Eastern Michigan University Buys Hitachi HDTV Cameras

Z-HD5000 cameras are installed in newly renovated stadium while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students.

At Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Department of Athletics purchased four Z‑HD5000 HDTV cameras from Hitachi Kokusai.

The centerpiece of the technology refresh at the 30,200-seat Rynearson Stadium is a new 53-foot high by 29-foot wide Daktronics LED video display screen. The second-largest video board in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference (MAC), the new scoreboard is more than three times larger than the venue’s previous, resolution-limited screen. The display overhaul was accompanied by control room and camera upgrades as EMU Athletics began producing in-venue football programming for the first time.

“With the old video board, we just took an analog signal from the broadcast feed, and cut in occasional footage from older cameras,” said Greg Steiner, Associate Athletic Director, Media Relations at EMU. “We needed to enhance the in-venue experience, as when fans come into the stadium and watch our video board, their expectations have been set by what they see on television. We strive to provide unique on-site opportunities that fans can’t get at home, while also delivering what they already expect to see from TV.”

Supplied by systems integrator AVI-SPL, three of the Hitachi cameras are deployed in fixed positions on tripods. The fourth Z-HD5000 is equipped with a Teradek wireless transmitter, enabling the camera operator to go into the stands and roam the venue.

Steiner notes that the Hitachi cameras do an exceptional job capturing games in EMU’s unusual football environment. “We’re one of only three FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools that don’t play on a green field, and the only grey field at the Division I level,” he explained. “Getting a good picture against it can be tough with other cameras. Grey can get washed out really fast if you don’t have high-quality cameras and the ability to dial in directly to the true colors. The Z-HD5000s handle it very well.”

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