Ikegami spices up YES Productions in New Orleans

Yes Productions doesn’t like to say “No” to clients. That’s why this mobile HDTV production company and wholly owned subsidiary of WYES-TV in New Orleans recently chose nine Ikegami HDK-79EC Full-Digital Portable HDTV cameras and SE-79D System Expander kits for its new 53-ft. HD Expando truck.

Designed to quickly convert the hand-held HDK-79EC into a full field or studio configuration camera, the HDK-79EC’s SE-79D System Expander kit enables the camera to be outfitted with a nine-inch viewfinder and full studio or field “box” lens in a matter of minutes. This means that Yes Productions’ customers always get maximum event coverage, whether it’s a football game requiring extra hand-held cameras in the end zones or a major entertainment event needing extra studio-style cameras onstage. And the HDK-79EC’s multiformat 1080i, 720p, 1080/24p performance means that Yes Productions’ clients always get the HD standard that they request.

“The bulk of our business is in sports, and so in most cases our clients want six, maybe seven of the large-style cameras with a large lens,” says Jim Moriarty, VP/GM of YES Productions. “We have the long glass and the Ikegami conversion (SE-79D System Expander) kits that allow us to put the large glass on those cameras. And our standard complement of six ‘hard’ and three hand-held HDK-79EC’s gives us three hand-helds for the end-zones, or the mid-courts for basketball, or a jib and a couple of sideline cameras for football. With the SE-79D System Expander it’s a matter of opening it up, taking the camera out, and in less than five minutes you’ve got the hand-held HDK-79EC.”

“Then again, when we do an entertainment production, it can flip around the other way,” Moriarty continues. “A lot of times clients may want six hand-helds and three of the big cameras. They may want one or two ‘hard’ cameras out at front-of-house, one on an angle out in the audience somewhere, and then perhaps two jibs, two hand-helds, maybe a Steadicam or a little dolly up front. Whatever camera configuration the job demands, the Ikegami HDK-79EC gives us the flexibility to do it and be able to go from sports to entertainment without a whole lot of changeover. Ikegami’s SE-79D System Expander is that good that hand-helds are equal to a full-size camera. The System Expander’s weight distribution is good, as is the ease of getting the hand-held cameras into the full, hard-camera configuration. Ikegami’s done a great job of making the SE-79D a well-crafted design and it works easily with no problems.”

Engineered to meet exacting HDTV production demands, Ikegami’s HDK-79EC utilizes 2.2 million-pixel 2/3-inch FIT CCDs for unmatched image capture. The camera also employs newly developed digital process ICs (precision-designed at 0.18 m rule). Video signals are digitized with 12-bit A/D conversion and an up-to 38-bit internal digital processing circuit. Additional features such as advanced DTL (detail) correction and Super KNEE build on Ikegami’s tradition of unsurpassed image quality. Non-linear processing such as gamma correction is performed digitally, so consistent and repetitive high picture quality and stable reliability is always assured. Other features, such as HD SDI output from the camera head, on-line diagnostics, and a low center of gravity, make the Ikegami HDK-79EC easy and efficient to use as either a hand-held portable camera or—with the SE-79D System Expander—as a full-size studio or field camera. And Ikegami’s TA/CB-79HD triax system greatly enhances the HDK-79EC’s versatility in the field, allowing either triax or fiber camera cables to be used without any reconfiguration of the mobile unit. The multiformat HDK-79EC provides superb HDTV performance in either 1080i, 720p, or 1080/24p.

“Ikegami enables us to convert—in just a matter of minutes—to and from whatever HDTV format the client may want,” Moriarty explains. “One night in one city it’s 720p, the next night in another city it’s 1080i. We come in and change the HD format from what we shot the night before. It’s seamless to our clients. We do a lot of 1080i, but we can go in and convert the cameras and our truck in a matter of a few minutes to 720p and away we go. True HD is really spectacular. The picture quality is phenomenal. The HDK-79EC has great color representation and the picture quality clearly shows even tiny details.”

“We’re a small company in business since 1982,” Moriarty continues. “When we make an equipment-purchase decision we have to live with it for a long time. We had a straight 48-ft. digital truck that was lost in the Katrina flood, so we decided it was time to step up to HDTV. We now have two trucks, a 53-ft. SD digital Expando and our new 53-ft. HD Expando truck. Everything we purchase has to be right for our client base. The Ikegami System Expander is a case in point. The construction of the HDK-79EC cameras and the System Expander is great. Crews can be tough on equipment but this gear is built very, very well. So we’re very pleased with that.”

“We’ve had probably 60 or 70 cameras with Ikegami over the years,” Moriarty concludes. “You have to choose what’s right for your needs, and we’ve always loved Ikegami’s product support. They’ve never wavered. That’s important for us as a small company and a huge selling point for them, in my estimation. We did our homework and are quite happy with our decision.”