Citytv, Toronto Buys Ikegami Editcam Camcorders

June 27, 2006

by -- Ikegami Electronics

CHUM Television’s Citytv has long pioneered progressive broadcasting, with innovative programming and a strong commitment to serving its 11.5 million viewers. Citytv Toronto recently transitioned to digital nonlinear video acquisition and editing with a major purchase of Ikegami DNS-33W Editcam3 tapeless camcorders.

“We are focused on migrating our news divisions to a tapeless, digital environment, and we went with the Ikegami Editcam,” says Bruce Cowan, Director, Broadcast Technology, CHUM Television. “Broadcasting is headed to a tapeless world. The ease with which these nonlinear acquisition cameras allow us to shoot and subsequently edit is what is going to drive the Citytv newscasts and our 24-hour news channel.”

CHUM Television’s commitment to tapeless acquisition extends beyond the 34 Ikegami DNS-33W’s being deployed at Citytv Toronto. An additional 13 DNS-33W’s are going to sister station Citytv Vancouver, with two more slated for CHUM’s Alberta stations. According to Cowan, innovative features of the 520,000-pixel AIT (Advanced Interline Transfer) CCD DNS-33W Editcam3 camcorder such as Retroloop, Intelligent Recording (which enables Editcam to automatically record to available media space), and Timelapse Recording bring huge gains in efficiency to his stations’ acquisition and editing operations.

“We’re finding that there are multiple benefits to using the Ikegami Editcam for ENG applications,” Cowan says. “Starting out, the feel for camera people in the field is the same as with past, videotape-based systems, because you can drop the hard-drive FieldPaks right into the side of the camera, just like a tape. Since the footage is recorded to a hard disk instead of tape, however, our camera operators can preview shots right on the drive in a nonlinear fashion, instead of with a traditional rewind, which is more time-consuming.”

Both Citytv’s camera operators and editors are realizing major gains in efficiency from the Editcam3’s Retroloop function, which allows shooters to save video of events after they have occurred. In Retroloop mode, the video is recorded to a buffer of pre-determined length (from five seconds to over eight minutes at DV25), but only saved when the cameraperson presses “record.”

“Retroloop brings ENG to an entirely new level of flexibility,” reports Cowan. “For example, if a cameraperson is at a hockey game and their job is to record the goals, traditionally they would have to set up a camera and record absolutely everything. But with the Ikegami Editcam, you can point the camera at the net and if a goal is scored, press the ‘Record’ button and the footage of the shot is saved onto the hard drive. This way, you’ve just recorded the highlights without recording the entire game, so when you go back to the station the editing process is speeded tremendously. It’s similarly useful for covering speeches, nature shots, and countless other applications.”

In an industry where downtime must be kept to an absolute minimum, Citytv Toronto’s news crews found that the Ikegami Editcam’s well-planned ergonomics made for a seamless transition. “We changed out all of the 34 cameras in our Toronto facility at once to Editcam, as well as changing all of the editing systems from tape to Avid NewsCutter,” says Cowan. “So we transitioned about 230 people in a major market newsroom from tape to full tapeless, both acquiring and editing. You don’t do that without a little trepidation, but we’ve been very successful with it. It’s rare to get a positive reaction all around to such a large-scale change, but the ease of use of the Ikegami Editcam has helped to make it possible.”

The capacity of Ikegami FieldPak media currently goes up to 120GB. Solid-state 16MB RAMPak media is also available for the Editcam3, with recording capacities expected to increase as solid state recording technology advances. Editcam's 120GB FieldPak2 can record nine hours of DV25 digital video, with DV50 and IMX formats available as options.
Ikegami's Editcam3 tapeless digital newsgathering (DNG) environment also includes the NL Technology SAT 110 Adapter for instant nonlinear editing access to FieldPak2 and RAMPak footage. The Ikegami DNE-31 Stand-Alone Disk Recorder is also available for added versatility. Telestream’s Flip4Mac™ import component also makes Editcam compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro editing systems.
In addition to Ikegami's standard definition DNS-33W Editcam3 camcorder and peripherals, Ikegami also offers the high definition HDN-X10 EditcamHD camcorder. Editcam HD uses Avid's DNxHD high-quality mastering codec to record full 1920 by 1080 HD-resolution images that can also be edited on laptop and desktop systems in real time. Editcam HD currently employs a data rate of 145 Mbps (Megabits per second) to provide 1080/60i, 1080/24p, and 720/60p recording and playback using FieldPak2 recording media.

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