Panasonic Gives HD P2 a Push

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When Panasonic rolled out its P2 HD system in December the company promised to deliver products that were more broadcast centric than the AJ-HPC2000, a handheld camcorder that could only record 16 minutes of HD video.

Last week the company delivered on the promise with the introduction of the AJ-HPC2000. The shoulder-mounted camcorder (pricing will be announced at NAB in April) has five hot-swappable card slots. That’ s enough to record 40 minutes of HD at a pop.

“It’s a great, fantastic broadcast tool and it will drive the ability for stations to transition to HD,” says Ardell Hill, Media General Broadcast Group SVP, broadcast operations. Media General is currently converting its stations to standard-definition P2 cameras and Hill doesn’t know if or how the new cameras will fit into that transition.

“Moving to HD for news is about a lot more than just the cameras,” he says. “But I’m thrilled that the new camera continue to move the tapeless model forward.”

The camera has three 2/3-inch HD-resolution CCDs and includes connections for HD-SDI, genlock, time code, composite video, IEEE1394 (AVC), and USB 2.0. Four channels of uncompressed audio are supported with XLRs, stereo front mic, and Unislot wireless mic connections.

Panasonic is also looking to ease operations in the field with the introduction of the AJ-HPM100 mobile recorder/player, a fully equipped unit with a 9-inch widescreen LCD monitor, a six-slot P2 drive, an SD card slot, a jog/shuttle dial, function buttons, stereo speakers and AC/DC operation.

With the system editors and reporters in the field can record in DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and also up-convert and down-convert SD and HD material. 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.

Panasonic also introduced the AJ-HPS1500 solid state recorder/player, a device that can serve as a bridge between HD and SD in newsrooms where a mix of material will be integrated into a newscast. The unit has a VTR-like control panel with jog/shuttle dial, a video encoder adjustment control, and a 3.5-inch LCD screen for browsing and selecting clips. Five card slots and two slots for removable hard disk drives (usable as an economical archive, for real-time data transfer, or editing functions) are standard along with Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 ports, IEEE-1394 (AVC), and HD-SDI as well as SD-SDI input.

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