Head on this page.
– Nobuteru Kondo, AbemaTV, Inc.
Chateau Ameba, the production center of joint operator Cyber Agent, Inc.
AbemaTV is an internet TV station that provides a variety of shows, including original content. Its production center is Chateau Ameba (opened in 2016), which has eight studios and 14 streaming rooms and is the production location of WinTicket Midnight Keirin (Cycle Race) series (April 2019-, filmed and recorded in the studio called 9st). The station originally used camcorders from other companies, but has now replaced some of them with four AG-CX350 Memory Card Camera Recorder due to the user-friendliness of the camera and the future prospects provided by features such as NDI｜HX and 4K recording.
WinTicket Midnight Keirin (Cycle Race) is streamed live almost every day, and a different team of two camera operators works on each episode, so when it was time for AbemaTV to replace their camcorders, the most important point was to find camcorders that anyone can use. They were impressed with the compact, easy-to-handle body and wide-angle lens that enable a wide area to be captured despite the small size of the 9st where the show is filmed and streamed. The final point that sealed the deal was the AG-CX350's excellent prospects for new production protocols such as NDI｜HX—ideal for AbemaTV'splans to use NDI in future.
An AG-CX350 Memory Card Camera Recorder installed in 9st. This one is used on a dolly.
Two of the four AG-CX350 cameras are used as stationary cameras to film the WinTicket Midnight Keirin (Cycle Race) series. The wide-angle view enabled by the 24.5mm wide integrated lens has proven useful in situations such as front views of the guests sitting across the front of the studio and diagonal views of everyone including the announcer sitting at the back. The high visibility of the organic EL viewfinder and the compact, easy-to-handle design of the body have also been assets. "It is difficult to shoot wide angles in 9st as there is limited space to set up camcorders", says Shinichi Okahira from the Studio Operations Center. "The wide lens of the AG-CX350's integrated lens is 24.5mm, and I was amazed by the wide angle view that we were able to capture with just one camcorder. We had to add a wide conversion lens before, but our recording work is smoother now that we no longer need to do that. The four camcorders are currently all installed in 9st, but with their light body and usability, I'd like to try using them on location, too."
The four camcorders are operated by two camera operators during filming.
AbemaTV replaced the cameras in November 2019, after WinTicket Midnight Keirin began airing. "When we were having a look at the camera, a staff member who operates the camcorders in 9st came along and tried operating it", explains NobuteruKondo, also from the Studio Operations Center. "The interface of the AG-CX350 is extremely user-friendly, which makes it ideal for somewhere like 9st where there are a lot of different staff working on productions. We were able to operate these smoothly from the very first day we installed them." Kondo also expressed interest in the various features we have added in Ver. 2.01 to make the camera easier to operate, such as a function to control washed-out color caused by the blue LED and "CX ROP", a dedicated app for wireless control of functions such as the zoom and focus. Kondo hopes to use these in AbemaTV's future work.
Inside 9st. The studio is narrow, so a 24.5mm wide lens is used to capture a wide area.
AbemaTV hopes to work on IP-based TV production in future, such as sharing footage and transferring it between sites. Their purchase of the AG-CX350 camcorders was part of their preparations for this, as the AG-CX350 is compatible with NDI｜HX. Their existing system is currently connected to an NDI-compatible switcher by SDI. There are currently more devices used in 9st than there are SDI inputs for the switcher, so a small switcher has been added as a temporary solution. Operating the AG-CX350 cameras through NDI is expected to free up many inputs.
"AbemaTV was frequently seen as an upgrade to online video streaming at first, but now it is becoming a form of media infrastructure equivalent to standard TV, even having its own designated button on TV remotes. At AbemaTV, we believe that our mission in future will be to maintain reliability and quality as studios downsize, while taking on plenty of new challenges. The AG-CX350 has so many prospects for the future, as it is compatible with NDI｜HX and enables 4K recording. We hope to work on new initiatives such as IP-based production and 4K recording, and these camcorders will be the foundation of that work."
Studio Operations Center
Mr. Shinichi Okahira
Studio Operations Center