Four Village Studio Upgrades to HD with Hitachi Kokusai Cameras

When government access television facility Four Village Studio (4VS) began to upgrade its production capabilities to HD, it purchased four Z-HD5000 HDTV cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Electric America to support its immediate and forward-looking needs.

Photo Credit: Kitiara Maingon

Photo Credit: Kitiara Maingon

Based in Floral Park, NY and also serving surrounding villages, 4VS produces nearly 80 government, educational and culturally-themed shows each year to inform, instruct and entertain viewers while promoting the diverse talents and contributions of community groups, organizations and individuals. 4VS has won dozens of awards for its productions, while its dedication to providing real-world educational opportunities has earned it arespected reputation for helping develop entry-level television professionals.

Like many public access channels, 4VS is currently limited to standard-definition delivery by its television distribution arrangements, but is eager to bring HD viewing experiences to its audience.

“Our Cablevision and Verizon channels are SD today, but we want to bring our product to our viewers in its best possible form wherever we can,” says James Green, operations manager at 4VS. “Upgrading our production operations and infrastructure will allow us to offer HD streams on our website in the short term, and be HD-ready when our television carriage allows it. The flexibility, performance and exceptional value of the Z-HD5000 cameras make them ideal for our transition.”

Having been satisfied with the studio’s earlier analog HITACHI cameras, Green found the Z-HD5000 to offer all of the attributes and benefits he was seeking. “The Z-HD5000 is a high-quality yet affordable camera, with the same solid, dependable construction I’ve come to expect from Hitachi Kokusai,” he explains.

The Z-HD5000’s 2/3” sensors and advanced digital signal processing give 4VS outstanding video quality while helping overcome challenges such as inconsistent lighting within its studio.

“The Z-HD5000s produce great images and a very clean signal, and they perform extremely well in the variety of non-optimal lighting situations we face in our facility,” says Green, who also notes that the physical characteristics of the ZHD-5000 address further environmental constraints. “The efficient size and form factor of the cameras and their supporting equipment such as camera control units (CCUs) fit well in our small studio and limited control room space.”

The HITACHI cameras have also helped 4VS achieve its educational goals. “More than half of our staff consists of 15- to 25-year-olds wanting to get an education in the television business,” Green explains. “With these cameras, the students are learning on equipment that they may encounter in their careers in a high-end TV facility or station. The Z-HD5000 is also operator-friendly, making it easy for students and volunteers to learn how to use the camera and perform basic setup configuration.”

Green’s delight with the Z-HD5000 cameras is matched by his satisfaction with Hitachi Kokusai’s customer service. “I’ve had very few needs for their support over the years even with the old analog cameras, but when I did, their team was very responsive,” he says. “It’s comforting to have that level of expertise available and readily accessible.”

As 4VS completes its move to HD, the quality advantages of the Z-HD5000 cameras will be further amplified, enabling superior experiences for its viewers while continuing to bring operational benefits to the studio. “The combination of the camera’s performance and reliability, along with the responsiveness of the tremendous people at Hitachi Kokusai, make the Z-HD5000 a ‘home run’ for me,” concludes Green.

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