LAUREL, MD.—FlipTV Mobile is a television production service provider based in the Washington, D.C. area. Launched in 2013 as a division of creative services company FlipTV, FlipTV Mobile provides outside broadcasting truck rentals as well as full production, graphics and post services. FlipTV Mobile fills a market need for smaller OB vehicles that deliver the same production quality as large trucks, but are cost-effective for regional networks and lower-division college sports.
FlipTV Mobile’s first OB vehicle is a 30-foot truck named “Captain.” In selecting equipment for the truck, our top priority was quality followed by cost-effectiveness, as our goals required building the truck without breaking the bank.
Having worked with Hitachi Kokusai cameras with one of FlipTV’s clients, we knew they would meet our objectives perfectly, delivering stellar image quality with no compromises at an affordable price point.
THE RIGHT TOOLS
flipTV mobile installed six hitachi SK-hd1300 cameras in its first OB truck. We equipped Captain with six Hitachi SK-HD1300 studio/EFP cameras, used for a mobile production workflow that also features a Ross Video Carbonite 2 ME switcher, Xpression Graphics system and BlackStorm video server, along with an EVS instant replay system. The cameras are paired with Hitachi CU-HD1200 camera control units and connected via either SMPTE fiber or single-mode fiber, depending on the length of runs we need and the infrastructure of the venue. We have Fujinon 20x lenses for each camera, plus two Fujinon 4.5 wide angle lenses and two Canon DIGISUPER 86xs units. Sachtler tripods and dollies round out Captain’s camera gear.
The Hitachi cameras’ 2/3-inch, 2.6 megapixel MOS sensors and digital signal processing give us a fantastic-looking picture, while their native 1080p/60 signal handling give us the format flexibility to shoot in 1080p, 1080i or 720p. The quality isn’t just great for their price point—it’s great quality, period. At a recent event, a larger OB company could not see a difference between the video acquired by the SK-HD1300s and that from more expensive cameras.
The SK-HD1300’s design and form factor also offer operational versatility, from handheld shooting to studio applications with robotics. It’s a great feeling when you always know that you just connect the cameras, and everything works.
ON THE BIG STAGE
With the Hitachi cameras boosting our production we can take on a range of top-tier projects. The Captain truck is now used to broadcast sporting events from college basketball to professional and international soccer matches, as well as concerts, corporate events and more. We recently covered a Copa America soccer match at Chicago’s Soldier Field, right next to the big trucks from longer-known OB providers.
Hitachi Kokusai customer service has also been outstanding. While the cameras haven’t required any service, their support team has always been easily accessible when we’ve had any questions.
As FlipTV Mobile grows, we will expand our use of Hitachi cameras. We are currently building our second truck, the larger and expandable Major, and plan to equip it with another array of SK-HD1300s. For small companies like FlipTV Mobile to be competitive against larger, incumbent competitors, we need affordable equipment that delivers results equivalent or superior to the highest-end solutions. Hitachi SK-HD1300 cameras give us exactly that.
Marcelo Capuchinho is managing partner at FlipTV. Prior to co-founding FlipTV, he produced news and other programming for the Washington, D.C. operations of international broadcasters including TV Globo and RTP. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, call 855-891-5179 or visit the company’s website at www.hitachikokusai.us.