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Modestly sized camera robotics deliver big performance for WEEK-DT

WEEK-DT, the Granite Broadcasting-owned NBC affiliate in Peoria, IL, has begun using a combination of technology for its new robotic camera system.

By relying on Hitachi’s HV-HD30 camera, Tekskil’s 15R-DBC prompter and Eagle’s PT-250 pan-and-tilt system, the station has put together a full HDTV robotics system with a high level of performance at a modest price. “We had a limited budget, and the combination of Hitachi and Tekskil products met our performance criteria and came in under budget,” said Fred Roe, station chief engineer.

The HV-HD30 makes use of advancements in digital signal processing and CMOS imagers and three 1/3in, 1.3-megapixel CMOS sensors to achieve an image quality on par with CCD pickup. Its multiformat capability provides both 1080i and 720p HDTV signals that are SMPTE 292M-compliant.

Camera operating parameters and video adjustments can be performed remotely using Eagle’s control panel. The PT-250 pan-and-tilt head is a heavy-duty, easy-to-use unit. The head has good motion characteristics with a range of motion of 355 degrees in pan and 180 degrees in tilt. The head can memorize up to 64 different preset combinations of position and lens setting, and all are stored in nonvolatile memory inside each head and can easily be recalled at any time.

The Tekskil robotic solution features a supercharged LCD for maximum contrast and resolution and can be viewed comfortably from more than 20ft away, even under bright studio lights. Tekskil’s 15R integrates with the latest generation of smaller cameras and pan-and-tilt heads.

The purpose-built robotic prompter system is made from light, strong aluminum components and includes microtruss supports as well as a dynamic balance cradle. The cradle enables precise, rapid alignment of the camera and prompter payload within the pan-and-tilt head’s axis of rotation. Stable at any angle, even upside down, the dynamic balancing cradle provides a system that does not require any counterweights.