Monthly Archives: December 2010

Costa Rica State Distance Education University Selects Broadcast Pix for Classes, Live Event Production

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced that the State Distance Education University (UNED) in Costa Rica is using a Slate™ 1000 video production systems at the heart of its new mobile video production unit, which is being used for distance education and other live productions.

The State Distance Education University (UNED) in Costa Rica is using a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 video production system in its new mobile unit to produce distance education classes and live event productions.


According to Alejandro Astorga, audiovisual producer for UNED, the new mobile unit was delivered in March and is being used for at least five programs per month. “It’s been used on distance education classes and live event production,” Astorga explained. “Specifically, we´re producing a serial of lab videos for the Chemistry Professorship. Also, we´ve recorded conferences and debates at our auditorium, and provided coverage of our XV International Congress on Distance Education and Technology in November. We have several projects in development that will need the mobile unit to travel extensively next year.”

The mobile unit was designed by Sonivisión, S.A., and features three Sony cameras with Canon lenses, plus a Mackie audio mixer, in addition to the Broadcast Pix system. Video is produced in widescreen SD. UNED relies on the Slate’s built-in workflow tools during productions, including Fluent™ Multi-View and Clip Store, as well as its integrated Inscriber CG.

“Before the mobile unit, we only had portable ENG equipment,” Astorga recalled. “The Broadcast Pix system allows us to utilize virtual sets with multiple cameras through chromakey.”

Designed for small studios or compact production trucks, the 1 M/E Slate 1000 features a control panel with a classic switcher layout. It offers four live inputs (expandable to eight) and four outputs (expandable to five), and its innovative PixButtons include built-in displays that show icons for the device types and file names. Plus, the built-in chromakey offers exceptional performance for blue and green wall sets, and allows control over key softness and spill suppression.

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in live video production systems. Its Granite native HD systems are the only switchers with a content server, to provide the best file-based workflow for clips and graphics. Its Slate systems create highly affordable hybrid HD/SD/analog productions. Both systems create compelling live video by integrating a production switcher with a suite of Fluent file-based software tools, including clip and graphic stores, CG, multi-view, CG, watch-folders and macros. Broadcast Pix systems are a fraction of the cost of a conventional control room to buy, staff and operate. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in more than 75 countries. Learn more at http://www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Granite, Slate, Fluent and iPixPanel are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

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SANTA ANA COLLEGE INSTALLS NEWLY INTRODUCED, ROBUST, AND EASY-TO-USE FOR-A CHARACTER GENERATOR

CYPRESS, CA – Along with a surge in enrollment at community colleges around the country, comes increased demand for more sophisticated classroom equipment. Case in point is the recent purchase of FOR-A’s VTW-330HS HD/SD character generator by California’s Santa Ana College just after the product’s introduction during NAB 2010 in April of this year. The new CG is used in conjunction with an existing FOR-A digital switcher.

Randy Schultz oversees the management of operations in the television production department and teaches the “Studio Production” class at Santa Ana College. “We’re a vocational program,” said Schultz. “We’re preparing students for entering the work force, and we try to create a real-world environment similar to what they’ll experience when they graduate.”

Similar to a commercial television station, the Santa Ana College facility has two stages, each equipped with three cameras and a prompter. In Schultz’s classes, students learn to operate equipment as well as write, produce, and do field production. The program also teaches broadcast journalism and runs a student-produced weekly news program. Santa Ana is also the first college in the country to produce a Spanish language news program.

For Schultz, the FOR-A VTW-330HS HD/SD Character Generator was chosen for its ease of installation, operation, and price point. “The graphics are very good,” he said. “And our students are able to operate it after one short training session.”

Schultz was assured by his team at FOR-A that the character generator would hold up to the rigors of a learning environment. “The drives are partitioned in the VTW-330HS, so if one aspect becomes corrupted, it doesn’t destroy everything,” he explained. “The operating system and program itself are on different portions of the drive. With students frequently downloading applications online, they’re always bringing in viruses, and that was a major concern for us.”

Schultz has plans to expand the facility’s productions and add new programs in the future. The FOR-A VTW-330HS Character Generator was selected in part because of its ability to grow with the school. More than 260 transition functions come standard, including roll, crawl, fade in, fade out, slide and wipe. For video input, it is equipped with video and key input terminals, enabling capture of HD/SD-SDI video. For video output, it is equipped with program and preview output, allowing independent video/key output of each.

The GenCG software included with the VTW-330HS provides an intuitive easy-to-use user interface. Images can be imported from Adobe Photoshop and other programs to create multi-layer graphics, plus still images can be captured from live HD/SD video for graphics as well. An auto-preview function allows the operator to instantly check the image over live video, while a thumbnail or list display allows confirmation of on-air and upcoming graphics.

About FOR-A
FOR-A Corporation of America is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction, and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call (714) 894-3311 or visit our web site at http://www.for-a.com.

FOR-A is the official spelling of FOR-A Company Limited. In print, please use all capital letters when referring to the name of FOR-A.

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FOR-A CORPORATION OF AMERICA, Fort Lee Executive Park, 2 Executive Drive,
Suite #670, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024 Phone: 201-944-1120, Fax 201-944-1132
Web site: http://www.for-a.com

ABC DISNEY’S ‘DETROIT 1-8-7’ KEEPS IT REAL WITH FUJINON LENSES PROVIDED BY FLETCHER CAMERA AND LENSES

WAYNE, N.J. – On ABC Disney, Detroit 1-8-7 is a scripted police drama that captures the essence of reality police shows like Cops or The First 48 with spontaneity and grit. With that visual goal in mind, Director of Photography Lisa Wiegand worked with Fletcher Camera and Lenses, a rental house in Chicago, to assemble just the right Fujinon ENG lens package. HA13X4.5BERM HD ENG wide angle lens with 2x extender, HA20x7.5BERM HD telephoto lens, and HA22x7.3BERM HD ENG/EFP lens were selected for use on Panasonic VariCam 3700 P2 HD camcorders. The HA42x9.7BERD lens is also used for the show on occasion.

Shown left to right are ‘Detroit 1-8-7’ B-Camera Operator Reza Tabrizi and (in foreground) A-Camera Operator Matt Valentine.


Wiegand designed a lightweight camera package, and the Fujinon ENG lenses were ideal because of their wide range and compact size. “We were going for a real documentary-style look,” she said. “I knew I wanted to use ENG lenses because my camera operators are holding the cameras 90 percent of the time, so they must be light.”

To see a clip from the show, please click here:

The crew shoots a one-hour episode in approximately eight days. That usually means four days on stage and four days on location in Detroit. On location, the HA13X4.5BERM lens is used for close focus work, such as car interiors. In keeping with the realistic tone of the show, a shot might start from inside a car with the detectives, and then the camera jumps out of the car with them, runs up to a house, runs inside the house, and up the stairs. “For the most part, our longer zooms are our workhorses,” said Wiegand. “So the documentary-style lens is more appropriate for our show. It makes a huge difference that all the different focal lengths we need are right on the camera, and we don’t have to change lenses much at all.”

‘Detroit 1-8-7’ DP Lisa Wiegand shown on the set. Wiegand worked with Fletcher Camera and Lenses to assemble the right Fujinon ENG lens package for the show. HA13X4.5BERM HD ENG wide angle lens with 2x extender, HA20x7.5BERM HD telephoto lens, and HA22x7.3BERM HD ENG/EFP lens were selected for use on Panasonic VariCam 3700 P2 HD camcorders. The HA42x9.7BERD lens is also used on occasion.


Wiegand explains that she chose the Fujinon package because of the more realistic, natural look it provides: “It’s more pleasing. I don’t have to filter these lenses, and I don’t have to diffuse them. That’s a big deal for me for the kind of shooting we’re doing. I don’t want to be swapping out filters all the time or wearing filters which could create more flare issues than we want.”

About FUJIFILM Optical Devices U.S.A., Inc.
FUJIFILM Optical Devices U.S.A., Inc. is a major manufacturer and distributor of optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema and industrial markets. The company’s line of television zoom lenses are used in virtually every segment of the broadcast industry, including electronic newsgathering, studio and field production, and high definition television. For more information about FUJIFILM broadcast and communications products, call (973) 633-5600 or visit our web site at http://www.fujinonbroadcast.com.

(Effective July 1, 2010, FUJINON INC., a major manufacturer and distributor of optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema and industrial markets, is now FUJIFILM Optical Devices U.S.A., Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of FUJIFILM North America Corporation.)

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FUJIFILM Optical Devices U.S.A., Inc., 10 High Point Drive, Wayne, New Jersey 07470. Phone: 973-633-5600.
Fax: 973-633-5216. Web site: http://www.fujinon.com.

ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP AND DOLBY LABORATORIES ADDRESS 3D WORKFLOW ISSUES AT CONFERENCE

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. – In conjunction with Dolby Laboratories, Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading West Coast video and film integration firm, presented “3D Workflow 2010” last week at the Dolby Theater in San Francisco. The free daylong event included several conference sessions that addressed a variety of 3D production issues from acquisition to delivery.

“This was our second year with a 3D focus for our end-of-year workshop, and we had another full house,” said Dave Van Hoy, president of ASG. “Film and video professionals are still trying to develop 3D workflows that are cost effective and techniques that deliver excellent images to audiences. This event is special because it encourages communication within our industry. Our customers present challenges they faced in the real world and then share their solutions.”

The program included presentations from professionals with hands-on 3D production experience as well as companies that have developed 3D technology products. Doug Stanley, CEO and founder of Ridgeline Entertainment, discussed stereo acquisition with the new Panasonic AG-3DA1 3D HD solid-state camcorder and showcased his custom SI-2K 3D camera rig from P+S Technik. Eric Hansen of Spy Post, a FotoKem post-production company, shared case studies of 2D-to-3D conversions produced at his facility and others.

Anthony Shafer from Stereo Box (formerly of ImageMovers Digital) led a session on stereo production in animation, while Doug MacMillan from Stereo Box (also formerly of ImageMovers Digital) explored compositing for 3D. Dolby Engineering concluded the day with “Delivering the 3D Experience,” which highlighted its PRM-4200 Professional Reference Monitor and a home 3D solution using a Panasonic consumer display and active shutter glasses.

“All the presentations were well received,” Van Hoy added. “It was a great opportunity for the Bay Area’s video community to come together in one of the area’s premier screening rooms. 3D is here to stay, so it’s important that the production community is up to speed on the various production challenges of stereoscopy.”

About ASG:
Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., with offices in the Bay Area and Southern California, has provided engineering, systems, integration, support and training to the broadcast, film, creative, and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in Apple-based newsroom systems, shared storage, archiving, editing, finishing, and VFX systems, ASG has become one of largest installers of post production and shared storage systems on the West Coast. The ASG team is highly focused on customer success, and has installed and supported more than 185 SANs, production, and post production systems over the last six years. For more information, visit http://www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.

LITTLE ROCK FOX AFFILIATE KLRT ADOPTS JVC PROHD CAMERAS FOR STUDIO, ENG USE

WAYNE, NJ – JVC Professional Products Company today announced that KLRT, the FOX affiliate in Little Rock, Ark., has adopted JVC ProHD cameras for studio and ENG use. The Newport Television station, which serves the Little Rock-Pine Bluff market (DMA #56), purchased four GY-HD250Us to replace Thomson LDK 1707s as its main studio cameras for daily newscasts, as well as eight GY-HM700U cameras for ENG use. FOX16 News went live with its new studio cameras yesterday, and has been using its new GY-HM700s in the field since August.

Ideal for ENG work, the GY-HM700 is a compact, shoulder-mount camcorder with three 1/3-inch progressive scan CCDs. It records full 1280×720 and 1920×1080 images, and its proprietary MPEG-2 encoder supports all major HD signal formats, including 1080i and 720p. Its dual card slot design records to low-cost, non-proprietary SDHC solid-state media cards in ready-to-edit file formats for Apple Final Cut Pro (.MOV) and other major NLE systems (.MP4). Other features include a high-resolution LCOS color viewfinder and 4.3-inch flip-out LCD monitor, plus two XLR inputs with phantom power.

ABOUT JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY
Headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Victor Company of Japan Ltd. JVC is a leading manufacturer and distributor of broadcast and professional video and audio equipment. For further product information, visit JVC’s Web site at http://pro.jvc.com or call (800)582-5825.

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NEW PSALMIST BAPTIST CHURCH INSTALLS FIVE HITACHI Z-HD5000 MULTIFORMAT HD CAMERAS

WOODBURY, NEW YORK – New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD recently installed five new Hitachi Z-HD5000 multi-format HD cameras within the 4,000-seat main sanctuary of its new multi-million-dollar worship center, known as The Holy City of Zion.

Besides enhancing the worship experience for churchgoers, the high-def video is used to produce “The Empowering Disciples Broadcast,” a highly rated, half-hour religious HDTV program produced weekly for over-the-air broadcast on WJZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Baltimore.
“When we first saw these cameras at NAB in April 2010, we realized that their price point would enable us to meet our goal to offer broadcast-quality, high-definition video while sticking to our budget,” said Minister Joshua Thomas, multi-media and creative arts technician for New Psalmist Baptist Church. “Hitachi put us in the best position to maximize our budget without compromising quality.”

SD versions of “The Empowering Disciples Broadcast” are also delivered weekly to The Word Network, a religious network carried by DirecTV, as well as other local TV markets nationwide. Flash-encoded video of all Sunday services, led by Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr., Pastor of New Psalmist, also stream live on the Church’s website at http://www.NewPsalmist.org, extending the reach of the 8,000-member Church to a virtually global congregation.

“The exceptional HD video produced by these Hitachi cameras enables our congregation to have a much richer worship experience,” said Minister Thomas. “Also, having the ability to produce religious programming in HD is critical to attracting those television viewers who are accustomed to watching high-quality sports and entertainment on HDTVs. Despite our budget constraints, Hitachi has put us on the forefront of HD camera technology.”

The Hitachi Z-HD5000 cameras are positioned around the sanctuary, with two cameras on pedestals, one on a tripod, one on a 25-foot jib, and one operated as a handheld. The cameras, which were purchased through Professional Products, Inc., a preeminent Hitachi dealer in Gaithersburg, MD, were outfitted with a variety of Fujinon HD lenses and configured with Hitachi CU-HD1000 SMPTE hybrid fiber camera control units (CCUs). With built-in distribution amplifiers, signal convertors, and native support for many SD/HD video formats, the CCUs increase the value of the Hitachi HD camera package.

The CCUs feed HD-SDI signals to a Ross Vision switcher, which in turn outputs the program to a Blackmagic Design Video Hub which routes it to three Digital Projection 1080p HD projectors in the main sanctuary, as well as to HD LCD and plasma displays around the complex, such as the chapel, rehearsal hall, and banquet hall. An AJA Kona card records the Video Hub output onto a Mac hard drive for Apple Final Cut Pro editing. SongShowPlus software is used to create lower third supers of song lyrics and excerpts of scripture.

About Hitachi
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 400,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2009) consolidated revenues totaled 10,000 billion yen ($102.0 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials, logistics and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.
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 . Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Inc. (TSE, OSE: 6756), is a Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) group company.
Full versions of all press releases and product images are posted on the web site in the pressroom section: http://www.hitachikokusai.us

Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd., 150 Crossways Park Drive, Woodbury, NY 11797, U.S.A.
Tel: (516) 921-7200; Fax: (516) 496-3718; website: http://www.hitachikokusai.us

FOR-A AWARDED GOVERNMENT VIDEO SALUTE FOR VFC-7000 HD VARIABLE FRAME RATE CAMERA

CYPRESS, Calif. – FOR-A, a leading manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, was awarded a Government Video Salute for its new VFC-7000 HD Variable Frame Rate (Super Slow Motion) Camera by Government Video magazine at the Government Video Expo in Washington, D.C. The camera offers high-speed playout and recording in full frame HD (720/59.94p or 720/50p) at up to 700 fps, with variable recording speed from 125 fps to 700 fps.

“The VFC-7000 was designed to make it easy for anyone to capture high-speed action in uncompressed HD,” said Hiro Tanoue, president, FOR-A Corporation of America. “Super slow motion is an essential element of many educational, scientific, and creative video projects for government agencies. We are extremely proud to have been recognized by Government Video for our camera.”

With its high-sensitivity CMOS color sensor, the VFC-7000 features an electronic high-speed shutter that can operate as fast as 1/200,000 second for filming fast moving events and subjects without blur. The lightweight camera comes complete with camera head, main body, F lens mount, recording component, and carrying handle in one integrated package.

Unlike competitive products, the VFC-7000 comes standard with a touch panel operation unit, controlling play, record, and all camera functions.

Included internal memory can record up to 9 seconds of HD recording. Plus, the VFC-7000 includes two channels of HD-SDI output, which provides a live video output while simultaneously outputting recorded video stored in the camera in parallel.

Products or technologies that receive the Government Video Salute are nominated by industry professionals and selected by the editorial team of Government Video. “The Government Video Salute recognizes some of the innovative products and services for video professionals on display at GV Expo,” said T. Carter Ross, editorial director, Government Video. “We are proud to call attention to these tools that specifically help public sector video professionals support the missions of their agencies and provide better information to the citizenry.”

About FOR-A
FOR-A Corporation of America is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction, and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call (714) 894-3311 or visit our web site at http://www.for-a.com.

FOR-A is the official spelling of FOR-A Company Limited. In print, please use all capital letters when referring to the name of FOR-A.

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FOR-A CORPORATION OF AMERICA, Fort Lee Executive Park, 2 Executive Drive,
Suite #670, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024 Phone: 201-944-1120, Fax 201-944-1132
Web site: http://www.for-a.com