US Open Tennis shot with Ikegami HD cameras

Mobile production company New Century Productions (NCP) used a variety of HD live production products from Ikegami to support the HD (1080i) telecast of this year’s US Open Tennis Championships. This included 22 HDK-79EC multi-format HD cameras and a range of accessories for integrating all of the cameras — whether connected via fiber, triax, or wireless RF — into a single camera-control network. This network enabled NCP and other mobile production-service providers to deliver a schedule of live HD video to several broadcast and cable channels while sharing production control of numerous Ikegami HD cameras at multiple tennis courts.

NCP vehicles on site in Flushing NY, included; NCP VIII HD, a 53-ft, expanding drop-deck trailer; NCP XIV HD, a 53-ft trailer; and the NCP II truck, also a 53-ft trailer. NCP’s complement of Ikegami HD cameras included nine hand-held portables, 13 “hard” cameras mounted into Ikegami SE-79D System Expanders (that allow for the use of “box”-style long-zoom HD lenses and Ikegami 9in 16:9 color LCD viewfinders.

Ikegami’s HDK-79EC HD camera employs three 2/3in (2.5 mega-pixel) CMOS image sensors, which use less power and provide multi-format HD video capture and high-speed imaging capabilities. The camera’s 1920H x 1080V active-pixel sensors are switchable between interlace and progressive readout modes. The camera’s sensors can capture images at 1080/60i, 1080/24p, and 720/60p HD resolution and can also be used for Super Slow-Motion (3X) effects and replays.

The HDK-79EC features a docking-style camera head that can be configured for use with either triax or SMPTE fiber cable from the same Ikegami HD camera-control unit/base station. That CCU is a full-digital unit that includes a built-in, signal down-converter and a simple switch for selecting camera cable type. Ikegami’s CCU-890 provided each HDK-79EC hard and portable camera (connected via triax or fiber at the US Open) with a direct link to an ARCnet digital camera control network interfacing to the production trailers.

For the wireless RF portable HDK-79EC cameras used at the US Open, Ikegami’s BSH-200 base station hub provided network connectivity with full camera-control features; including paint and shading as well as setup and operational control.

“Ikegami’s BSH-200 base station hub allowed the wireless hand-held HDK-79EC cameras to connect to the network so that any operator — including the senior video operator for the entire compound — could have full access and control those cameras as well,” said Marc Altman, NCP’s senior engineer in charge at the US Open.