Tar Heels Recruit Ikegami HDK-95C Cameras

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Our schedule is intense at Go Heels Productions, the video production arm of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There are 28 Division 1 sports on campus for us to cover ; that amounts to more than 200 live events per academic year—everything from volleyball to field hockey and lacrosse, as well as our men’s basketball team.

Tar Heel fans have high expectations, not just for their teams but for the quality imaging that Go Heels Productions provides. Meeting their consistently high standards and anticipating the 2019 launch of the ACC Network, we chose Ikegami HDK-95C Full Digital Portable CMOS cameras for live broadcasts.

Students often operate the HDK-95C cameras for Go Heels Productions.

We determined our selection on three factors: quality, reliability and value. Our eight Ikegami HDK-95C cameras hit all three targets, providing an excellent balance that allows us to make the most of our varying production levels and crew sizes. Our camera operators, shaders, network partners and audience all love the depth and color of the imagery that these cameras produce. Knowing the HDK-95C is rugged enough to fire reliably via SMPTE fiber transmission—even if the camera head is a mile away from the CCU—is huge. We have too many events going on to stop and troubleshoot for hours at a time, especially on a day when we’re setting up five cameras for baseball or six for football.


Currently we produce video in 720p, but we’re 4K-ready with eight of the Ikegami BS-98 4K multiformat base stations to go along with our HDK-95C cameras. We didn’t want to be painted into a corner without an upgrade path when 4K starts seeing broader adoption and the BS-98 provides us with the flexibility to expand.

The HDK-95C controls were also a key consideration—many of our camera operators are undergraduate students who may not be highly skilled yet but are eager to learn. The functionality of the HDK-95C allows them to capably operate the camera without overwhelming them. As they develop and expand their skills, the cameras have extensive capabilities for them to explore. Of course, our professional freelancers also feel right at home.


Shooting sports at UNC means frequent exposure to challenging conditions. There can be 100-degree temperatures (we shot a football game in the middle of a hurricane), and they might be shuttled across campus on the back of a golf cart. The HDK-95C cameras have proven robust enough to withstand all that.

Along the way, Ikegami’s service has been fantastic. The support we’ve received, starting with training and commissioning, was a major factor in our recent decision to double our inventory from four HDK-95C’s to eight.

The ability to purchase new cameras doesn’t come along often at academic institutions, which makes it critical to get it right the first time. With Ikegami HDK-95C cameras, we’ve made the most of our upgrade budget, training the next generation of camera operators and broadcast professionals on the next generation of equipment.

Ken Cleary is Assistant Athletic Director for Go Heels Productions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He can be reached at kcleary@unc.edu

For more information, please visit www.ikegami.com or call 201-368-9171.