Engineering Service, Inc.
All-Digital HDTV Facility for Broadcaster is Equipped with Eight Ikegami Full Digital Cameras and Ikegami HD Monitors by Azzurro Systems Integration
Russia Today TV (RT), an international broadcaster, recently established an all-digital HDTV broadcast center in Washington DC to enhance its international video news coverage. RT hired New Jersey-based Azzurro Systems Integration (ASI) to design and build the facility, which includes two studios, two control rooms, five edit rooms, and an 80-seat newsroom.
Challenged with ensuring the best possible HD images for the award-winning network, ASI chose eight Ikegami HDK-79EXIII full digital HDTV studio camera systems to ensure maximum reliability to meet the demands of RT’s eight hours of daily live news programming.
“RT wanted the best cameras possible for their state-of-the-art facility, and that’s why they chose Ikegami,” says Marc Bressack, Executive Vice President of ASI. “From the high-quality image sensors, to the excellent signal-to-noise ratio, to the color matching of cameras, Ikegami provides them with the best technology.”
The HDK-79EXIII is Ikegami's top-of-the-line full digital HDTV studio camera system, which is engineered for industry-leading picture quality, exceptional functionality, and highly reliable performance. Five of the cameras have been installed in RT’s main newsroom studio, with the balance in the smaller, second studio.
“Since they are an origination facility, cameras are the most important components in RT’s Washington HDTV broadcast plant,” Bressack adds. “Other than taking fiber feeds and video from ENG newsgathering, all of the studio’s content is created in-house. The Ikegami cameras help them with an extremely impressive output. Other than CNN and FOX News, there are very few networks – if any – doing live news eight hours a day.”
RT’s Washington HDTV broadcast center occupies studios that previously served as an analog TV news facility for a U.S. station group. ASI was challenged with transitioning the facility to a digital HDTV operation while RT was broadcasting live.
“There was a lot going on there in a relatively small space,” Bressack explains. “We were able to accomplish the almost impossible by building around an existing on-air operation in pretty much record-breaking time. Knowing that the Ikegami cameras were going to work flawlessly in the midst of such a complicated upgrade was essential to our planning.”
Ikegami’s HDK-79EXIII incorporates newly developed 2/3-inch 2,300,000-pixel 1080i AIT CCD image sensors that achieve a horizontal resolution of 1,000 lines and a S/N ratio of 60dB at f 10. Using sophisticated full-digital process integrated circuits, precision designed at 0.18 um rule, the camera’s video signals are digitized with 14-bit A/D conversion and up to 38-bit internal digital processing circuits. The HDK-79EXIII, designed as a Portable Companion Studio Camera system, can be used for multi-standard, simulcast broadcasting in HDTV and SDTV.
The HDK-79EXIII features advanced DTL (detail) correction for precise reproduction of details in the full spectrum of colors, an important consideration in studio production applications. Accurate color reproduction is delivered by Ikegami’s Matrix circuit.
Subjective color control is also provided, including: overall Color Saturation; a six-vector Color Corrector; and a unique two-channel Custom Color that allows for one or two keyed colors to be manipulated over a wide range in color phase, saturation, and luminance level. The HDK-79EXIII also features a nine-inch diagonal VFL-900HD 16:9 color LCD viewfinder for studio configuration with extra-wide viewing angle and very low lag characteristics.
ASI also installed dozens of Ikegami HLM-1711WR SD/HD flat-panel monitors throughout the RT facility. “We specify Ikegami monitors because we know that the quality is extremely high and, like the cameras, represents a very good value,” Bressack noted. “We can depend on the relationship and know that the support will be handled properly.”
With multiple HD build-outs on the horizon for Azzurro Systems Integration, RT serves as the latest example of a facility where the superior performance of Ikegami HD technology was essential for the client to achieve the very best in HDTV picture quality.
“This is a broadcaster that’s looking for the best possible signal path they can get, so they can provide the best possible programming to their audience,” Marc Bressack concludes. “Ikegami is quality without compromises.”
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