University of Nebraska uses Hitachi HDTV cameras to produce ‘Market Update’

Cameras are taken into farmers’ fields, pastures, feed lots and remote places to interview agricultural experts and demonstrate techniques

The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is using six Hitachi SK-HD1000 native 1080i HDTV studio/field production cameras to produce public service programs.

Through the outreach efforts of IANR, UNL fulfills its mission as a public land-grant university, designated to provide information and educational resources that foster a healthier, more competitive Nebraskan economy.

Located on the UNL campus, IANR uses the six Hitachi HD cameras to produce “Market Journal,” a weekly, half-hour show focused on agriculture business decisions, with analysis of climate conditions, the grain/livestock market and risk management and marketing strategies.

”These Hitachi cameras run day-in and day-out for us, and they’ve worked equally well in the studio and field. They adapt rapidly to changing lighting conditions and hold up in inclement weather,” said Jim Randall, coordinator for communications and converging technologies for IANR. “We love the picture quality. They make gorgeous pictures.”

“When we went out to NAB a couple of years ago to look for new cameras, one of the key factors that led us to choose the Hitachi SK-HD1000 is the simplicity of its set-up,” Randall said. “This was crucial to us since we knew we were going to have to set up and strike the cameras many times as we moved them from one location to another,” Randall said.

While other brands required a lot of cables to be plugged into various spots on the cameras, the Hitachi SK-HD1000 has only one cable that gets plugged into the back of the camera. Randall said, “In just 15 minutes, we can get the cameras up and running — setting the color balance, luminance, pedestal, shading and other levels — then push the record icon on the computer in the truck and we’re good to go.”

Three of the Hitachi cameras reside in IANR’s studio, with a talk show set, EasyPrompt teleprompters and an adjacent control room with Ross Synergy switcher, Compix CG and 42in multiviewer display. The other three are kept on a Dodge Sprinter HD production van for shooting video featurettes that are rolled in throughout both shows. This truck travels throughout the state with a three-man crew that quickly records computer packages for “Market Journal,” and then moves onto the next shooting location.