CRM Studios Chooses Ikegami HDK-77EC HD Native Multi-Format CMOS Cameras for Glenn Beck's 'The Blaze'

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When the famed TV/radio host Glenn Beck established his broadcast media operation The Blaze at CRM Studios in Dallas, the expectations were set for world-class video production. CRM Studios met the high standards of their high-profile client by selecting Ikegami HDK-77EC HD native multiformat CMOS cameras.

CRM stands as one of the largest video production and post production companies in the Southwest, and its “Stage A” is the largest television studio between the East and West coasts. As a result, CRM is always ready to provide its clients with an equally expansive range of services.

“We offer our clients ‘script to screen and everything in between,’” says Michael Murray, Director of IT and Broadcast Engineering at CRM Studios. “When you’re working in multiple disciplines, its crucial to get your technology choices right the first time. The Blaze venture, which was founded by Glenn Beck and his company, Mercury Radio Arts, is staffed by a highly experienced and knowledgeable production team that was previously based in New York City. When we became their new production home, Ikegami HDK-77EC cameras emerged as the clear choice for their initiative.”

Designed with three advanced 2/3-inch 2.5 megapixel CMOS image sensors, Ikegami HDK-77EC cameras provide 1080i and 720p HD video quality to CRM Studios and The Blaze, with native interlace and progressive readout modes.

“With Ikegami, we achieve a picture that is extremely detailed,” Murray notes. “We get a very natural look from our four Ikegami HDK-77EC cameras, meaning that what we see on the monitor is an excellent match for what we see live on the set. We got a very sharp picture from these cameras, straight out of the box.”

Although CRM Studios had just two weeks to prepare Stage A for the arrival of The Blaze (formerly known as GBTV), they were able to meet the short deadline with the help of Texas-based integrator Digital Resources, Inc. (DRI), which worked with CRM Studios on preparing for The Blaze.

DRI’s task of executing the system design and engineering, as well as sourcing the equipment for The Blaze, represented a serious challenge considering the timeline. Upon arrival of the equipment, Tim Davis, Director of Engineering, and Steve Jones, Project Manager, both of DRI, worked tirelessly with the DRI engineering team to ensure all the equipment was installed and integrated on time.

CRM’s technical staff, led by Murray and Tom Thompson, worked side-by-side with DRI's staff to complete the team effort. The result: A united collaboration that guaranteed CRM and The Blaze a fully functioning system in an extremely short timeframe. The long-anticipated program went to air on schedule, as promised.

Ikegami’s elite service and support made its own contribution to the project’s fast turnaround. “Even though we placed our order in mid-December, Ikegami had us ready to go right on schedule on January 2nd by providing all four cameras in a very tight timeframe,” says Murray. “And even though this was a new camera for most of our operators, they had no issues learning how to run them – they love working with these HDK-77EC’s.”

DRI has had a similar experience with Ikegami over the years. “When you’re putting equipment on the set, the criteria for each component are performance, longevity, and as high a quality standard as possible – Ikegami delivers that,” says Tim Bock, President of DRI. “The service that you get from Ikegami is also a big differentiator. They really care about what they put in the field.”

When it comes to supporting The Blaze’s ambitious media model and intensive production schedule, CRM Studios has advanced cameras to match in the Ikegami HDK-77EC. “Glenn Beck and Mercury Radio Arts are ahead of the curve,” Michael Murray says. “They want to deliver the best possible quality to every medium: Ikegami has been an invaluable part of helping us to do just that.”

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