04.01.2011 01:00 PM
Ikegami HD Cameras Prove Good Fit for FDA Studio

GAITHERSBURG, MD.—It's been my mantra for a long time that government video must have the same technical quality that people see on their other 200-plus channels. If the video quality is poor, viewers will dismiss its message before they even see it.

Two of the FDA’s new Ikegami HD K-77EX HD cameras
We operate a live television broadcast facility at the FDA, primarily for training and industry education on medical devices, drugs, and other areas that the agency regulates. We also do productions for other federal agencies, as we have a large studio, full production capabilities, and technical knowhow. Our main distribution is by satellite or Web, so it's very important to have the best-quality image possible going in, so that even after all the compression we still maintain superior picture quality at the other end of the distribution chain.

We recently purchased new Ikegami HDK-77EX full-digital HD camera systems, with four of these in a studio configuration. A fifth is mounted on a jib arm, and a sixth camera is shoulder-mounted for productions involving audiences and on-camera participants.

Features and picture quality are the main things that really impressed us about these cameras. The color reproduction they provide seems to be much richer than a lot of the other cameras we've used in the past.

CUTTING THE TRIAX CABLE

We chose fiber connections for the HDK-77EX cameras, and as far as we're concerned, it looks and acts like triax, which makes things extremely convenient. It's a great studio configuration that handles everything we need it to do, including providing power for our 20-inch prompters. The studio crew was very happy to put away the triax and the extension cords and the long runs of the BNC cable that they used to need. Now it's all on one cable. This is a feature that's great to have when you need it.

There's a lot more information passing over the fiber. For example, we're using our fiber connection to feed program video back down the other channel so that our jib-arm operator can see what's on the air and where the other cameras are looking. It's been very helpful for him to set up his shots.

NETWORK-BASED OPS

A network-based control-panel system for the HDK-77EX cameras also lets directors adjust and shade cameras directly from the control room. With our previous cameras, just to adjust the iris a little bit either required us to have another person sitting at the camera-shading station, or running back and forth to the equipment room.

We also enjoy the flexibility of different joy-stick control panels, with these different configurations enabling us to have two different joy sticks controlling a single camera, so that we can shade the cameras for smaller productions. Another nice feature is the Ikegami compact BS-89 base station. This has everything we need and doesn't take up that much rack space. We can put six camera base stations in the space that previously was used to accommodate three. We really found a lot of the features that we were looking for in an HD camera in Ikegami's HDK-77EX.

Chad Heupel is the director of communications media for the Food and Drug Administration. His may be contacted at chad.heupel@fda.hhs.gov.

For additional information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or visit www.ikegami.com.



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