KVOA-TV, WLEX-TV shoot HD news with Panasonic studio, field cameras

Since May, the Cordillera Communications stations have offered their viewers HD newscasts.

Cordillera Communications-owned KVOA-TV in Tucson, AZ, and WLEX-TV in Lexington, KY, have been broadcasting all local news in HD since May 2007 with cameras from Panasonic.

Together, the NBC affiliates have deployed six AK-HC930 HD studio cameras, 22 AJ- SPX800 P2 camera packages, three AK-HC1500G multiformat HD POV cameras and an array of P2 field support equipment. Each station also uses an AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD camera for production.

More than two years ago, Cordillera Communications (Duluth, MN) announced a total conversion of news, production and promotional operations at its 13 broadcast stations to the DVCPRO P2 solid-state memory recording system. Since then, Cordillera has purchased scores of AJ-SPX800 camera packages and P2 drives used for both field acquisition and production throughout the group. Most recently, the station group has acquired the HC930 HD studio cameras, HC1500G HD multipurpose cameras and HPX2000 P2 HD cameras.

According to Cordillera VP of engineering and operations Andy Suk, each station independently made the decision about which HD studio cameras to use after their engineering staffs conducted shoot-outs.

Three HC930s are installed on the news sets of both stations. At WLEX, two HC1500G POV cameras are used — one as a newsroom camera operated remotely from the control room, the second as a grid camera for wide shots. KVOA has installed its HC1500G as a grid camera. All the cameras are outfitted with Fujinon HD lenses.

In the field, WLEX photographers are equipped with 13 AJ-SPX800 2/3in 3-CCD 16:9/4:3 24P/30P/60i DVCPRO50/25 camcorders; KVOA photographers shoot with nine SPX800s. News is shot 16:9 at 50Mb/s, then upconverted to 1080i for broadcast. Editing is NLE-based, using the Leitch Velocity NX newsroom system.

For more information, visit www.cordillera.tv and www.panasonic.com.