PAC Engineering Picks Hitachi DK-Z50 HD Cameras for Union-Tribune San Diego Production Studio
Hitachi Kokusai Electric America today announced that PAC Engineering—a full-service systems design and integration firm in San Diego—installed three Hitachi DK-Z50 multi-format HDTV box cameras at a news production studio they built for Union-Tribune San Diego. The cameras are situated on CamBot robotic camera systems from Ross Video.
Located on the third floor of the Union-Tribune San Diego building, the new studio enables the publishing company to expand its reach from traditional newspaper readers to cable television, as well as online, mobile and social media outlets. U-T San Diego’s new broadcast news channel, U-T TV, launched in June 2012, is carried by Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse as well as streamed via its website. While the channel began producing three to four hours of live newscasts per day, this schedule quickly expanded to 12 hours of news and other local programing during the day, with 12 hours of replays overnight.
“We chose these cameras for U-T San Diego because their attractive price-point worked well with our tight budget and they produced a beautiful HD picture from a very small, unobtrusive studio footprint,” said Craig Claytor, who co-owns PAC Engineering with his partner Gail Pineda. “We knew that the DK-Z50’s in combination with the Fujinon lenses would work well with the CamBot robotics system. We’ve held the Hitachi brand in high regard based on our years of experience with the company’s products, sales, and service.”
While PAC Engineering was hired by U-T San Diego in late March 2012, the broadcast studio needed to go live by June because advertisers were already scheduled. When Claytor and Pineda went to NAB with their U-T San Diego clients to select suitable cameras for the new studio, Hitachi Sales Representative David Morris moved quickly to secure and deliver the three DK-Z50 HD box cameras they needed in advance of the channel launch. Art Kubota, Hitachi’s Western Sales Regional Engineer also provided training and technical support to U-T San Diego.
“The Hitachi DK-Z50 camera was not only priced right, it offered operational savings that were extremely important to this client,” said Pineda. “The camera’s IT-friendly TCP/IP interface enabled us to use an RJ45 connector and Cat 6 wiring, which were significantly less expensive than the triax cabling and components required by full-sized studio cameras. And the camera’s three-pound form factor was a perfect fit for the affordable, compact CamBot system, which also saved us money compared to more expensive high-end studio pedestals.”
Two of the DK-Z50’s are situated on CamBot Series 500 pedestals, which provide pan and tilt along with accurate robotic camera controls. One DK-Z50 resides on a CamBot 700 series pedestal, which performs pan/tilt plus elevation so the camera can move up and down. The cameras are set-up and shaded via Ethernet using the Hitachi SU-1000 Master Setup control panel. The cameras move about in a studio space that accommodates three sets for news, sports, and other reports as well as an 80-inch touchscreen display.
U-T TV’s live, multi-camera newscasts are switched using a Ross Vision production switcher, which can be driven by a Ross OverDrive automated production control system. The studio also uses Ross Xpressions for graphics, a Yamaha DM2000 audio mixer, EditShare storage and asset management, and Ross Inception for social media production. With more than 80 reporters on staff, U-T San Diego also leverages its reporting staff, giving them cameras and camcorders to capture video of the stories they cover for the newspaper.
“The Hitachi DK-Z50’s have been performing exceptionally well,” said Claytor, “and this affordable, IT friendly camera produces images that look fantastic whether they’re watched on big-screen HDTVs or streaming over the Web.”