WOODBURY, NEW YORK – Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd., today announced that Moo TV—a video production and creative services company in Madison, TN—purchased eight Hitachi Z-HD5000 studio and field HDTV cameras to provide video support and big-screen multimedia presentations during concert tours and other live events.
As Pollstar’s “Video Company of the Year” for the past two years, Moo TV provides live multi-camera production, specialized personnel, and digital content creation services to top country artists, including the Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, and Alan Jackson.
The first four Hitachi Z-HD5000 HD cameras were purchased late last year for use on Zac Brown’s annual holiday tour between Christmas and New Year’s Day, including a sold-out New Year’s Eve concert at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. The second four were purchased for Toby Keith’s “Live in Overdrive” concert, which has a busy, national concert schedule this year through next. All eight cameras were purchased because both Zac Brown and Toby Keith wanted to upgrade their concert’s live video and multimedia presentations from standard- to high-definition.
“While we were planning to go high-def for the Zac Brown Band in March 2012, the band decided just after Thanksgiving 2011 that they wanted to go hi-def in time for their holiday concerts. With less than four weeks’ notice, we had to scramble for HD cameras and the other HD gear needed to support live multi-camera HD production,” said Chuck Young, general manager for Moo TV.
“Before we made this multi-million dollar investment, we called truck operators and others we knew in video and broadcast businesses to find out what cameras they recommended, and the name Hitachi kept coming up,” Young said. “With very little lead time, Hitachi sent us a Z-HD5000 camera to evaluate and play with. Our engineers put it on scopes and really liked the picture quality. When we told Hitachi we needed four units very quickly, we were treated like gold, and the equipment was delivered just in time for Zac Brown’s concerts.”
Young worked directly with Hitachi Vice President Sean Moran and Southeast Regional Sales Manager Danny Stephens. After years of shooting in the field with legacy Sony BVP-550 cameras, Young said their move to HD was a quantum leap that impacted every aspect of their infrastructure, including routing and production switchers, and required an intensive learning curve.
“One big change was from triax to fiber-backed cameras and fiber cable runs. I was concerned whether fiber would hold up to forklifts moving equipment, long-distance transport via semi-trailers, and other rough handling typical of live events,” said Young. “Sean recommended Gepco heavy-duty ‘stadium jackets’ to protect the fiber cable runs. We ordered 12 of them, and these casings have solved the problem.”
Due to the tight turnaround, some equipment—such as sled supports used to stabilize imaging with longer lenses—was not readily available from the factory and Hitachi proactively sent loaners to Moo TV. While the lenses on the Z-HD5000’s are SD, Young says the cameras still give them a dramatic improvement in picture quality. During a live show, some cameras are positioned on tripods at the front-of-house, while others serve as handhelds carried around the venue.
“Shots of the crowd’s reaction and participation splashing onto 40-or-50-foot video walls and other on-stage projection surfaces are now a vital part of any live concert,” Young said. “Because the Z-HD5000’s are so lightweight, our camera operators find they’re easier to shoulder for long periods of time while angling for the best shot. These cameras are real workhorses. Much of the time we’re running them in all kinds of horrible weather and challenging theatrical or natural lighting conditions at music festivals, fairs, and other outdoor concerts.”
Theatrical lighting, projection and display technology are such that HD video hasn’t been used much for concerts, but Young sees this trend starting to change. Last April, country singer/songwriter Toby Keith also gave Moo TV very little notice that he wanted to use HD video for his fast-approaching summer tour. Once again, Young turned to Hitachi for four more cameras. “This was a huge investment for us, but Sean and Danny put all our concerns at ease,” Young said. “I was so impressed with the service that I knew I’d chosen the right cameras even before we ever started using them.”
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 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 athttp://www.hitachikokusai.us . Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Inc. (TSE, OSE: 6756), is a Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) group company.
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