Keep on Trucking
National Mobile Television will roll out its next two HD mobile trucks in June and August, with plans to introduce three more by the end of 2005. HD7 is equipped with Thomson Grass Valley Kalypso production switchers, LDK-6000 HD cameras, Canon lenses, and an SSL audio console; the 53-foot expandable truck will be used for the NBA finals. By 2005, NMT will have a total of 10 HD vehicles, making it the truck vendor with the most HD vehicles on the road. And with the company planning to retire three of its older analog trucks in 2005 (and convert two others to digital), the days of its analog trucks are numbered.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. signed a $6.7 million deal with Avid for the installation of digital newsrooms in its 23 TV stations. Ottawa, Edmonton, and Quebec City will be the first to undergo a conversion that includes the installation of Avid Unity for News storage systems, NewsCutter Adrenaline nonlinear editing systems, iNews newsroom computer systems, and AirSpeed video servers. An Avid Nearchive will also be used for archive management.
In advance of the Olympics, The History Channel will air two specials this summer, directed and produced by Geoffrey Madeja of Swell Pictures in Chicago. Madeja recently visited Greece to shoot the footage with Panasonic's AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera. The camera allows him to replicate film quality, an important feature in documentary work. The camera has variable frame rates from four frames per second to 60 frames per second. A CineGamma feature adds grain and other film traits to the video to make it closely resemble film quality.
Broadcasters speeding to present NASCAR or auto racing in HD have a new tool. Robovision, a company that specializes in TV racing coverage, has purchased 10 Ikegami HDL-40C point-of-view cameras. They give TV producers the chance to capture HD images from some of the most dangerous areas of the track. To date, those cameras have been standard-definition, compromising HD production values. The cameras are switchable between 720p and 1080i formats and can withstand heavy vibration.