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Aomori Cable Television Taps Blackmagic Design for 4K Upgrade

Sep 28, 2023

Aomori moved to 4K workflows with Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros and ATEM Switchers

FREMONT, Calif.—Blackmagic Design announced today that Aomori Cable Television built its new 4K production and retransmission workflow using a number of Blackmagic Design products, including ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K live production switchers, ATEM 2 M/E Advanced Panels and Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros.

Located in Aomori City, Japan, Aomori Cable Television primarily retransmits programs from key TV stations and FM radio stations, as well as Internet and mobile communication businesses. The station also produces and broadcasts live programs for the city of Aomori as a third sector company of Aomori City.

"The switcher we had installed about 10 years ago began to malfunction and it was time to update. We were ready to move to 4K and decided to install the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio and the ATEM 2 M/E Advanced Panel," said Nao Miura of Aomori Cable Television.

"Two sets of the ATEM switcher fit within the budget of one set of our previous switcher system. And since we were planning on adding another studio, we decided to install the ATEM switchers expecting to use them simultaneously," he explained.

The company's first 4K studio expansion took place in 2021, which was done to accommodate the live broadcast of Aomori City's PR program that started the same year. To accommodate the growing need for content, Aomori Cable Television installed four Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros along with an ATEM Camera Control Panel and three HyperDeck Studio HD Pro broadcast decks.

"We considered a second switcher as more like a backup, but now, we have both switchers running at full capacity," Miura said. "While one switcher is used, the other switcher is used for live broadcast programs or emergency press conferences."

All outputs from the cameras and video playouts are sent to a Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 router, and program outputs from the switchers are recorded on HyperDeck Studio HD Pros. In addition to the ATEM switchers, the team also uses MultiView 16, MultiView 4 HD, nine SmartView 4K monitors, a SmartView Duo monitor, six units of the Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G for audio monitoring and a number of Mini Converters and Micro Converters for signal conversion, the companies explained.

"The studio and sub control room are located on different floors. Each Studio Camera 4K Pro is connected with a single 10G Ethernet cable, so we were able to set up the studio quickly. With four Studio Camera 4K Pros fed into the ATEM switcher via 6A LAN cables, we were able to connect everything such as power supply and tally. The compactness of the Studio Camera 4K Pros allows us to use it in a very small studio with a low ceiling," said Miura.

Since Miura's team, which is in charge of broadcasting and program production, is very small, he appreciates that the ATEM Camera Control Panel allows them to adjust camera settings from the sub control room while technical staff are not in the studio.

"I used to talk to my colleague via intercom to precisely adjust focus, and sometimes I had to run to the studio and make adjustments if no staff was present," he said. "The ATEM Camera Control Panel allows me to control the settings with knobs, so I can make adjustments more quickly than sending some instructions over the intercom. It worked just as I had expected."

"Similarly, the HyperDeck Studio recorders are connected to the ATEM switcher via LAN cable so they can be remotely controlled, allowing me to trigger recording command from the switcher," Miura continued. "The editing system is also on the same network, so we can send footage on SSD to the editing system via a transfer software, allowing editing without moving physical media."

"The affordability of Blackmagic Design's products allows us to purchase more equipment as we go along to get the studio just the way we want it. We were also able to build the studio flexibly because we could set up and wire the equipment ourselves, using tutorial videos as reference," Miura concluded.

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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.

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