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Hitachi Kokusai to unveil advances in CU-HD550 Camera Control Unit at NAB 2020

The recently launched 080p60 CCU features 4K/UHD output over single-link 12Gbps SDI connectivity and simultaneous HDR/SDR workflow

Continuing its tradition of making key technology transitions practical and cost-effective for broadcasters and video production professionals, Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. (Hitachi Kokusai) will debut powerful new features in its recently introduced CU-HD550 camera control unit (CCU) at the upcoming 2020 NAB Show. New capabilities include simultaneous High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) output with independent adjustments, and 4K/UHD output over single-link 12Gbps SDI connectivity. The company will demonstrate these new functions alongside other Hitachi innovations in booth C4409 at the show, taking place April 19 to 22 in Las Vegas.

First previewed at NAB Show New York last fall, the CU-HD550 and its companion CA-HF550 camera adapter collectively lower the cost of entry for 1080p60 video production. Also compatible with interlaced Z and SK-series Hitachi HDTV cameras, the full possibilities of these latest accessories are unleashed when combined with Hitachi Kokusai’s 1080p60-native camera heads to form robust video acquisition systems with completely progressive signal paths. The newest features being unveiled at the NAB Show further bolster its benefits for progressive workflows.

When used with an HDR-capable Hitachi camera model such as the award-winning SK-HD1800, new dual-workflow functionality in the CU-HD550 enables parallel HDR/SDR acquisition with a single camera by providing separate video shading adjustments for HDR and SDR outputs. This allows producers to fine-tune each output path for optimal results, helping them to create superior-quality content for distribution to both modern and legacy display platforms without the significant cost and operational burden of separate cameras.

Meanwhile, a new configuration of the CU-HD550 helps smooth producers’ transition from HD to Ultra HD by transforming natively-acquired 1080p video to 4K resolution and outputting the result over single-link 12G-SDI.The 4K output functionality supports High Dynamic Range when used with an HDR-enabled camera, while the color matrix of the 12Gbps SDI output can be switched between ITU-Rec.709 and BT.2020 color spaces.

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“Our introduction of the CA-HF550 and CU-HD550 attracted a lot of interest by making broadcast-class 1080p60 production more affordable, and the new capabilities we’re unveiling at NAB add even further versatility and value,” said Emilio Aleman, Engineering Manager, Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. “While 4K adoption is growing, HD production continues to thrive, with many high-profile events being produced natively in 1080p60 with HDR. The new 4K output feature is ideal for content creators who have some UHD production requirements but aren’t yet ready to invest in full 4K cameras and infrastructure, while the dual HDR/SDR workflow functionality helps producers optimally reach multiple generations of displays.” 

Hitachi Kokusai will demonstrate the CU-HD550 and CA-HF550 at the 2020 NAB Show in conjunction with the aforementioned SK-HD1800 studio and field production camera. The feature-packed, 1080p SK-HD1800 combines the advanced, global shutter CMOS imaging technology first implemented in the company’s popular Z-HD5500 camera with a motorized, remote filter wheel to deliver impeccable image quality for mobile and event-based productions even in venues with challenging LED lighting and displays.

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