Gearhouse Broadcast Ratchets Up Live Cricket With Hitachi HD Cameras

WOODBURY, N.Y.— Gearhouse Broadcast supplied the onsite broadcast and production facilities in Trinidad for the two-week AGICO Super50 2015 Regional Cricket Tournament involving eight teams from an 18-nation consortium. Gearhouse relied exclusively on HD/SD broadcast cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Electric.

Employing 16 Hitachi cameras, Gearhouse captured the on-field action across three venues for worldwide broadcast, including 15 matches seen live on ESPN. The acquisition chain featured 12 Hitachi SK-HD1200 cameras for general coverage and four of the company’s new Z-HD6000 cameras for unmanned operations. Both models provided the Gearhouse team with exceptional picture quality, reliability in challenging weather conditions and comprehensive camera control.

According to Marc Genin, managing director, Americas for Gearhouse Broadcast, the wet and humid tropical climate of Trinidad was chief among his reasons for choosing Hitachi cameras for the tournament.

“These are long days, and the weather changes rapidly,” Genin said. “The atmosphere is very wet and when it rains, it rains hard. The rain stops play, but the cameras stay out there. They remained reliable under circumstances where we would expect failure. The design and quality of these are cameras are apparent in their construction, and we had no performance issues for the entire two weeks. This is true of our experience with Hitachi cameras worldwide. We regularly operate in environments that are particularly unfriendly to electronic equipment, and have yet to lose a camera in three years.”

Remarkable fluctuations in sunlight are also common in Trinidad due to the often-quick onset of cloud cover. Genin notes that this is where the Z-HD6000, which Hitachi formally introduced in late 2014, particularly shines. The Z-HD6000 incorporates 3 MOS imaging sensors, which nearly eliminates video noise, vastly improves dynamic range and offers superb color rendition. The MOS sensors also reduce signal support electronics, lowering manufacturing costs and offering stable and precise operation throughout the camera lifecycle.

“Ordinarily, unmanned cameras typically require color correctors to match the images to the main coverage,” he said. “We didn’t require external color correction as we easily matched the Z-HD6000 pictures to the look we were seeking. The MOS sensor has excellent image reproduction characteristics while giving our shaders plenty of latitude to offer more pleasing pictures across the board. At the end of the day, Hitachi helped us raise the quality of the entire production compared to previous NAGICO tournaments.”

Though Gearhouse has other cameras in its portfolio, Genin expects to continue using Hitachi cameras for the majority of his outdoor sports productions, including the upcoming U.S. Open 2015 tennis tournament to be broadcast on ESPN in late summer.