UNC’s Go Heels Productions Deploys Ikegami HDK-95C CMOS Cameras
Go Heels Productions, the video production arm of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has 28 Division 1 sports that are on campus, including their men’s basketball team, which stands as the 2017 NCAA champions. UNC is meeting demands with their imagery, adding four new Ikegami HDK-95C Full Digital Portable CMOS camera systems for live event broadcasting.
UNC’s eight total Ikegami HDK-95C cameras are central to the schedule, which sees Go Heels Productions covering over 200 live events per academic year. “Our schedule has us crisscrossing campus constantly between seven different venues,” says Ken Cleary, Assistant Athletic Director for Go Heels Productions. “The Ikegami HDK-95C hit the sweet spot for us in terms of quality, reliability, and value. We’re anticipating the ACC Network’s 2019 launch, and we want to be ready with the best production values possible: Everyone who sees what the HDK-95C can do — our camera operators, shaders, network partners, and audience — all appreciate the depth and color of these cameras’ imagery.”
4K and Control
Go Heels Productions is currently producing in 720p and 1080i HD formats, but are also 4K-ready with the Ikegami HDK-95C’s BS-98 4K Multi-format Base Station. “Being equipped for 4K is essential,” says Cleary. “We didn’t want to be without an upgrade path when 4K starts to take off. The BS-98 means we’ve protected our investment, with the flexibility to expand as soon as we’re ready.”
Controls feel approachable to student shooters, while offering extreme flexibility for advanced operators. “Many of our camera operators are undergraduate students – they may not be highly skilled at first, but they are very eager to improve,” says Cleary. “The HDK-95C’s functionality helps them to perform well right off the bat, without overwhelming them, and then they dive deeper into details as they ramp up.
“The SMPTE fiber transmission capabilities are also beneficial. Our control room can be up to a mile away from our venue. The ability to transmit at highest quality over long distances has been key for us.”
Part of Ikegami’s Unicam HD line, the HDK-95C HD portable digital camera is equipped with Native multi-format 2.5 million pixel, 2/3 inch CMOS sensors. It also features an upgrade path to 24p and 3G formats, including 1080/60p and 4:4:4 24p.
Built to Last
UNC’s Ikegami HDK-95C cameras have withstood the very worst of weather, with zero breakdowns. “We’ve shot in 100-degree temperatures, in the middle of a hurricane, and we shuttle the cameras all over on the back of a golf cart,” says Cleary. “The HDK-95C cameras are rugged and robust enough to handle all of that.”
“Service factors significantly into our purchase decisions at Go Heels Productions, and Ikegami’s service has been fantastic,” says Cleary. “It began with the training and commissioning and has continued ever since. That’s a big reason why we doubled our inventory from four Ikegami HDK-95C cameras to eight.”
At UNC, Ikegami HDK-95C cameras have helped to make the most of their upgrade budget. “We don’t get the opportunity to purchase new cameras very often, so the pressure is on to get it right the first time,” says Cleary. “With the Ikegami HDK-95C, we’re training tomorrow’s camera operators and media professionals with next-generation tools.”