It's a hard-drive-based unit that records standard-quality video onto a hard drive. No tapes, etc. I bought it at the liquidation store at a good price. (I should have been using the money for the mortgage but an artist has his priorities, you know.)
It's quicker and easier to use than the mini-DV camera and better and almost as quick as the MPEG recorder.
There is a happy balance to be achieved in cost/ease/production value.
It appears that it takes three man-hours to produce two minutes of finished product.
With some slop in the formula, I'm guessing that it would take five (non-union) writers and technical persons two workdays to produce a half-hour, minimal production value show. And with comedy, low production value is OK.
My text-based show had nearly zero production value. But it was a stronger format than my video-based show is because the audience is conjuring the image in their minds for free, whereas I can only devise so many sets. It becomes an ever-changing set that can change at zero cost. What if... What if you did a TV show where every set was green-screened? What if it somehow became part of the show?... The audience would tolerate such a thing because if the writing is good enough, who cares? You'd never have to build a set... And your location could be anywhere.
I may be sharing this with you, but that doesn't mean I want some New Yorker stealing it. This one's mine.