Hitachi Cams Boost Rutgers Stadium to HD

 At 38 feet high by 112-feet wide, the Daktronics scoreboard is one of the largest at any NCAA football stadium. 
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The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University finished the 2009 football season 9-4 (including a Dec. 19 routing of Central Florida in the “St. Petersburg Bowl by Beef O’Brady’s”). And it looked especially good through five new Hitachi SK-HD1000 multi-standard, multiformat studio/field cameras, capturing images for television and for Rutgers University Stadium’s giant new Daktronics video scoreboard.

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A Hitachi SK-HD1000 at Rutgers University Stadium The cameras, which produce 1080i video, were outfitted with Fujinon HD lenses and were first used at the season opener against the University of Cincinnati 2009 season opener on Sept. 7.

“The Hitachi cameras produce outstanding picture quality that looks truly spectacular when magnified on the jumbo screen,” said Jim Signorini, a media consultant and systems integrator with 30 years experience, based in Sussex, N.J. Signorini was contracted by Rutgers (the state university of New Jersey) to design and install the new HD video infrastructure at the 52,000-seat stadium.

“In my experience with the Hitachi SK-HD1000 cameras, I’ve found them to be an excellent value compared to the top broadcast cameras on the market, and very reliable in all types of weather and lighting conditions,” said Signorini. At Rutgers stadium, two of the cameras are used as handhelds while the other three are fixed on tripods. All of the cameras are operated by freelance cameramen.

At 38 feet high by 112-feet wide, the Daktronics scoreboard is one of the largest at any NCAA football stadium.

The HD video infrastructure upgrade was part of a $102 million capital investment made during 2008 and 2009. Besides expanding stadium seating and amenities, the capital investment enabled Rutgers stadium to convert from analog to digital high definition, including the cameras, Hitachi camera control units, a fiber optic network, and the video scoreboard. It also included the design and integration of a native 1080i HD video control room in the stadium press box that houses an Echolab HD switcher, Click Effects CrossFire and Flashback for graphics and instant replays, plus two Avitech multiviewer systems that display eight video sources on each of two 52-inch LCD monitors.

“The video experience at Rutgers stadium is now on par with NFL games,” said Signorini.

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