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Dayton Access Television Improves On-Air Look With New Cameras

Reliability key to channel's choice

Steve Ross, DATV executive director, works with a Hitachi Z-HD6000 in DATV’s studio.

WOODBURY, N.Y. — Dayton Access Television (DATV) is a nonprofit organization that, since 1978, has given Dayton, Ohio, citizens the “Freedom to Communicate.” Their slogan is achieved through a freely available video production studio used to create programming for two local cable access channels.

The studio facilities, supervised by Steve Ross, DATV’s executive director, have begun a transition to high-definition (HD) production with the purchase of three Hitachi Z-HD6000 HD cameras. The Hitachi cameras have significantly improved the on-air look of the local programming its members produce.

“Our mission is to serve as a community forum that empowers all citizens to learn, create and express their ideas through electronic media,” Ross said. “The new Hitachi HD cameras support that mission by providing great pictures and being easy to use. We’ve trained non-professionals in a matter of hours to use them, and that’s been a positive experience for everyone involved.”

Ross and his DATV technical team provide the training, equipment and facilities for local residents to create their own non-commercial local cable TV programs. The TV studios are used twice a day, and last year DATV’s 400 members created more than 4,900 new local TV programs for and about the city of Dayton. DATV also supports Dayton Spiritual Television, a religious access channel seen regionally on Time Warner Cable.

“We’ve been a long-time user of Hitachi cameras and have always trusted their reliability and performance,” said Ross. “In fact, we bought our first Hitachi analog cameras in 1992 (model FPC-10A) and left them running for 22 years with minimal problems. That’s the kind of reliability we’re looking for here at DATV. The equipment has to work every time out.”


Speaking of reliability, Ross said they recently had one of the new Hitachi cameras accidentally tip over and hit the floor. They picked it up and it never stopped working.

“That’s the kind of robustness I look for when purchasing equipment for our studio,” he said.

Hitachi’s Z-HD6000 camera is engineered to satisfy the highest TV program production standards while being easy to use. It features three 2.6-megapixel 2/3-inch MOS sensors and is compatible with and retains all the popular functions and features of the existing Hitachi HDTV camera line. This includes: fiber or digital triax cable operation; external auto-setup; color correction and skin tone detail, prompter power, and two intercom and IFB channels. It also features no vertical smear, and it has a proprietary auto-registration correction function.

DATV uses the Z-HD6000 with Fujinon 17:1 lenses in studio build-up kits that include a viewfinder and fiber-optic transmission back, in a 40 x 50-foot production studio. An adjoining control room features a NewTek TriCaster 860 HD production switcher.

“When it came time to purchase new studio cameras it was a no brainer, we wanted to stay with Hitachi,” said Ross. “They produce stunning images and are easy to maintain. I look for value when purchasing equipment for our studios, and the Hitachi cameras give us that. And most important, they provide the fast return on investment that is critical to operating public access studios like ours.”