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Colorado Municipal Cable Station Acquires 9 Hitachi HDTV Cameras

Purchase was part of the station’s migration to full HDTV production.

Fort Collins, Colo.’s cable station—City Cable 14—acquired nine Hitachi DK-Z50 multi-format HDTV high-performance special applications cameras, and Hitachi PT-101 camera control systems as part of the cable station’s migration to full HDTV production, Hitachi says in a written statement. The nine cameras—which were acquired in two orders—are dedicated to local HD programming for City Cable 14 and replaced older Hitachi analog cameras, the company says.

“We choose our cameras based on reliability, picture quality, price, and ease of use,” said Carson Hamlin, Fort Collins’ Cable TV Manager. “The combination of high-quality HDTV cameras and precision robotics is critical to our operation since we must maintain high TV production standards with a minimal staff,” he said, adding, “The right equipment helps maximize our tight operating budget.”

Two of the DK-Z50s were allocated to City Cable 14’s TV studio facility, which is a fully functional studio equipped with robotic and traditional cameras, Blackmagic Design production switcher, and head-end transmission equipment. Four DK-Z50s are stationed in the nearby Larimer County Building’s public meeting room (linked to the main studio by a fiber cable run). A Broadcast Pix Granite 1080p HD production switcher is used to switch the cameras. While the Granite has integrated camera control capability, the technical directors (TDs)—Justine Millward and Ann McHaffey—use the Hitachi PT-101’s camera control panel because of its familiar interface.

The TDs act as a “one-man-band,” handling all of the production tasks associated with each show, including remote pan/tilt/zoom control of multiple Hitachi DK-Z50 cameras using the Hitachi PT-101’s control panel, as well as switching, graphics, and audio.

In keeping with City Cable 14’s charter, the programs are designed to inform Fort Collins and Larimer County residents and help create a more vibrant, unified community. Three of the nine DK-Z50 cameras are dedicated to City Cable 14’s “HD studio-in-a-box” fly-pack based on a NewTek Tricaster HD switcher. A TD can take this fly-pack into the community to cover issues and events of interest to local residents.