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Chicago Access Network Upgrades Studio Camera Support

On the right, a Cartoni camera pedestal is used for a community broadcast at CAN-TV.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The Chicago Access Network (CAN-TV) operates five public access television stations reaching more than a million viewers in the Chicago metropolitan area. Recently, the non-profit organization began the process of remodeling its 30-year-old studios and one of its first steps was to replace its outdated camera pedestals with state-of-the-art camera support systems from Cartoni.

CAN-TV currently has four Cartoni P 090 two-stage pedestals, each capable of supporting camera/lens packages weighing up to 90 kg.

“Our old pedestals were built like tanks; they were made from heavy ferrous metals and weighed half a ton,” said CAN-TV Chief Engineer Jason Bryant. “We needed something that was stable, lightweight and easy to use.”

Bryant said that CAN-TV provides production space as a public service, and that much of its programming is produced by members of the general public with little or no professional training. Student organizations, senior citizens groups and groups for special-needs individuals are among those who use its facilities. Cameras, support systems and other gear needs to be robust enough to withstand rigorous use, Bryant said, “and yet be simple enough for everyone to use.”

The compact and portable Cartoni P 090 fits the bill for CAN-TV.

“The way that Cartoni products are laid out in terms of where the locks are, how to steer them, where the drags are, how they move, the feedback from the head…it’s all very intuitive,” Bryant said. “It’s perfect.”

The Cartoni pedestals get plenty of use. CAN-TV produces dozens of shows each week, ranging from news programs to music and variety shows to religious programming. Among its more popular shows is Chicago Newsroom, covering local news and community affairs. It was recently honored for excellence at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards and the Best of the Midwest Achievement Awards.

CAN-TV acquired its Cartoni pedestals through North Hollywood-based Cartoni USA/Manios Digital & Film, which also provided on-site assistance with set up and a five-year warranty. Manios Digital & Film National Sales Manager David Butler said that responsive support is essential for busy production operations.

“CAN-TV can’t afford downtime,” Butler said. “and we want to help them avoid any disruptions to their production schedule.

In describing the value that the Cartoni P 090 has brought to CAN-TV’s productions, Bryant cites Senior Network, a program produced by Chicago seniors that features a wide range of subjects and issues important to older Americans.

“One of the crew had a fully loaded Cartoni P 090 and was trucking it across the floor,” he said. “That was beautiful! That’s why I got those pedestals.”