Live Sports Productions, Tackled On The ‘Big Island’


HAIKU, HAWAII — When the Public, Education and Government (PEG) broadcaster serving the island of Hawai’i, known as “the Big Island,” expanded its coverage to include more sports, it needed cameras to provide quality televised productions to local viewers.

It ultimately decided on products from Hitachi Kokusai Electric America.

As such, the SK-HD1800 camera is now in place at Nā Leo TV (NLTV).

NLTV delivers programming across the island of Hawai’i through three cable channels, its website, and a mobile app. “We wanted to start producing more live events such as high school sports, but our existing prosumer-level HD camcorders weren’t up to the task,” said production manager Matt Cordero. “Our president wanted a higher quality standard, and we needed cameras that would respond well in low light and could zoom all the way down a football field. Our previous cameras also required tons of cabling – including separate video, communications, and power – that was cumbersome for field use. I wanted the simplicity of a single SMPTE fiber cable for each camera, the higher quality of 2/3-inch sensors, and the ability to use longer, B4-mount lenses.”

Oahu-based Da Crew Production and Engineering Group arranged a side-by-side comparison between three major camera brands. The result: NLTV purchased four SK-HD1800s and started using them in their studio and field productions.

The cameras travel around the island in the station’s 24-foot production trailer, which is stored next to the 18-foot high, 50×25 foot main studio. This lets them use the trailer as the control room when shooting in the studio. Three of the cameras are typically deployed on Cartoni or Sachtler tripods, with one operated handheld.

NLTV purchased five Fujinon lenses – three 22x, one 14x super-wide, and one 99x box lens for sports productions.

The setup simplicity and ease of use of the SK-HD1800 has also proven beneficial for NLTV as it relies on volunteer students who may not understand all of the technology.

The move to Hitachi camera systems has also enabled NLTV to manage the cameras from their mobile control room while supporting the streamlined cabling infrastructure Cordero sought.

While social distancing cut short NLTV’s spring sports season and temporarily reduced the number of productions in its studio, station staff say cameras have enabled NLTV to take on more types of production projects and have enhanced the quality of our programs.

— Ethan Hunt, on Maui, and Brian Galante, in Maine.