Another illustration that vendors are responding to the growing demand for HD products from smaller, less well-heeled outlets, can be found in Vaddio’s recent introduction of the ProductionVIEW HD multicamera control system.
The new product is targeted to the so-called secondary market that includes churches, city council chambers, and community access television but it is also being embraced by small broadcast stations and regional sports networks, said Rob Sheeley, president and CEO of Vaddio, a designer and OEM distributor of specialty PTZ cameras and high-end camera control systems.
Sheeley said the ProductionVIEW HD offers users an integrated a multicamera control system and multiformat HD/SD live switching system that allows them to insert with real-time graphics and effects with an easy-to-use control console.
“It allows fairly non-sophisticated users to set up and operate a multicamera shoot,” at a very affordable price, he said. “You can set up a system with ProductionVIEW HD and do a three or four camera system for less than $70,000 to $80,000.”
While the system can be used by relatively unsophisticated users at churches and other outlets, Sheeley says they are also working with Fox’s regional sports networks and the system is also being used by Justin Timberlake’s concert tour.
For regional sports networks, the system allows them to easily set up operations at remote locations with minimal staff for pre- and postgame shows. In addition, the system automatically recognizes cameras and a variety of inputs, converting them to the right format, Sheeley said.
While other outlets, such as community access television and churches, have traditionally lacked the resources for HD, Sheeley said the increasingly small price differential between standard-def and HD systems and convincing more outlets to make the move. “If they see they can do HD for just $20,000 more, it makes enormous sense,” he said.
Sheeley also noted a large up-tick in sales of HD equipment. While HD camera systems amounted to about 5% of their sales last year, this year the proportion has grown to about 40%, particularly in the high-end robotics sector.
The church market is also rapidly growing, Sheeley confirmed. “The amount of churches who are buying community access time from cable channels is way up and so is the attendance at the National Religious Broadcaster’s convention,” Sheeley said.