Germantown Community Television recently installed four new Hitachi SK-HD1000 multi-format HDTV studio cameras in an effort to improve picture quality and lay the groundwork for an eventual transition to high-definition. Known as GHS-TV, Germantown Community Television is based at Germantown High School in Germantown, TN, a suburb of Memphis.
The studio facility supports the high schools Production Workshop program, which teaches basic and advanced broadcast television skills. The programs 75 students produce over 740 hours of public affairs programming annually for broadcast on Memphis stations, including Germantown Community Television (Comcast Channel 17), WPXX-TV (Ion Media Channel 50), and WMC-TV (NBC-5).
Our new Hitachi cameras enable us to produce high-caliber television shows with an exceptional ease of use, picture quality, and overall price performance, said Ted Beasley, supervising producer for Germantown Community Television.
Serving as the public access station for the City of Germantown, GHS-TV produces more than 300 shows per school year, including: Crosstalk, a weekly talk show featuring politicians, community leaders, and other newsmakers; live election night coverage; and 12 Access Together series, such as Whats Up, Doc?, I Did It Myself, and LegalEase, which feature community experts sharing advice on a wide range of lifestyle issues.
Students produce these shows in a 5,000 sq. ft. studio that rivals any broadcast facility, with a Ross Vision 3 2.5-M/E SD switcher, HD-capable Inscriber graphics system, an Edit Share server, lighting grid, teleprompter, Yamaha Z02R96 audio mixer, and five Avid editing suites.
The four SK-HD1000sbased on Vinten pedestals and outfitted with Fujinon HD lensesmove between a talk show, news desk, and green screen set. While all shows are produced in 4:3 standard-def now, GHS-TV plans to migrate to HDTV in approximately two years. The Hitachi cameras are the first key pieces of gear to prepare for that transition.
According to GHS-TV Studio Supervisor Bobby Ramsay, The new Hitachi SK-HD1000 cameras were selected at NAB 2010 after comparing competing products by every major broadcast camera manufacturer. Hitachi was the only manufacturer that allowed us to buy four HD-grade studio cameras with essential, integrated functionality within our budget.
We were particularly impressed with the Hitachi CU-HD1000 camera control units because they offered built-in distribution amplifiers, signal converters, and native support for digital and analog HD/SD video formats, Ramsay said. While other manufacturers offered comparable capabilities, we would have had to buy expensive options or external third-party devices. Being able to buy cameras that already had all the functionality we needed was a real big value. Other key features were: large, color viewfinders, Focus Assist for accurate focusing, masking for a 4:3 safe area, and a readily available teleprompter display.
In the last 10 years, Germantown Community Television has won numerous student Emmy awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS/Nashville-Midsouth Chapter), and over 120 Hometown USA Video Awards, including Best Overall Access Station an unprecedented 10 times, by The Alliance for Community Media.
Our new Hitachi cameras are very user-friendly for our students to master, and they effectively prepare them for careers in broadcasting, said Beasley. They also enable us to produce award-winning public educational and government (PEG) programs that inform and connect the citizens in our region.