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City Cable 14 adds Hitachi cameras, pan/tilt system for HD migration

The city of Fort Collins, CO, has acquired nine Hitachi DK-Z50 multiformat HDTV applications cameras as well as Hitachi PT-101 camera control systems with integrated Eagle pan/tilt capability.

The cameras are dedicated to local HD programming for City Cable 14. City Cable 14 acquired the Hitachi DK-Z50 cameras in two orders, with five installed in November 2010 and four in January 2011. The camera systems replace older Hitachi analog cameras and were purchased as part of City Cable 14’s gradual migration to HDTV production.

Two of the DK-Z50s reside in City Cable 14’s TV studio facility, which is a fully functional studio equipped with robotic and traditional cameras, Blackmagic Design production switcher and headend transmission equipment. Four DK-Z50s are stationed in the nearby Larimer County Building’s public meeting room, which is linked to the main studio by a fiber cable run.

A Broadcast Pix Granite 1080p HD production switcher is used to switch the cameras. While the Granite has integrated camera control capability, City Cable 14 technical directors Justine Millward and Ann McHaffey use the Hitachi PT-101’s camera control panel because of its familiar interface.

The technical directors can act as a one-man-band, handling all of the production tasks associated with each show, including remote pan/tilt/zoom control of multiple Hitachi DK-Z50 cameras using the Hitachi PT-101 control panel, switching, graphics and audio.

Three of the nine DK-Z50 cameras are dedicated to City Cable 14’s HD studio-in-a-box fly pack based on a NewTek TriCaster HD switcher. A technical director can take this fly pack into the community to cover issues and events of interest to local residents.

City Cable 14’s channel lineup is a mix of live and taped shows including “City at a Glance,” a conversation with the City of Fort Collins’ city manager; “Studio 14,” a discussion of local public affairs; coverage of Fort Collins’ City Council and Planning and Zoning Board meetings; and coverage of Larimer County Land Use and Planning Commission meetings. The video programs are streamed live and on-demand on City Cable 14’s website.

The Hitachi DK-Z50 cameras rely on three 2/3in, 1-million pixel CCDs with 14-bit A/D converters, high light sensitivity, low vertical smear, a signal-to-noise ratio of greater than 58dB and 800 TV lines of 1080i HD-SDI resolution.