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Interface Communications Optimizes Mobile Productions With Hitachi Cameras

Hitachi
(Image credit: Interface Communications)

FLUSHING, NY–Interface Communications was founded in 1999 to provide a higher level of mobile television production to broadcast and corporate organizations worldwide. We provide production services and engineering solutions for everything from sports and entertainment events to parades, fashion shows, and church services, with clients including the NBA, ESPN, CNBC, and Fortune 100 corporations.

Earlier this year we set out to upgrade the cameras on our 33-foot production hybrid truck Hermes to better support the work we do with the NBA, which includes coverage of pre- and post-game press conferences, events such as the governor’s meetings, and additional supplementary feeds. Our existing cameras were 1080i and used HD-SDI connectivity, but the NBA production compound uses 1080p over 3G-SDI. Adding 1080p cameras would not only avoid the need for conversions in the NBA compound, but also give us greater format flexibility with other clients. 

Competitive Prices
Our positive experience with earlier Hitachi camera models—including the SK-HD1000 and SK-HD1200—prompted us to look at their newest HDTV camera model, the SK-HD1800. We compared the Hitachi cameras to other manufacturers’ offerings and found the SK-HD1800s to deliver visual quality that is just as good as the alternatives but at a more competitive price point. At the end of the day, very few people can tell the difference between the SK-HD1800s and much more expensive competitors. 

We initially purchased four SK-HD1800s and now have seven. We used them for the first time during the NBA All-Star Game in February and used them during the NBA Finals as well. So far, we have done about 20 productions with the new cameras. 

The benefits we’re getting from the Hitachi cameras go beyond their great image quality—their global shutter image sensors are ideal for shooting against LED backdrops. Some of our corporate clients do announcements with LED video walls in the background and shooting against those with other cameras would drive us crazy trying to get a stable, flicker-free image, but it’s a lot easier with the SK-HD1800s. They’re also very forgiving in low light, which is particularly useful for church services. 

Format Flexibility
The SK-HD1800s give us the flexibility to match whatever signal format is needed for any particular project and we can be up and running fast—which is crucial when we’re setting up on-site under a tight timeframe. As for reliability, we’ve had no issues at all with the SK-HD1800s, despite the beating they’ve endured from some of the crews that we use. 

Our satisfaction with Hitachi Kokusai isn’t just about the cameras themselves, but also the people behind the products. Their after-sale support has been amazing. If we have an on-site problem or question, we need answers fast, but with many vendors, it can be hard to get someone on the phone. With Hitachi Kokusai, they’re always there for us. 

In my opinion, for the price, you simply can’t beat the SK-HD1800s. As a small company, we have to get the most value for our money, but even if we had a much bigger budget, we would stick with the Hitachi cameras—they do what they’re supposed to do and do it well. They’re flexible enough to handle practically any project we take on, and they put out a great picture, which is what I care about most.  

Dimitrios Lagos is operations manager at Interface Communications. He can be reached at dlagos@interfacetv.com.

For more information on Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, call 833-227-1658 or visit  www.hitachikokusai.us.

Dimitrios Lagos is Operations Manager for Interface Communications.