“That Was Then!”
Philips LDK14 Camera Competes in the Emerging ENG Market
In the late 1960s, Philips competed in the camera market with the three-Plumbicon LDK 13, a two-piece, camera-backpack system that was labeled “Pye” in the United Kingdom where the cameras were used in two BCC experimental mobile news units.
Not many 13’s were manufactured, but the camera positioned Philips to introduce its far more popular LDK 14 in 1977. The one-piece LDK 14 competed with RCA’s TK-76 and Ikegami’s HL-77 in the emerging ENG market.
Though the camera wasn’t as popular as the Ikegami and RCA models with U.S. news crews of the era, it found a home in production companies and with mobile units. The LDK 14 weighed about 15 pounds, had 600 lines resolution with a sensitivity of 500 Lux f2. It consumed 27 watts of power. The camera could be outfitted for portable use or in a studio configuration.
Since Philips invented the Plumbicon camera tube in 1965, the LDK 14 camera demonstrated the tube technology in the first Phillips one-piece ENG-style camera. The company would later win an Emmy technical award for its Plumbicon tube development.
The Philips story in American broadcasting is a confusing one, due to complexities of company ownership and the use of different brand names. From the early 1940s, Philco was legally able to prevent Philips from using the name “Philips” on any products marketed in the United States because the two names were judged to sound similar. As a result, Philips instead used the name Norelco, an acronym for “North American Philips [electrical] Company.”
In 1986, Robert Bosch GmbH’s Fernseh Division entered into a joint venture with Philips in Breda, Netherlands. The new company was called Broadcast Television Systems, Inc. or BTS. By the 1980s, the Norelco name was dropped in favor of Philips.
In 1995, Philips Electronics North America Corp. fully acquired BTS, renaming it Philips Broadcast-Philips Digital Video Systems. Then, in March 2001, Philips’ broadcast video division was sold to Thomson SA, the current owner.
A year later, Thomson acquired Grass Valley. Currently, the products of the old Phillips broadcast equipment company are currently sold under the brand name Grass Valley.
“This Is Now!”
The New LDK 3000 HD camera Makes 2/3-inch HD Affordable
The Grass Valley LDK 3000 camera series is the first LDK-family system camera application to use the in-house developed Xensium CMOS imagers – the same imagers first seen in the Infinity™ Digital Media Camcorder (DMC 1000).
Built on the same physical platform as the LDK 8000, the new LDK 3000 camera uses three 2.4 million-pixel CMOS imagers that allow the camera to switch between shooting 1080i and 720p. A low-cost commercial option adds the ability to shoot film-style in the 25p (PAL) and 29.94p (NTSC) formats.
The LDK 3000 also employs the high performing HD Triax transmission system to allow cable runs up to 1,200 meters.