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Grass LDK 8000s Stay Busy at Mansion Mobile

BRANSON, MO.: Mansion Mobile produces hundreds of live sports and entertainment events each year, covering the Midwest, and other regions as well. Our name says it all, and in any mobile video enterprise, production equipment gets bounced around from event to event. We don't have the time or patience for cameras that can't hold up to the daily grind, and that's why we chose Grass Valley's LDK 8000 WorldCam Elite. It makes a great image and we've found it to be totally reliable.


When we built our new truck (ME-2) in 2009, we bought 11 LDK 8000s, along with seven super expander kits, and have never looked back. We've certainly kept them busy, with recent projects including a Houston Rockets NBA game for ESPN, "Celtic Thunder" for PBS, and the Fox News Republican presidential debate in Iowa. It's important that the cameras we use are flexible and include multiformat capability, as we're doing 720p HD production one day and a 1080i HD project the next. With selectable line and frame rates up to 1080p/60, we feel we can handle anything that comes along. We've even shot TV pilots using the camera's 24 fps option. When we bought the cameras, we were looking for the best value, and the LDK 8000s have given us this and a whole lot more.

Picture quality and signal-to-noise ratio is very critical in HD production. A low S/N means a great, artifact-free image, and the LDK 8000's enhanced 60 dB S/N was another big factor in our selection. Internally, this camera offers three 9.2-million pixel HD-DPM+ CCDs, along with 14-bit A/D sampling and 34-bit digital signal processing. That's why our clients like the way our productions look.

We also have a 90-input industry-standard Grass Valley Kalypso high-definition video production switcher, and using the LDK 8000s with this switcher creates a tightly integrated workflow that our operations people really like.

At the end of the day, these Grass Valley cameras are a wonderful piece of technology and we have been very happy with them. As with any electronic device there's apt to be a glitch every once in a while, and we've had to replace a circuit board here and there. However, we feel that this is normal for the type of beating the cameras take in daily use. And Grass Valley has always been very good about providing great support whenever any sort of problem has arisen.

Our cameras have now been in use for three years, and we expect to get another 10 years of hard use out of them. I would highly recommend Grass Valley cameras to my friends and colleagues in the business (and have done so on occasion). For a production company such as ours, the camera is perhaps our most important piece of gear, as it is first and foremost in capturing the action. If we start with a good image the rest of the production work is that much easier. Our Grass Valley cameras have helped to prove that to be true time and time again.

Brad Palmer has been vice president of operations at Mansion Mobile since 2007. Prior to that he served as media director at Calvary Temple in Indianapolis. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Grass Valley at 800-547-8949 or visit