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Panasonic's Broadcast cameras and P2 Workflow, add H.264 codec

Panasonic announced extensions to their P2 workflow with new broadcast cameras, a studio recorder, a moble recorder and a five slot P2 drive for transfer of data over IEEE1394 (FireWire) or USB 2.0. Pansonic also announced that they are developing an intra-frame version of the H.264 for release in April 2007 that will double the record time of P2 media.

AJ HPC2000 should-mount multi-format 2/3" P2 HD Camcorder

The AJ-HPC2000 records in 720p, 1080i, 480i or 576i to solid state P2 media. The camcorder has native HD progressive 2/3” 3-CCD system and 14-bit A/D processing and a sensitivity of F10 at 2000 lux, which can capture images at a minimum illumination of 0.032 lux (at +62dB).

The AJ-HPC2000 will have five P2 hot-swappable P2 card slot: fully populated with 8 GB P2 cards, the AJ-HPC2000 will record for up to 40 minutes without swapping cards. An additional card slot is provided for optional accessories such as a Proxy Video Encoder and a SD card slot is also included for recording and replicating setup information useful in multi-camera productions. 

The camera has extensive signal connectivity and control capability including IEEE 1394 , and USB 2.0 interfaces, HD/SD-SDI, genlock, time code and composite video. Four channels of uncompressed audio are supported with XLRs, stereo front mic, and Unislot wireless mic connections.

The AJ-HPC2000 will be available first quarter 2007 at a suggest list price of US$27,000. It will accept the optional AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) codec to be available in April 2007.

AJ HPM200 P2 mobile recorder

Based on the same design concept as Panasonic’s popular DVCPRO laptop editors, the AJ-HPM100 is fully equipped for field work with a 9” widescreen LCD monitor, a six-slot P2 drive, an SD card slot, a jog/shuttle dial, P2 deck-like playlist editing functions, stereo speakers and AC/DC operation. The easily-transportable unit records in 1080i and 720p in DVCPRO HD and in 50Mbps DVCPRO50 and 25Mpbs DVCPRO. It can upconvert and downconvert between standard and high definition formats. With 8GB cards in the six P2 slots, the AJ-HPM100 can record for 192 minutes in DVCPRO, 96 minutes in DVCPRO50, and 48 minutes in 1080i and 720p.

The AJ-HPM100 will be available in November 2006 at a suggested list price of $12,000. It will accept the optional AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) codec to be available in April 2007.

AJ-HPS1500 P2 studio recorder

The multi-format, multi-codec P2 Station records in 1080i and 720p in DVCPRO HD, and in 50Mbps DVCPRO50, 25Mbps DVCPRO and 25Mbps DV. An optional upconverter and downconverter enables conversion between standard and high definition formats. The AJ-HPS1500’s front panel offers easy operation with its VTR-like controls, Jog/Shuttle dial, video encoder adjustment control, Graphic User Interface (GUI), and playlist making, editing and copying. The front panel’s 3.5” color LCD simplifies browsing and selection of clips, and reduces the requirement for an external field monitor.

Standard A/V outputs/inputs on the AJ-HPS1500 include: analog component, composite and reference video, digital audio (AES/EBU Ch1 – Ch8), analog audio inputs (XLR, Ch1 – Ch2), monitor out, and time code in/output. Remote control can be accomplished via RS-422A, RS-232C and GPI.

The AJ-HPS1500 will be available in January 2007at a suggest list price of US$19,950. It will accept the optional AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) codec to be available in April 2007.

AJ PCD20 Five Slot P2 drive

The P2 internal/external drive is designed for high-speed file transfer of 25Mbps DVCPRO, 50Mbps DVCPRO50, or 100Mbps DVCPRO HD into nonlinear editing systems and servers. With the AJ-PCD20, a user can mount five 8 GB P2 cards at the same time and have access to the contents on all five cards for continuous editing of recorded clips in sequence.

As an internal drive, the AJ-PCD20 installs in a standard PC type 5.25” bay drive enclosure, and connects to the host via either IEEE1394 (FireWire) or USB 2.0. Once connected to the host, the drive can be accessed across the local area network.

For in-the-field use, the AJ-PCD20 serves as a stand-alone external drive and teams with a notebook PC or Mac PowerBook for editing and playback. The drive offers Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS X compatibility.

The AJ-PCD20 card drive will be available in July at a suggested list price of US$1,980.

Optional intra-frame H.264 codec for P2 HD line

In perhaps the most interesting of the announcements at the press event, Panasonic flagged an upcoming, optional intra-frame (whole frame) version of the H.264 codec for it’s HD P2 product line that will double record times for P2 cards. Due in April 2007, the H.264 AVC-Intra codec will be supported on the HPC2000, HPM100 and JPS1500 stations.

Panasonic have a new P2HD logo to identify the new codec.

Panasonic also showed statements of support, in future product releases, from Apple and Avid who will provide native editing capability for the new codec variation "in the fullness of time".

Other announcements

Also announced where the:

BT-LH2600W 26" Production Quality monitor with a resolution 1366 x 768, waveform monitoring on screen and two auto switching SDI/HD-SDI 9inputs with embedded audio. Available June 2006 for US$4,940

AJ-HDP 2000 2K Film Data Processor. Featuring JPEG2000 compression 4:4;4 sampling to convert digitized file at max of 188 Mbps in 2K an dHD resolution the AJ-HDP2000 processes 2K ful-frame film images and process them for recording onto an HD34700 D5 recorder for managing and distribution in D5; and the

AV-HS300 – a Live Event switcher with six HD/SD inputs to debut for US$8,000 in Q4, 2006.

Jan Crittenden, Product Line Business Manager for DVCPRO, DVPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD will be interviewed on Creative Planet’s Digital Production BuZZ on Wednesday April 26th at 3:15 pm Pacific Time.


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