Skip to main content

CFN Upgrades Studio Acquisition With Hitachi HDTV Cameras

Hitachi Kokusai
Catholic Faith Network purchased three new SK-HD1800 HDTV production cameras from Hitachi Kokusai and found the setup went seamlessly. (Image credit: Hitachi Kokusai)

UNIONDALE, N.Y.—The Catholic Faith Network (CFN) is a not-for-profit television organization that uses all forms of media to keep the Catholic community connected to their faith. CFN is available on Optimum, Verizon FiOS and Charter Spectrum throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area, plus selected cable and satellite systems nationwide as well as streaming at www.CFNtv.org. Our programming includes live masses, talk shows and topics ranging from faith and societal issues to health and cooking. 

We have been satisfied users of Hitachi cameras for many years. With Catholic Faith Network expanding and our existing Z-HD5000 models still going strong but more than eight years old, we decided to double our roster of cameras by adding the latest and greatest HD technology. We didn’t go to 4K because we wouldn’t really be able to take advantage of the extra resolution. We broadcast in HD, but some of our carriers even still downconvert our signal to SD.

QUICK, EASY SETUP 

The exceptional reliability, durability and quality of Hitachi cameras were some of the key technical factors that led us to stay with Hitachi for our new purchase. Before working at CFN, we both worked for a high school sports network where we used 12 Hitachi cameras on our HD trucks. We compared Hitachi picture quality side-by-side to more expensive alternatives, and nobody could tell the difference. And despite beating up those cameras while producing sports six days a week with many different operators, they withstood everything we threw at them. 

In March, CFN purchased three new SK-HD1800 HDTV production cameras from Hitachi Kokusai. Setting up the new cameras went seamlessly. We built the three cameras ourselves within 45 minutes from opening the boxes to fully assembled. Local Hitachi staff helped us wire in our new CU-HD1200 CCUs in the control room and commission the cameras. We were all done within two hours and shooting just three hours later. 

One of our favorite features of the SK-HD1800 is its global shutter sensor. Some of our sets are heavily monitor-based, with a 9x9 monitor wall, monitor strip and large standalone monitor. Our studios also use many different types and generations of LED fixtures. With earlier camera technologies we could get rolling shutter artifacts, but with the SK-HD1800s we don’t need to worry about that.

UPGRADED REMOTE CONTROL

Enhanced skin tone adjustments have also been helpful when dealing with multiple people on set by letting us dial in and preset multiple skin tones. Other standouts from our upgrade include the RU-1500JY remote control units with their amazing LCD touchscreens, and the VF-PBM-307 color viewfinders, which our camera operators love. 

For CFN, buying Hitachi cameras is about more than just quality products. The support we get from Hitachi Kokusai is second to none and goes beyond great customer service. It really is a relationship. They even help us with things that aren’t the cameras themselves, such as lenses and fiber, and work with us to find complementary products. 

New studio cameras are a big investment for a not-for-profit organization, but our President and CEO, Monsignor Jim Vlaun, and General Manager Joe Perrone were comfortable with our choice of Hitachi Kokusai based on how they have treated CFN. You’re not just buying a Hitachi camera—you’re buying a lot more, and for the price, you can’t beat it. 

 Sean Kennedy (skennedy@cfntv.org) is senior executive producer and Bryan Butler (bbutler@cfntv.org) is studio & production coordinator at Catholic Faith Network.  

For more information on Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, call 833-227-1658 or visit the company’s website at www.hitachikokusai.us.