Cutting Edge


Panasonic offers Improved HD camera

Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. has enhanced the AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera with additional frame rates, new CineGamma capabilities and an optional kit to retrofit existing AJ-HDC27 VariCams with CineGamma. The CineGamma feature extends the camera's usable dynamic range to 600:1, which helps in highlight handling, a limitation of both standard-definition and HD video cameras. It also gives a closer approximation of film's ability to maintain smooth image tonality.

The AJ-HDC27 VariCam allows variable frame rates from 4 to 60 fps in single-frame increments, but it now allows frame rates to be changed during recording, with constant exposure maintained with the camera's time-base shutter mode.

Other key features include storage of up to eight setup data files on an SD memory card and up to 10 gain values ranging from –6dB to +30dB (three values can be saved as presets). The enhanced AJ-HDC27 VariCam with CineGamma functionality is available at a suggested price of $63,000; the optional kit for retrofitting existing VariCams, at $5,000.

PanAmSat meets VOD

PanAmSat now offers video-on-demand and digital store-and-forward services, and the broadband on-demand service Intertainer is using PanAmSat to distribute its VOD content to cable affiliate partners via satellite. The digital store-and-forward service is designed to support the needs of international video-content providers, such as film and television production companies, while the VOD service is for cable MSOs. The former service is expected to offer a satellite-based digital alternative to dubbing tapes and express mailing.

HD news from HDNet

HDNet will broadcast its second HDTV co-production with The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. The three half-hour reports will cover the conflict between India and Pakistan, with special correspondent Simon Marks traveling through India, Pakistan and the Kashmir region.

Listen Up gives mikes to KUVO-FM

Denver-based professional audio dealer Listen Up has donated three Sennheiser MKH 800 variable-pattern condenser microphones to public-radio broadcaster KUVO(FM) Denver. The additions bring the total number of MKH 800 microphones at the station to five. They will be used on KUVO's regular live broadcasts from its performance studio as well as remote locations.

Ya gotta Belief

Santa Monica, Calif.-based broadcast design and production studio Belief recently completed three projects that used the Sony HDCAM format. The promo spots for DirecTV, Animal Planet and Entertainment Tonight
were edited with Media 100 software and After Effects on Macintosh computers with Pinnacle HD Cinewave cards.

More from Media 100

Media 100 is shipping a new expanded feature set for the 844/X system for multilayer content creation. The software release includes more than 100 new features and capability enhancements. New features include real-time keying, real-time color correction, editing and compositing integration, a matte tool to slip video separate from matte, trim mode, keyframe editor, and connectivity to support sharing of design elements through both Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet. The 844/X version 1.1 software is shipping on all new 844/X systems (base price of $65,995) and to existing 844/X customers that have Platinum Support contracts.

CKWS-TV se4lects Autocue News System

Autocue Systems has announced that its QSeries newsroom production system will be launched at CKWS-TV Kingston, Ontario, which will begin using the QNews production system later this month. The system will be coupled with a QTV prompter and will also control an Inscriber CG Xtreme character generator from Inscriber.

Wood's next level

Wood County Telephone Co. in Wisconsin has selected Next Level Communications to help the telco deliver bundled services to its subscribers. Charter Communications in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., serves the area's cable viewers. Wood County installed Next Level's VDSL equipment in March 1999 and deployed new services in December of that year. Customers now have 108 channels of digital television (including pay-per-view and 40 digital music channels), 1.5-Mb/s Internet access and telephone service.