(Woodbury, New York--November 4, 2009) Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd., a leading provider of affordable, high performance cameras, today announced that KSMQ—a PBS station in Austin, MN—has outfitted its main studio with three new Hitachi SK-HD1000 multi-standard, multi-format cameras to produce public interest programming for viewers in its Southern Minnesota-Northern Iowa coverage area.
“We chose Hitachi SK-HD1000’s for several reasons: superior picture quality, great camera set-up features, affordability, and multi-standard capability,” said KSMQ’s Chief Engineer Stefan Olson. “Because of the multi-standard capability, we’re able to buy cameras that serve our needs today, while we’re still 4:3 SD, as well as later on when we transition to 720p HDTV—which maximizes our investment.”
In the spring of 2009, KSMQ ordered the three SK-HD1000’s configured with Hitachi CCU-3300 camera control units with the 720pHD option and Hitachi RU-3400 systems for remote control of the camera menus. Together with new Vinten robotic camera heads, these systems enable the cameras to be remotely set-up and operated from the master control room.
KSMQ produces several local interest series including: “Cities on the Move,” “Farm Connections,” “Entre Amigos,” “Diversity Connections,” “Garden Connections,” and “Health Connections.” “Cities on the Move,” KSMQ’s most popular local program, is a half-hour magazine show featuring interesting people, places and events throughout its coverage area. Quarterly, KSMQ produces “Cities on the Move: Town Hall Edition,” a live one-hour program featuring five to eight guests discussing timely topics.
The three SK-HD1000’s, which are equipped with Fujinon Has18x7.6BRD-S48 lenses, replaced four aging studio cameras—a mix of Ikegami and Panasonic that had run their course. “Our older Ikegami HC-340’s worked well for what we needed them to do at the time. But there was an instant improvement when we upgraded to the Hitachi SK-HD1000’s,” said Olson. “The picture quality was greatly improved and even non-technical people could see and appreciate the difference.”
Another key feature that KSMQ values about the SK-HD1000’s is their user-friendly camera set-up and the ability to save settings—which makes it easier for a small production team to set-up and strike for different shows. According to John Wiedenheft, KSMQ’s producer/director, “While the shows all use a similar talk show set and lighting, they each have unique technical requirements and stylized looks that the cameras support.” Once the cameras have been tweaked to a desired setting, the data can be saved as a pre-set to ensure that the cameras can be quickly returned to those desired settings.
“When we put the new Hitachi cameras into service, we immediately heard from viewers, volunteers and staff who said they were very impressed with the picture quality,” said Wiedenheft. “We honestly couldn’t be more pleased with the positive impact these new Hitachi cameras have had on our productions.”
KSMQ President and CEO Marianne Potter agrees. “The new HD Hitachi cameras are a great asset to the station,” she said. “We’ve saved valuable time and money by using these, and our viewers have noticed a significant increase in quality. We’re very pleased with cameras’ overall performance.”
KSMQ Public Service Media, Inc. is based in Austin, MN and serves the surrounding areas of Austin, Albert Lea, Rochester, and Mankato, MN, as well as Mason City and Fredricksburg, Iowa–and other communities throughout Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. KSMQ uses the power of technology to provide local programs and services uniquely designed to enhance the quality of life for people in its region. It is the mission of KSMQ to educate, enrich, inform and entertain. To learn more about KSMQ, visit the station’s website at http://www.ksmq.org
Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. designs, manufacturers and markets video cameras, digital transmission, processing and recording devices for the broadcast television, cable, video production, and industrial vision markets. For more information, please call (516) 921-7200 or visit Hitachi's web site at http://www.hitachikokusai.us