High-School Broadcast Studio Adds Hitachi Cameras

A Tennessee high-school broadcast facility that produces public affairs programming has added four new Hitachi SK-HD1000 multi-format high-definition television (HDTV) studio cameras, which the school says lays the groundwork for an eventual transition to HD, says Hitachi in a written statement.

Germantown Community Television (GHS-TV), of Germantown, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, supports the high school’s “Production Workshop” program, which teaches basic and advanced broadcast television skills. The program’s 75 students produce over 740 hours of public affairs programming annually for broadcast on Memphis stations, including Germantown Community Television, WPXX-TV and WMC-TV.

“Our new Hitachi cameras enable us to produce high-caliber television shows with an exceptional ease of use, picture quality, and overall price performance,” said Ted Beasley, supervising producer for GHS-TV.

Serving as the public access station for the City of Germantown, GHS-TV produces more than 300 shows per school year, including: “Crosstalk,” a weekly talk show featuring politicians, community leaders, and other newsmakers; live election night coverage; and 12 “Access Together” series, such as “What’s Up, Doc?,” “I Did It Myself,” and “LegalEase,” which feature community experts sharing advice on a wide range of lifestyle issues.

Students produce these shows in a 5,000 square foot studio that is comparable to other broadcast facilities, with a Ross Vision 3 2.5-M/E SD switcher, HD-capable Inscriber graphics system, an Edit Share server, lighting grid, teleprompter, Yamaha Z02R96 audio mixer, and five Avid editing suites.

The four SK-HD1000’s—based on Vinten pedestals and outfitted with Fujinon HD lenses—are used on a talk show, news desk, and green screen set. While all shows are produced in 4:3 standard-def now, GHS-TV plans to migrate to HDTV in approximately two years. The Hitachi cameras are the first key pieces of equipment to prepare for that transition.

“The new Hitachi SK-HD1000 cameras were selected at NAB 2010 after comparing competing products by every major broadcast camera manufacturer,” says Bobby Ramsay, GHS-TV studio supervisor. “Hitachi was the only manufacturer that allowed us to buy four HD-grade studio cameras with essential, integrated functionality within our budget,” he said.

GHS-TV was “particularly impressed” with the Hitachi CU-HD1000, camera control units because they offered built-in distribution amplifiers, signal converters, and native support for digital and analog HD/SD video formats, Ramsay said. “While other manufacturers offered comparable capabilities, we would have had to buy expensive options or external third-party devices. Being able to buy cameras that already had all the functionality we needed was a real big value,” he said.

“Our new Hitachi cameras are very user-friendly for our students to master, and they effectively prepare them for careers in broadcasting,” said Beasley. “They also enable us to produce award-winning public educational and government programs that inform and connect the citizens in our region.”