Panasonic DVCPRO P2 sales continue to grow as product line expands

May 4, 2005

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Panasonic has announced sales growth for DVCPRO P2 products with more than 150 television stations worldwide purchasing equipment in the past year.

Significant new broadcasters in the United States that have chosen DVCPRO P2’s IT-based workflow include: Cordillera Communications; Cox Communications’ San Diego Channel 4/704; the Jefferson-Pilot Communications Company; and Philadelphia’s WTFX. Significant new broadcasters in Europe that have chosen DVCPRO P2 include: ZDF and MDR in Germany; SVT in Sweden; Sogecable (CNN+) in Spain; TV3 in New Zealand; and Jiangsu TV in China. Birns & Sawyer, Inc. a premiere Hollywood rental and sales firm serving the motion picture industry, has ordered 25 P2 camcorders.

“Panasonic worldwide is experiencing solid, strong conversions to P2 and we believe there will be even greater interest with the new products,” says David Craig, Product Manager, Broadcast and Security Systems, Panasonic Canada. “Broadcasters are investing in solid-state technology because of its versatility, reliability and cost-efficiency.”

Panasonic have expanded the line-up of DVCPRO P2 solid-state memory products with the introduction of the AJ-SPC700, a shoulder-mount broadcast-quality camcorder; the AJ-PCS060G, ruggedized portable hard drive storage; the AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2, the world’s first hand-held standard definition/high definition camcorder with 24p HD recording capabilities; and 8GB P2 cards.

AJ-SPC700 - Tailor-made for a wide range of newsgathering assignments, the cost-efficient, low-power AJ-SPC700 combines a high-performance 2/3” 520,000-pixel, IT 3-CCD camera with 60 fields interlace recording in 25Mbps DVCPRO/DV and 50Mbps 4:2:2 DVCPRO50 format on a P2 card. Switchable between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, the shoulder-mount camcorder delivers broadcast-level performance, with 750-line resolution, an S/N ratio of 63dB, a high sensitivity of F11 at 2000 lux, and minimum illumination of 0.5 lux (at +36dB).

AJ-PCS060G portable drive - The ruggedized AJ-PCS060G portable drive speeds the transfer of recorded content into a computer, server or non-linear editing system. Weighing less than 1.5 pounds, the 2.5”-high 60GB hard disk drive with a P2 card slot can hold the contents of up to fifteen 4GB P2 cards. Via its high-speed USB 2.0 interface, the entire contents of a 4GB P2 card can be transferred by the AJ-PCS060 in approximately four minutes at 6.7 times normal speed for 25Mbps DVCPRO video.

AG-HVX200 - Offering flexibility and versatility never before available to broadcasters and video professionals, the AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 hand-held camcorder provides 1080i and 720p recording with the production-proven image quality of 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD. The AG-HVX200 has two P2 card slots and records in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO or DV. It also records 480i and 480p on Mini-DV videotape on a built-in tape mechanism. The HVX200 inherits many of the functions of the popular, shoulder-mount AJ-HDC27 VariCam™ camcorder, including exceptional DVCPRO HD quality images, variable frame rates to capture fast-speed and slow-speed action, and a cine-gamma curve and cine-like colour matrix to emulate the look of film.

8GB P2 Card - In its strategy to offer increasing sizes of P2 cards annually, Panasonic has announced that it will offer an 8GB P2 card in the Fall of 2005 with the capability to record for 32 minutes in DVCPRO or DV, 20 minutes in 720p/24, 16 minutes in DVCPRO50, and eight minutes in 1080i/60 and 720p/60.

In addition, Panasonic has announced enhancements to its AJ-SPX800 camcorder and AJ-SPD850 recorder. New options for the AJ-SPX800 include 24p frame rate recording and proxy video recording with three quality levels. The 24p option software upgrade allows the camcorder to instantly switch between interlace and 24p for delivering a film-like look for a wide range of programming. The new proxy video option (AJ-YAX800) allows the AJ-SPX800 to simultaneously record a low-resolution video copy for rapid viewing on a laptop or desktop PC and on a PDA, and, in an emergency, for transfer by connecting to an ubiquitous cable modem, DLP or dial-up connection. As a cost-efficient optical disc storage solution, the new AJ-DVD850 4.7GB DVD-RAM/DVD-R recordable drive installs easily in the AJ-SPD850.

Panasonic also announced that the number of industry-leading companies in its P2 Alliance has increased to fifteen – Avid, Apple, Canopus, Dalet, Dayang, EVS, Focus Enhancements, Leitch, Microsoft, Omneon, Pinnacle Systems, SGI, Telestream, Thomson/Grass Valley and Quantel.

The Benefits of P2

DVCPRO P2 offers video professionals improvements in durability, speed, stability and accessibility and competitive advantages in acquisition, editing and being to air first with the story.

Compatibility – DVCPRO P2 is fully compatible with DVCPRO, the industry’s standard for digital newsgathering, and with high-performance DVCPRO50 standard definition 4:2:2 recording, as well as providing a migration path to DVCPRO HD. Panasonic’s strategy of a seamlessly connected family of products and formats – 25Mbps DVCPRO, 50Mbps DVCPRO50 and 100Mbps DVCPRO HD -- is well accepted in the broadcast and production markets.

Significant Workflow Improvements – DVCPRO P2 offers an IT-centric workflow that includes high-speed file transfer, laptop field editing without requiring proxy videos, and compatibility with off-the-shelf data storage drives for archiving, while eliminating traditional digitizing and ingesting operations. DVCPRO P2 is a media-less system in which a television station’s budget for consumable media can be virtually eliminated. Using the P2 system, stations need not purchase consumable recording media except for archiving applications.

Low Maintenance – The core DVCPRO P2 products – AJ-SPX800 camcorder, AJ-SPC700 camcorder, AJ-SPD850 studio recorder and the AJ-PCD10 drive -- eliminate transports or mechanisms, which results in significant maintenance cost savings because of the absence of any moving parts that can breakdown or wear out from repetitive use.

Environmental Stability - DVCPRO P2 is practically impervious to shock and vibration and offers outstanding resistance to environmental extremes.

Leading, Compact, High-Capacity Storage - The SD Memory card is the world’s leading standard for compact, portable, high-capacity storage. Panasonic has taken full advantage of SD Memory card’s substantial storage capacity and high transfer rate. P2 cards can be re-used since a card can be re-written on without performance degradation.

The expanded line-up of P2 products will be available in Canada in the Fall. Product specifications may be modified or may be subject to change.



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