LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER, BOOTH C-5426, APRIL 18-21, 2005: Coverage of a U.S. Presidential Inauguration is a huge undertaking that requires critical decisions and a great amount of coordination, which is why ABC News selected F & F Productions, LLC as their preferred remote production facilities vendor for their coverage of the 2005 Presidential Inauguration of George W. Bush.
“Any time there is an event of this magnitude we are working under a great deal of pressure,” explained Bill McKechney, Vice President of Engineering for F&F Productions. “Our clients have huge expectations that our equipment performs flawlessly, which is why F&F relied upon its inventory of Ikegami High Definition cameras to capture this historic nine-hour live event.”
With F&F’ GTX-11 HD Mobile unit parked at the Capitol and the GTX-12 – its identical twin – parked at ABC’ News Bureau in Washington D.C., the two sites deployed 14 Ikegami HDK-725P cameras in the cold, harsh weather to capture the scene as the nation’ political leaders arrived on the morning of January 20, 2005. “The reliability of the Ikegami cameras is second to none and they performed excellently,” said McKechney. “Ikegami’ HDK-725P is a top-of-the-line, full digital, native 720p HDTV portable camera system.”
The HDK-725P employs Ikegami’ newly developed 2/3-inch native 720p IT CCD’ for exceptional High-Definition image capture. The camera’ fully digital, high picture quality is also provided by Ikegami’ newly developed digital process ASIC’ (application specific integrated circuits), precision-designed at 0.18 micron with up to 38-bit quantization for internal digital processing. Non-linear processes such as gamma correction are performed digitally, ensuring consistent picture quality and stability.
The HDK-725P also features new HDTV system accessories that make it perfect for field applications, including the TA-79HD docking Triax Adaptor and CB-79HD CCU (camera control unit) side Converter Box. The CCU converter enables use of triax or fiber cable without any reconfiguration. Docking-type adaptors for triax or fiber cable make camera configuration quick and easy. And no local AC power is necessary because the CCU provides AC power for the full system. And for users wanting to configure the HDK-725P for studio use, Ikegami’ SE-79D System Expander allows for attachment of a studio lens and operation with a seven-inch viewfinder.
“There were five specific things we looked at as necessary criteria for the cameras we used at the Presidential Inauguration” McKechney explained regarding the HDK-725P’. These specifics included the camera’ ability to use triax, SMPTE fiber, or single-mode fiber. The camera also had to be native progressive. Viewfinder performance was also high on McKechney’ list of necessary features; it was essential to assist camera operators in framing and focusing during the nine-hour live telecast. “ABC had a vision to bring the nation to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration coverage; this mandated the cameras being placed in locations that were long distances from the truck, requiring the cameras to be used in stand-alone configurations, with utilization of all the controls and viewfinders,” McKechney explained. “The HDK-725P met all those requirements and the cameras performed exactly as we needed them to.”
“We have had Ikegami cameras since the early 1980′ and one of the most important reasons has been the reliability as well as the stellar service and support Ikegami has provided our company for all of the camera lines we have purchased throughout the years,” McKechney added.
F&F’ latest Ikegami purchase consists of 24 HDK-79EC Full Digital High Definition camera systems. Designed as a multi-standard, simulcast broadcasting camera to meet the format requirements of both HDTV (1080i/720p) and SDTV (480i/480p), the HDK-79EC uses the revolutionary CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor. CMOS technology offers several advantages, including smaller camera size, decreased power consumption, and multi-format and high-speed capabilities.