Canadaâ€™s Weather Network Relies on Ikegami GFCams For Seamless Shooting, Editing, and File-Based Distribution of HD Content to Cable and Online Outlets in Both English and French
MAYWOOD, NEW JERSEY, April 12, 2010 â€“ Todayâ€™s television networks face the challenge of generating video content for multiple digital distribution outlets. For this reason, production workflows must provide maximum efficiency to ensure quick turnarounds and control costs, particularly where news is concerned. This is why The Weather Network in Oakville, Ontario, purchased four Ikegami tapeless GFCam HDS-V10 Flash RAM HD camcorders for their video production needs.
â€œOur video is not only used for The Weather Network TV platform, itâ€™s also available on the Web, on mobile devices, and other multimedia sources, so workflow is of major importance to us,â€? explains Kiko Grusecki, Director of Broadcast Operations at The Weather Network. Grusecki adds that their video is also used by MeteoMedia, their French-language sister network in Montreal. â€œThe Ikegami GFCam will be a benefit for both networks because we will be taking our files, downloading them, and sending them to MeteoMedia as well.â€?
â€œWhen we began our search for the right HD camera, we knew we wanted a full, broadcast-quality three-2/3-inch CCD camcorder for our EFP and ENG production needs,â€? Grusecki recalls. â€œWe also needed to get away from inconvenient mechanical recording media, so this narrowed our selection down to a few players. Once we saw the Ikegami GFCam, we decided it was the best fit from multiple aspects.â€?
â€œThe first aspect we liked about the Ikegami GFCam is that itâ€™s a very robust and rugged broadcast-grade camcorder,â€? Grusecki continues. â€œThe most important aspect to us, however, is the GFCamâ€™s file format. We have a file-based workflow and need to be able to move our files around easily. The file format of the Ikegami GFCam helps us a lot because we can wrap and unwrap our files easily, and it is supported by all of our editing software, including Avid and Final Cut Pro.â€?
Ikegamiâ€™s GFCam HDS-V10 camcorder records HD images using MPEG-2 compression and the MXF (Material eXchange Format) file wrapper. MXF is a widely supported open-source file format that has become a â€œde-factoâ€? standard, ensuring workflow compatibility with todayâ€™s leading edit systems and video production infrastructures. Ikegamiâ€™s GFCam employs an MPEG-2 4:2:
codec to record full-resolution 1920×1080 HD images in either 50Mbps Long GOP or 100Mbps I-Frame Only. (The GFCam camcorder can be outfitted with native 1080i or 720p CCD sensors.)
Recording media for the Ikegami GFCam HDS-V10 camcorder consists of Flash-RAM contained within a rugged GFPak that includes a convenient USB port and a high-speed S-ATA interface, both of which allow for instant access to GFCam video from laptop or desktop editing systems. The GFPak is available in 64 and 128 GB versions that now employ lower-cost MLC (Multi Level Cell) technology with 10,000 times rewrite capacity. (A 128 GB GFPak can hold four hours of full-resolution 1920×1080 / 4:2.2 HD video at 50 Mbps MPEG-2/MXF.) The GFPak also includes a remaining-capacity indicator, which is visible even with no power applied. GFCam users can also use Ikegamiâ€™s new CF Adaptor, which is virtually identical in appearance to the GFPak but can be loaded with affordable, off-the-shelf CompactFlash Type I media on which to record HD video.
â€œWorking with Ikegamiâ€™s GFPak Flash media is an advantage for us, especially when doing ENG,â€? comments Grusecki. â€œOur guys on location in the field can just plug the GFPak into their laptop and preview the material without carrying around other equipment. Even while the interview is going on, the cameraman can be shooting the interview, and the journalist can be in the background with the laptop, asking questions and editing the metadata at the same time, which improves our workflow quite a bit.â€?
The GFCamâ€™s use of the GFPak and CF Adaptor GFPak also affords users with numerous tapeless recording advantages. These include Retro Loop (so videographers never miss a shot), time-lapse, â€œPaklessâ€? recording while exchanging media packs, proxy generation, and Bluetooth for instant export of thumbnail clips directly to laptops for fast logging, metadata insertion, and other workflow benefits.
The GFCam itself is a rugged three 2/3-inch CCD ENG camera with a well-balanced design, outstanding resistance to harsh conditions, and the ability to mount with broadcast-grade portable HD zoom lenses from major manufacturers. The GFCam can also be adapted for use as an HD studio camera, if desired. The latest GFCam features include 24p/25p/30p native recording capability.
â€œI have been in broadcast for 30 years and I have seen many camcorders throughout my career,â€? concludes Grusecki. â€œI never thought I would get excited about a camcorder, but I am very excited about the Ikegami GFCam HDS-V10. Ikegami is widely recognized in the world as one of the leaders in HDTV cameras. Ikegami has always made a good product, and their GFCam is their latest step forward.â€?
Ikegami Electronics (U.S.A.), Inc. is a leading supplier of professional broadcasting products in the Western Hemisphere. With U.S. offices in New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Ohio, the Ikegami name is recognized worldwide for its state-of-the-art television cameras and closed-circuit TV equipment. Ikegamiâ€™s universal High Definition TV cameras have been widely accepted by the broadcast industry as it continues the transition to the High Definition Television Format.
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