FATV volunteer Peter Hanley with one of the station’s ten Hitachi Z-HD6000 cameras.
Community broadcaster Fitchburg Access Television (FATV), based in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, switches to Hitachi Kokusai HD cameras, overcoming operational challenges, elevating production quality and enhancing educational partnerships.
Public, education and government access (PEG) broadcaster Fitchburg Access Television (FATV) takes pride in bringing high-quality community programming to residents of Fitchburg, Massachusetts while also serving as a valuable partner to nearby schools. The station has purchased ten Z-HD6000 cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Electric America to improve productions, simplify operations and meet its educational goals.
FATV’s extensive production capabilities span across studio and mobile facilities. More than 200 shows per year are produced in the station’s two studios, while its mobile production truck powers live remote broadcasts for Fitchburg State University sports, high school and college football games, community events and more. The need to replace FATV’s existing cameras first became obvious in field use.
Four HITACHI Z-HD6000 cameras are now dedicated to FATV’s mobile truck – with a fifth unit deployed as needed – and the improvements were immediate. “My favorite benefit is probably the HITACHI cameras’ simplicity,” explained Scott May, executive director at FATV. “Our previous cameras were complicated and time-consuming to set up in the field, requiring a lot of effort by our full-time technical staff. The Z-HD6000s make it easy for our camera operators to quickly do it themselves, freeing our technical team for other tasks.”
Hitachi Z-HD6000 camera in a studio at FATV.
Remote access to the Z-HD6000’s extensive image controls is bringing both operational and visible benefits to FATV’s mobile productions. “Our previous cameras did not allow remote control of picture settings, making it difficult to adjust for changing outdoor lighting conditions,” May recounted. “The burden of those adjustments was on the camera operators, which was difficult – especially for inexperienced volunteers – since they were focused on keeping up with the action. With the Hitachi Z-HD6000 cameras, CU-HD500 base stations and RU-1000 remotes, we’ve been able to move image control to the technical director in the truck or control room, enabling much better results.”
Very impressed with the switch to Hitachi cameras for mobile production, FATV then upgraded its studio cameras to Z-HD6000s, with its educational partnerships a key motivating factor. The station offers an accredited, multi-camera video production course through its relationship with Fitchburg State University, as well as working closely with the public school system. “We make a significant investment in education, and we decided to move up to industry-standard cameras in our studio to give students a better learning experience on products they’re likely to run across professionally,” said May. “Their hands-on time with the Z-HD6000s will benefit them in their broadcast careers.”
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