critical lens parameters as f-stop, focal length and focusing distance.
Meanwhile, On the Field...
All of the video cameras that YES uses to capture Yankees games are outfitted with Canon lenses. On-the-field coverage is being further enhanced with the addition of an extra Canon HJ11ex4.7B IRSE eHDxs ENG/EFP portable HD zoom lens. The widest angle-of-view portable HD production lens offered by Canon, the HJ11ex4.7B features the optical excellence of Canon‘s eHDxs technology, which employs Canon‘s exclusive X-Element and Power Optical System for high-quality optics in a robust, compact, and lightweight housing that weighs just 4.10 lbs. The HJ11ex4.7B‘s Enhanced Digital Technology eDrive features further enhance the lens‘ versatility. With eDrive, users can easily pre-program functions such as zoom starts and stops, zoom speeds, f-stops and memorized focus settings to achieve intricate, high-impact shots. Automating these repeatable lens functions is done via an easy-to-use LCD menu, assignable “soft” function buttons, and the rocker switch built into the lens grip. Users can program multiple settings or none at all depending on their personal needs and preferences.
A long-time Canon user, McKenna praised Canon‘s commitment to total service and support. “I could always count on getting quick service turnaround, and even when I was working at small-market stations, Canon had loaners for us,” he stated. “Most recently, Canon engineers have been extremely responsive in helping us to optimize our lenses for on-the-field green screen applications that we‘ve been developing for Yankee broadcasts.”
“We are honored that our HD studio and portable lenses have been selected by YES HD,” added Gordon Tubbs, director, Broadcast and Communications Division, Canon U.S.A. “Sports fans have a special appreciation for the visual power that HDTV images can convey. Every Canon HD lens is designed for championship performance in capturing the sporting world‘s most exciting moments.”
With YES moving steadily toward being 100 percent HD, Canon HD lenses will continue to be an integral part of its signal path. “When you‘re building an HD network, you need the best possible lenses in order to get the best possible picture,” noted McKenna. “Up and down the line, we get the best performance from Canon.”
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2006’, with global revenues of $34.9 billion, is listed as one of Fortune‘s Most Admired Companies in America and is on the 2006 BusinessWeek list of “Top 100 Brands.” To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/pressroom.
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’IFI Patent Intelligence, January 11, 2007