The New England School of Communications at Husson University (NESCom) has a goal of providing its students with second-to-none facilities, equipment and instruction that deliver a superior learning experience. Furthering its video technology in support of that mission, NESCom has added three Z-HD6000 HDTV cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Electric America Ltd. (Hitachi Kokusai) to the school’s existing complement of Z-HD5000 cameras for studio and field production.
Based in Bangor, Maine, NESCom is home to approximately 500 students working toward undergraduate degrees in communications technology, mass communications and entertainment production. NESCom’s video production program provides real-world, experiential learning for students as they create live, broadcast productions within the university and through curriculum-driven events with strategic external partners. NESCom also has agreements with local broadcast affiliates to air live Division III sports from the Husson University campus, as well as Maine’s only locally-produced, late-night talk show airing statewide. A business pitching competition show, broadcast throughout Maine over NBC affiliate stations, is also recorded at NESCom’s modern television facility.
student Alex Fenderson operates one of the school’s new HITACHI
Credit: Tim Burns
“Our curriculum revolves around delivering practical, relevant experience, so it’s important that both our faculty and equipment stay current with the latest industry trends,” said Rodney Verrill, manager of events and facilities at NESCom. “Our acquisition of the HITACHI Z-HD6000 cameras continues our commitment to ensuring our students always have the latest technology. This gives them a leg up after graduation in landing their first professional position.”
The new Z-HD6000 cameras are used in NESCom’s television studio to produce live newscasts in conjunction with the university’s journalism department, as well as public affairs shows, sports roundup programs and more. Meanwhile, six Z-HD5000 cameras are deployed with the school’s 32-foot remote production facility, NESCom Mobile Productions HD. The Z-HD5000s are equipped with a mix of studio and field production accessories and support equipment, enabling them to be set up for handheld, jib, dolly or fixed-position operation depending on the particular venue or event being covered.
When selecting equipment for the studio and mobile truck, the cost-effectiveness of the HITACHI cameras initially attracted NESCom’s attention, but it was their quality and capabilities that ultimately drove the school’s decisions. “In today’s economy and the ever-changing broadcast television landscape, price is always a major consideration, which first led us to look at HITACHI cameras,” Verrill recounted. “When we evaluated them,though, we discovered how much more they offered. We chose the cameras not just because of their affordability, but also their great quality and feature richness.”
Beyond their operational and budgetary advantages, the Z-HD5000s and Z-HD6000s also proved to be a perfect fit for NESCom’s educational goals. “First and foremost, students get hands-on experience with equipment they’ll use in the professional world, and that knowledge will help them achieve career success after graduation,” Verrill explained.
Verrill lauded the educational value of the Z-HD5000 and Z-HD6000’s rich controls, while praising the cameras’ fast learning curve. “The depth of the menu operations and the extensive painting settings of the cameras have enormous educational benefit, enabling students to get comfortable with the sophisticated controls they will encounter professionally,” he continued. “However, ease of use is every bit as important. While the senior students will delve deeply into the cameras’ advanced menu options, we can pre-set parameters to get our lower and mid-level students operating the cameras quickly.”
The cameras’ durability similarly earned Verrill’s respect. “With the mobile productions, the Z-HD5000s are exposed to a wide range of harsh environments, and they continue to run flawlessly,” he said. “From over 100 degree temperatures broadcasting baseball, to cold, rainy football shoots and extreme humidity changes covering indoor swimming in the winter, the cameras just keep working, day in and day out.”