F&F scores with Ikegami for World Series coverage
Every October, baseball fans throughout the world are captivated by the intensity of the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series. This year, as the Boston Red Sox captured their second championship in four years, F&F Productions LLC was there throughout the team’s run to the title, capturing the drama at Fenway Park with Ikegami HDK-79EC Native Multi-Format CMOS HDTV Camera Systems from F&F’s state-of-the-art GTX-15 mobile production unit.
“We are long-time users of Ikegami cameras, and we know that they stand behind their products,” says Bill McKechney, F&F Productions’ VP of Engineering. “From image quality to service, Ikegami performance has always been top-notch. We built the GTX-15 to be an absolutely state-of-the-art HDTV production truck. The key to achieving this objective was outfitting it with the most advanced equipment available, including Ikegami HDK-79EC cameras. The result is the delivery of ultimate picture quality.”
Ikegami says its CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology provides such advantages as reduced power consumption, multi-format HD video capture, and high-speed imaging capabilities, was an important factor in F&F’s selection of the HDK-79EC. “We feel that CMOS represents the next generation of cameras,” McKechney states. “CMOS lends itself very well to multi-standard HD, and we fully expect it will prove superior to past acquisition systems.”
An historic addition to the Ikegami product line, the HDK-79EC employs three 2/3-inch 2.5 Mega-pixel specified CMOS imaging sensors to achieve supreme picture quality and multi-format HD performance. These 1920H x 1080V active-pixel CMOS sensors are the first of their kind in the broadcast television industry and are switchable between interlace and progressive readout modes. Providing a full 16:9 aspect ratio, the HDK-79EC’s CMOS sensors provide: 1080/60i, 1080/24p, and 720/60p. Also available are optional 50Hz formats, 1080/50i and 720/50p, and high-speed dual-link 1080/60p, and for Super Slow Motion, 720/120i.
Incorporating Ikegami’s sophisticated Chip C4 ASIC video processing technology, the HDK-79EC Native Multi-Format CMOS HDTV Camera System can be configured to use with either triax or SMPTE fiber cable. Additional system components include the CCU-790A full-digital camera control unit with built-in broadcast down-converter and the CB-79HD/TA-79HD Triax Adaptor System.
Additionally, F&F has been very pleased with the performance of the HDK-79EC’s Ikegami nine-inch 16:9 color LCD viewfinder, which features an especially wide viewing angle and low lag, which is critical for the viewfinder application. “This LCD viewfinder has all the controls our camera operators require, and allows them to set up as they would like to,” McKechney explains. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our operators about the Ikegami viewfinder.”
In addition to its Ikegami HDK-79EC HD Native Multi-Format CMOS Camera Systems, the GTX-15 truck – which is capable of accommodating up to 24 cameras with three complete video positions – is also equipped with two Ikegami HDL-50 compact full digital HD cameras for POV shots and Ikegami HLM-1710WR and HLM-2200 Multi-Format HD LCD monitors. The GTX-15 was stationed in Boston for all Red Sox home playoff games, including games six and seven of their thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Indians, and games one and two of their World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
This was F&F’s third time covering the World Series. The company’s production schedule includes many other major sporting events, including the U.S. Open, where F&F’s newest mobile unit, the GTX-15, debuted in September. F&F also covers major entertainment events that require state-of-the-art HD images. “HDTV has become the standard for sports and entertainment production because of the amazing detail of the picture,” says Connie Vizaro, VP of Sales. “HD sports was the first television production area to showcase the new technology, but as more and more HD displays are in the home, other events are demanding the quality of HD as well. Every one of our mobile units carries Ikegami HDTV cameras because they are reliable, durable, and produce fantastic images.”