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Portland-Area PEG Training Centers Acquire Hitachi HD Cameras

Hitachi Z-HD5000 is part of the public-access media centers transition to high definition

Two public-access media centers serving Portland, Ore. — MetroEast Community Media and Portland Community Media — have each acquired eight Hitachi Z-HD5000 HDTV studio and field production cameras, according to Hitachi.
While MetroEast and PCM are the public training and production centers for the local public, educational and government channels, they are not related. However, those facilities often coordinate their equ

ipment choices and studio configurations to ensure their operations are familiar to Portland’s residents, according to Hitachi.
“Both of these community media centers do an excellent job keeping their facilities running, and they do it on very limited funds,” said Brad Fisher, a senior account manager for systems integration firm Diversified Systems.
Fisher recommended the Hitachi Z-HD5000 to the PEG channels because MetroEast and PCM are transitioning from standard definition to high definition. The cameras “would enable their HD transitions at a very affordable price and give them the quality they deserve,” he said.
MetroEast, which serves East Multnomah County and towns east of Portland, installed four of its eight Hitachi Z-HD5000’s in its Studio A, which has a green screen for live graphics, according to Jamie Groce, the PEG channel’s technical manager. The other four Hitachi cameras are in a fly-pack in a mobile video unit and used for multi-camera remote productions, including town council meetings and high school sporting events, Groce said.
MetroEast is funded in part by franchise fees collected from two local cable systems that carry the channel’s programming. That made budget “a big issue” in MetroEast’s decision to acquire the Z-HD5000, Groce said. “We felt that this camera had all the features we needed at a competitive price. So it came down to bang for the buck on an all-around great product,” he said.
PCM currently down converts its HD programs to SD for broadcast by local cable systems, according to Bea Coulter, the media center’s director of operations. PCM, which serves Multnomah County, Ore., receives 70 percent of its operating budget from the City of Portland. However, despite the tight budget, PCM is nearly finished transitioning its facility to HDTV, Coulter said.
The Z-HD5000’s “high-end functionality” and its “ability to produce high-quality programming,” prompted PCM to place five of the Hitachi cameras in its Studio A, and three in its Studio B, according to Coulter.
In addition, because PCM is a training organization, it was attracted to the Z-HD5000’s “user-friendliness,” Coulter said. “Since the people who use our studio equipment are not video professionals, the user-friendliness of this camera was very appealing,” she said. Those factors “made the decision to choose this camera very easy,” she added.
Click here for information on the Hitachi Z-HD5000.