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Hitachi Delivers Two DK-H32 HDTV Remote Box Cameras To New England Sports Network

Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV Remote Box Cameras Produce Pre-Game, Intermission, and Post-Game Coverage of Boston Bruins and Pre-Game Show for Boston Red Sox

WOODBURY, NEW YORK, February 5, 2008 – Multiple Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras running via a bi-directional fiber optic network from Telecast Fiber Systems have been newly deployed by New England Sports Network (NESN), a Boston-based regional sports network, for the production of pre-game, intermission, and post-game shows for Boston Bruins hockey games and pre-game shows for Boston Red Sox games.

NESN controls the two Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras from its HD television network operations facility in Watertown, MA. For Bruins games, live HD video, SD video, audio, and data are transmitted across the 18 miles separating TD Banknorth Garden and NESN‘s HD television network operations facility via a bi-directional Telecast Viper II fiber optic system.

The two Hitachi DK-H32‘s are mounted on Eagle™ PT-101 robotic pan and tilt heads that hang from The Garden‘s lighting grid, providing many different viewing angles from above the ice. The cameras, pan/tilt systems, and Fujinon HAs18x7.6 HD lenses can all be controlled remotely over the Telecast network.

From NESN‘s Watertown control room, a technical director switches the Hitachi cameras‘ HDTV serial digital video for NESN‘s live Bruins pre-game, intermission, and post-game shows. NESN also maintains a live studio on the fifth floor of TD Banknorth Garden which plays a key role in producing and broadcasting the live, end-to-end event coverage.

Prior to installing the Hitachi DK-H32 remote box cameras, which went into service for the Bruins season opener on October 18, 2007, NESN produced its pre-game and post-game shows and other interstitial programming, using traditional HDTV studio cameras that required a cameraperson for operation.

“The benefits we‘ve seen since switching over to the Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras have been significant,” said Dave Desrochers, vice president of engineering for New England Sports Network (NESN). “With the Hitachi cameras, our equipment set-up time has been cut in half. And it‘s easier to tear down, pack, and move camera equipment to other locations. As a result, we‘re able to get by with fewer people to produce our interstitial programming.”

“Plus, the picture quality captured by these Hitachi‘s is just phenomenal. The quality of the HD image is indistinguishable from the Sony HDTV cameras that we use during the broadcast of the games. In fact, they‘re almost identical,” Desrochers said.

In March 2008, Desrochers anticipates he will bring the two Hitachi DK-H32‘s to Florida to cover Boston Red Sox spring training. Once baseball season gets underway, the Hitachi cameras will be relocated to Fenway Park to provide an announce booth talent shot during Red Sox home games and crowd shots during the pre-game show on Yawkey Way.

NESN also has a portable stage that is driven over and parked on Yawkey Way, the street adjacent to Fenway Park. While the actual HDTV pre-game cameras on the Yawkey Way stage are manned, the Hitachi‘s will be controlled remotely from Watertown for pre-game shows.

The Watertown control room has full control over every aspect of camera and lens operation, including iris, black levels, focus, pan, tilt, zoom, and color painting and color correction–with the ability to control both Hitachi cameras simultaneously over the Telecast system.

The Telecast Viper II system enables NESN to transmit uncompressed 1080i HD signals in both directions across the 18 miles between TD Banknorth Garden and Watertown. Audio, intercom, data, and Ethernet signals are also part of the signal bundle.

“We believe this is the longest use of dark fiber for uncompressed HD video and full support,” said Steve Nelson, Telecast‘s Eastern Sales Manager. “The HD program return signal is even optically split at the Garden for distribution to several locations at the venue.”

According to Desrochers, “We‘re extremely pleased with the reliability of these Hitachi cameras. This year, during the NHL playoffs, we look forward to the possibility of expanding our production facilities and network with more Hitachi DK-H32 HDTV remote box cameras in order to accommodate simultaneous productions at TD Banknorth Garden for the Bruins and at Fenway Park for the Red Sox.”

About NESN

NESN, New England‘s most-watched sports network, is owned by the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins and delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state region. The definitive source for New England sports programming; NESN originates every Red Sox and Bruins game in high definition with 5.1 surround sound featured during all home games. The first and only regional network to deliver all game coverage in HD also produces all of its studio programming in HD, including every pre and post-game show, NESN SportsDesk, the network‘s daily sports news program, and Globe 10.0, a unique sports debate and discussion program hosted by Bob Ryan. More information is available at www.NESN.com.

About Hitachi

Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. designs, manufacturers and markets video cameras, digital transmission, processing and recording devices for the broadcast television, cable, video production, and industrial vision markets. For more information, please call (516) 921-7200 or visit Hitachi’s web site at http://www.hitachikokusai.us. Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Inc., is a Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) group company.

About Telecast Fiber Systems, Inc.

Telecast Fiber Systems, Inc. is a leader in portable and fixed fiber optic systems for television broadcast production. Based in Worcester, MA, the company‘s video, audio, and communications systems are used worldwide by TV networks, teleproduction companies, telecommunications providers, and private and government institutions and facilities to extend range, simplify cabling, and reduce labor costs and set-up time. The company‘s systems accommodate all television production signals, including NTSC/PAL video, 601 and HDTV SDI, analog and AES/EBU audio, triaxial wideband camera interfaces, and intercom and data signals. More information can be found at www.telecast-fiber.com.

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