The group owner will take delivery of 130 tapeless HD camcorders, a mix of PDW-700s and PMW-EX3s, over the next 18 months, assuming the stations can stick to their plans in the down economy.
New Vision Television has tentatively agreed to buy 130 Sony tapeless HD camcorders — a combination of XDCAM PDW-700 camcorders and the compact PMW-EX3 — over the next 18 months, according to John Heinen, president and COO of the station group.
Heinen cautioned that the stations’ taking delivery of the cameras will depend on their ability to “stay on plan” during the economic downturn. “This is going to be a disciplined rollout. It’s difficult to do a wholesale upgrade.”
The first of the camera will be going to stations that New Vision purchased from Piedmont Television, Heinen said. “They were carrying cameras way beyond their useful life. They couldn’t get parts.”
The camera systems will be put to use in a range of applications across the New Vision stations, “from the studio to one-man band production to live ENG and SNG operations,” according to Lynn Rowe, chief technology consultant for New Vision.
Each station’s market will dictate the primary uses for each camera, he said “Our approach in Mason City, Iowa [KIMT] — almost exclusively EX3s — is not the same as Portland, Ore. [KOIN] where it’s all 700s,” he said. “Each market will support a different amount of capital expenditures. Also, the competitive and operational issues are different from market to market.”
CBS affiliate KOIN is the largest station in the New Vision group (DMA 22); CBS affiliate KIMT (DMA 154) is the smallest.
With the Nipros optical fiber studio adapter, Rowe said, New Vision can put the EX3s to work as studio cameras. “Considering what traditional HD studio cameras cost and given the performance of the EX3, it’s a good value and credible means of providing HD resolution for studio operations.”
The Sony units will replace Panasonic DVCPRO gear at many of the New Vision stations.
“You can’t stay with machine-based, standard-definition technology forever,” said Rowe. “Increased competition and a growing consumer appetite for more HD content made moving toward a non-linear, file-based workflow a logical decision.”