Lindenwood University Upgrades Student-Run Studio and Field Production

Hitachi cameras prove to be rugged
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Hitachi SK-HD1000 camera in the studio at Lindenwood University

WOODBURY, N.Y. — Lindenwood University — a four-year liberal arts institution in St. Charles, Mo. — has based its School of Communications curriculum and Lindenwood University TV (LUTV) cable channel productions on Hitachi HDTV cameras.

Lindenwood installed three high-end Hitachi SK-HD1000 studio/field cameras in its 40x40-foot LUTV studio, which is used to produce a wide array of educational and cultural programming. LUTV — the higher education cable channel for St. Charles County — delivers programming to local Charter Cable and AT&T U-verse systems for broadcast, as well as webcast via the University’s web site.

Based on its positive experience with the SK-HD1000’s, the University later purchased four Z-HD5000 HDTV production cameras to produce live coverage of the Lindenwood Lions NCAA Division II athletic events for its LUTV outlets. The Z-HD5000s are part of larger upgrade that encompassed building a new Student Athletics Center with a video production control room and campus-wide fiber optic cable network.

“We chose Hitachi cameras so that our Communications students would become familiar with the type of high-performance camera gear they’re likely to encounter in their future jobs in the industry,” said Ed Voss, assistant professor and LUTV operations manager at Lindenwood University.

“We especially liked Hitachi HDTV cameras because their high-performance 2/3-inch CCDs produce a gorgeous picture, even in challenging low-light situations,” Voss said. “They’re also rugged and user-friendly, two attributes that are essential for student training.”

Voss recounted a time when a student accidentally caused one of the three SK-HD1000’s to fall over ‘head first’ onto the studio’s concrete floor, bounce and then hit the floor again.

“Not only did it continue to operate as if nothing happened, we couldn’t tell any difference between its picture quality and that of our other two SK-HD1000 studio cameras,” Voss said.

MAJOR UPGRADE

Upon becoming an NCAA Division II school, Lindenwood embarked on the major technical upgrade to cover its games live in 1080i HD. Voss and his faculty colleagues contacted their local Hitachi dealer, Modern Communications, and ordered the four Hitachi Z-HD5000 multi-format cameras with fiber adapters and Fujinon XA20x8.5BERM HDTV lenses.

The cameras are now part of a fly-pack that also contains a Blackmagic Design Atem switcher, AJA KiPro recorder and Sachtler tripods. This flypack is taken to various venues, including the on-campus football stadium, basketball arena and performing arts center, as well as to off-campus sites such as the local ice hockey arena. At each of the campus venues, the field cameras are connected via SMPTE hybrid fiber cable to HUT systems that convert the signals and transport them via fiber to the SAC control room.

“One production challenge we face is that we often operate in less than optimal lighting situations,” Voss said. “For example, the lighting in our football stadium can range from bright noonday sun to dark of night. And in our theater space, we’re often dealing with dramatic, theatrical lighting. But the Hitachi cameras handle this dynamic range of lighting levels with superior results.”

”The reality is that we set these cameras up, turn them on and they just work,” he said. “They’re real workhorse cameras that we rely on every day.”

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