Ikegami Cameras Provide Competitive Edge

PALM BEACH, FLA.—WXEL-TV has a long history of achievement. It’s a public television station with roots in a pioneering radio station, and has been on the air since 1982. From news to education to culture, we’re focused on serving our viewing audience with essential programming.

One way to make the most out of our television plant is to provide production facilities for outside clients when we aren’t using the studios ourselves. Our three Ikegami HDK-97C digital 3G portable CMOS cameras have been a major asset in attracting outside content producers.

We took several things into account when selecting our cameras; among these were versatility, the best possible imagery, and multi-format operation. The Ikegami cameras certainly filled the bill. They operate in 1080i, 1080p and 720p, and are 3Gready. And with outside clients knowing that we’re equipped for just about anything really gives us an edge in the facility rental area.

The cameras’ true advantage, however, comes from their imager architecture. The HDK-97Cs are equipped with 2.5-megapixel 2/3-inch CMOS sensors. The resulting pictures are extremely crisp and the edges are very well-defined and pronounced. Our master control operator has commented that viewing the pictures they produce is like seeing high definition again for the first time.

(L-R) WXEL’s Michael Frazier, master control supervisor; Kevin Howie, director of engineering; and Bill Wasco, production manager, pose with the station’s HDK-97Cs. Colorimetry is really key, and we believe the HDK-97C’s really excel at this. If your objective is to warm up the entire picture, changing the color temperature is very easy with Ikegami’s cameras. Adding to this flexibility is the fact that specific colors can be adjusted, without impacting skin tones.

Another benefit the docking-style Unicam HD line camera provides is the flexibility to use either fiber or triax, or operate as a standalone. We opted for the fiber adapter and cost-effective BSF-55 base station. There’s a half-rack base station and full-rack CCU-970M with bidirectional 3G fiber transmission. The CCU can work with both fiber and triax.

However, the HDK-97Cs’ imagery and versatility are just part of the picture. A busy facility such as ours has to have excellent service and support for the equipment we use as well. Ikegami demonstrated this to us before we even turned on the first camera. When we ordered the HDK-97C’s there was a major shoot on the books, and we needed the cameras delivered as quickly as possible. Ikegami obliged with the whole camera package in less than a week. After experiencing such instant service, it’s reassuring to know that should we ever have a problem, Ikegami will waste no time in helping us resolve it.

Our studios are more than just a place from which we broadcast, they’re also an important revenue stream. Having the right cameras is one way that we not only keep up with our competition, but also set the pace.

Kevin Howie is director of engineering at WXEL-TV. He may be contacted atkhowie@wxel.org.

For additional information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or visitwww.ikegami.com.