MetroEast Community Media and Portland Community Media — two nonprofit public access media centers serving Portland, OR — have each installed eight Hitachi Z-HD5000 HDTV studio/field production cameras.
While the community media centers are not related, they often coordinate their equipment choices and studio configurations to ensure their operational workflow will be familiar to all Portland residents who use both facilities. After Portland residents complete training sessions, they are free to use the broadcast-quality studios to produce and cablecast Public Access, Educational, and Government (PEG) programming on any issue or topic.
Portland Community Media, which focuses on Multnomah County, receives 70 percent of its operating budget from the City of Portland. Despite a tight budget, Portland Community Media is nearly finished transitioning its facility to HDTV.
According to Bea Coulter, director of operations for Portland Community Media, the media operation currently downconverts its HD programs to SD for broadcast by local cable systems. However, when these cable systems provide them with HD channels — which is expected within the next four months — Portland Community Media be ready.
Five of the eight Hitachi cameras purchased in the summer of 2012 are situated in Studio A, and three are in Studio B. These 2/3in Hitachi Z-HD5000 HD cameras, which replace older 1/3in HD cameras, were chosen because they offer higher video quality at an affordable price point.
“We immediately recognized that this camera offers high-end functionality, and the ability to produce high-quality programming. Since the people who use our studio equipment are not video professionals, the user-friendliness of this camera was very appealing,” said Coulter.
MetroEast Community Center, which serves East Multnomah County and towns east of Portland, installed four of its eight Hitachi Z-HD5000’s in Studio A, which has a green screen for live graphics. The remaining four Hitachi cameras are in a fly-pack in a mobile video unit used for multicamera remote productions, including town council meetings and high school sporting events.
MetroEast’s operating budget is funded in part by franchise fees collected from Comcast cable and Frontier Fios, two local cable systems that carry the programming. MetroEast also expects to be producing and broadcasting in full HDTV this summer.
According to Jamie Groce, technical manager for MetroEast Community Media in Portland, these Hitachi Z-HD5000 cameras are the first step in their transition to HD.
Both Portland Community Media and MetroEast Community Media received cameras outfitted with FUJINON HD lenses as well as Hitachi CU-HD500 camera control units and Hitachi RU-1000VR control panels.