Hitachi delivers Hitachi HDTV remote box cameras to NESN

Multiple Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras running via
a bi-directional fiber optic network from Telecast Fiber Systems have been
newly deployed by New England Sports Network (NESN), a Boston-based regional
sports network, for the production of pre-game, intermission, and post-game
shows for Boston Bruins hockey games and pre-game shows for Boston Red Sox
games.

NESN controls the two Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras
from its HD television network operations facility in
Watertown, MA.
For Bruins games, live HD video, SD video, audio, and data are transmitted
across the 18 miles separating TD Banknorth Garden and NESN’s HD television
network operations facility via a bi-directional Telecast Viper II fiber optic
system.

The two Hitachi DK-H32’s are mounted on Eagle PT-101 robotic
pan and tilt heads that hang from The Garden’s lighting grid, providing many
different viewing angles from above the ice. The cameras, pan/tilt systems, and
Fujinon HAs18x7.6 HD lenses can all be controlled remotely over the Telecast
network.

From NESN’s
Watertown control
room, a technical director switches the
Hitachi
cameras’ HDTV serial digital video for NESN’s live Bruins pre-game,
intermission, and post-game shows. NESN also maintains a live studio on
the fifth floor of TD Banknorth Garden which plays a key role in producing and
broadcasting the live, end-to-end event coverage.

Prior to installing the Hitachi DK-H32 remote box cameras,
which went into service for the Bruins season opener on October 18, 2007, NESN
produced its pre-game and post-game shows and other interstitial programming,
using traditional HDTV studio cameras that required a cameraperson for
operation.

“The benefits we’ve seen since switching over to the
Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras have been significant,” said Dave
Desrochers, vice president of engineering for New England Sports Network
(NESN). “With the
Hitachi
cameras, our equipment set-up time has been cut in half. And it’s easier
to tear down, pack, and move camera equipment to other locations. As a
result, we’re able to get by with fewer people to produce our interstitial
programming.”

“Plus, the picture quality captured by these
Hitachi’s is just
phenomenal. The quality of the HD image is indistinguishable from the Sony HDTV
cameras that we use during the broadcast of the games. In fact, they’re almost
identical,” Desrochers said.

In March 2008, Desrochers anticipates he will bring the two
Hitachi DK-H32’s to
Florida
to cover Boston Red Sox spring training. Once baseball season gets
underway, the Hitachi cameras will be relocated to Fenway Park to provide an
announce booth talent shot during Red Sox home games and crowd shots during the
pre-game show on Yawkey Way.

NESN also has a portable stage that is driven over and
parked on
Yawkey Way,
the street adjacent to
Fenway
Park. While the actual
HDTV pre-game cameras on the
Yawkey
Way stage are manned, the
Hitachi’s
will be controlled remotely from
Watertown
for pre-game shows.

The Watertown control room has full control over every
aspect of camera and lens operation, including iris, black levels, focus, pan,
tilt, zoom, and color painting and color correction—with the ability to control
both Hitachi cameras simultaneously over the Telecast system.

The Telecast Viper II system enables NESN to transmit
uncompressed 1080i HD signals in both directions across the 18 miles between TD
Banknorth Garden and
Watertown.
Audio, intercom, data, and Ethernet signals are also part of the signal
bundle.

“We believe this is the longest use of dark fiber for
uncompressed HD video and full support,” said Steve Nelson, Telecast’s
Eastern Sales Manager. “The HD program return signal is even optically
split at the Garden for distribution to several locations at the venue.”

According to Desrochers, “We’re extremely pleased with
the reliability of these
Hitachi
cameras. This year, during the NHL playoffs, we look forward to the possibility
of expanding our production facilities and network with more Hitachi DK-H32
HDTV remote box cameras in order to accommodate simultaneous productions at TD
Banknorth Garden for the Bruins and at
Fenway Park
for the Red Sox.