WMHT-TV Acquires Ikegami Cameras

As part of a recent upgrade of its production and broadcast facilities to high definition, the PBS Troy, N.Y. station WMHT-TV has acquired five Ikegami HDK-77EC multi-format HD CMOS camera systems for studio production.

Anthony Tassarotti, the station's chief technology officer, explained in a statement that they made the choice after "a shootout with at least five different models and manufacturers." Picture quality, reliability and price were key factors in choosing the Ikegami cameras.

The Ikegami's HDK-77EC is a docking-style portable multi-format HD camera with three 2.5 megapixel CMOS imaging sensors that can be used with Ikegami's CCU-890M camera control unit for built-in fiber and optional triax connectivity.

"Triax works just fine for our needs, and it's nice to have the ability to upgrade to fiber optics, should we want to do that in the future," Tassarotti added in a statement. "All we'll need to do is just change the backs on the cameras and run the fiber."

Four of WMHT's Ikegami HDK-77EC HD cameras are configured for studio use with 9-inch Ikegami color LCD viewfinders, compact HD studio lenses, and studio pedestals. The fifth HDK-77EC is on a jib with a wide-angle lens for overhead shots.

The facility has two video-production studios and a single control room that produce about 20 to 40 hours of HD programming a month both for the station and outside clients.

The station uses the 1080i HD format, but Tassarotti noted that the cameras could also be used in the 720p HD mode or even in 480i SD 4:3 mode if one of the clients who uses their facilities asks for a different format.

Tassarotti also noted in the announcement of the deal that the HDK-77EC doesn't require as much light as some TV cameras, which also helps to reduce power consumption.