Ikegami Enhances Weather Network Ops

Dwayne Oud, Weather Network camera operator, puts one of the operation's Ikegami GFCAM HDS-V10 camcorders through the paces. ©TThe Weather Network
The Weather Network recently purchased four Ikegami tapeless GFCAM HDS-V10 Flash RAM camcorders as part of an effort to achieve maximum workflow efficiency and superior HD production quality.

The video that we produce is used not only for The Weather Network's TV platform, but is also available on theweathernetwork.com website, on mobile devices and other multimedia sources, and is used by MétéoMédia, our French language counterpart in Montreal. The tapeless workflow that we've achieved with Ikegami's GFCAM system helps ensure a quick turn-around time and also helps us control costs, particularly where news is concerned.

When we began our search for the right high-definition camera, we knew we wanted a broadcast-quality three-2/3-inch CCD camcorder that was at home with EFP and ENG production operations. We also decided that it was time to move away from inconvenient mechanical recording media, so this narrowed our selection down to just a few players. Once we saw the Ikegami GFCAM, we decided it was the best fit from multiple aspects.


The first thing we liked about the Ikegami GFCAM is that it's a very robust and rugged broadcast-grade camcorder. The most important aspect to us, however, is the GFCAM's file format. At The Weather Network, we have a file-based workflow and need to be able to move our files around easily. The GFCAM records HD images using MPEG-2 compression and the MXF file wrapper—the widely supported open-source file format that's compatible with most edit systems and production infrastructures. This file format is very useful, as it allows us to easily wrap and unwrap our files, and it's supported by all of our editing software, including Avid and Final Cut Pro.

We're using Flash-RAM recording media for the Ikegami camcorders. This is contained in rugged 64 or 128 GB GFPaks, which include both a USB port and a high-speed SATA interface. This arrangement provides instant access to the GFCAM's HD video from either laptop or desktop editing systems. Working with the GFPak provides a lot of advantages, especially when we're doing ENG work. Our staff out in the field can just plug the GFPak into their laptop and preview the material without having to carry around any other equipment. Even while the interview is going on, the journalist can be in the background with the laptop, asking questions and editing the metadata at the same time, and this has improved our overall workflow quite a bit.


I've been in broadcasting for 30 years and have seen many camcorders come and go throughout my career. And I never thought I could get excited about a camcorder, but I'm very excited about the Ikegami GFCAM HDS-V10. Ikegami is widely recognized in the world as one of the leaders in high-definition television cameras. The company has always made a good products, and their GFCAM is their latest step forward.

Kiko Grusecki is director of broadcast operations at The Weather Network, which is based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. He may be contacted atkgrusecki@pelmorex.com.

For additional information, contact Ikegami Electronics at 210-368-9171 or visitwww.ikegami.com.